Darcy Bacha is a Northwest photographer who is on the serious come up. This past season he spent his time following the Nation crew, our new movie. Since Nation is dropping on Monday, we felt now was the perfect time to check in with Darcy, see how he got into shooting photos, and see what it’s like following a crew of riders around all season. Check out his portfolio above, and his interview below.
When did you get into shooting snowboarding? What got you into it? What was your first set up?
Growing up in Philadelphia I spent most of my time skateboarding, and so when I got my first camera (Nikon N90) I spent all my time shooting my buddies skating. Back then I didn’t even realize there was such things as professional photographers, and I did it purely for the satisfaction of getting a cool image. I think what got me hooked was the excitement my friends and I got when I got out of the dark room and had processed a new roll of film. At about the same time as I started getting into photography I found out about snowboarding. My first taste of snowboarding was on a 20-foot hill in my backyard using my $40 k-mart snowboard. It didn’t take long before I was bugging my Mom to take me to the local mountain of a whopping 400 vertical feet (Spring Mountain, PA), and the rest is history. I found my passion in snowboarding and eventually incorporated my photography into it.
When I first moved to Oregon I didn’t have too much interest in shooting photos. I had just recovered from a blown ACL and was so eager to have the opportunity to be in the Pacific Northwest. All I wanted to do was just snowboarded every chance I could get. I started riding with a crew of guys sponsored by our local snowboard shop called Northern Alliance, and that's when I met (Johnnie) Paxson. Johnnie was doing the craziest shit back then and never had a photographer around, so honestly his snowboarding inspired me to pick up my Camera and really start shooting again.
It seemed like you spent the majority of the season shooting the guys in Nation, how was that? Had you ever been a part of a movie crew before?
Shooting with Nation all winter was probably the coolest experience of my life. I’ve shot with movie crews before, but never for an entire season like I got to do with TransWorld. My favorite part about this past season was that I got to travel to so many places I'd never been to before, I went to Ottawa, Quebec City, Stockholm Sweden, Whistler, and Valdez Alaska all with the Nation crew.
Do you like shooting with a tight knit crew that remains somewhat consistent?
Yeah, of course. By working with the same guys all the time we know how to work together to make the best possible image. I know exactly how there 720 is going to look compared to someone I’m not familiar with, and I'll know exactly where to stand to get the perfect shot. But I love shooting with new people too, everyone has there own idea of snowboarding, and it's so fun for me to capture that in a photograph
You shoot a lot of fly-fishing, what’s some of the main differences between shooting snowboarding and shooting fishing?
Snowboarding and fly-fishing photography has a bunch of similarities and differences. I think the main difference between the two is snowboarding most of the time is about the action and the story comes second, while fly fishing is almost entirely about the Story. Shooting fly-fishing has helped my snowboard photography a lot because it forces me to show all the little things, and that the story is just as important as the action. The biggest similarity is that both fly-fishing and snowboarding bring you to the most beautiful places on the planet, which makes taking photos easy.
What’s been your favorite trip so far? And why’s that trip your favorite?
Going up to Valdez, Alaska has been my favorite trip. Austen Sweetin, BJ (Bjorn Leines), (Dan) Brisse, (Kyle) Shwartz and I had just finished shooting some of the best days of pow shredding in Whistler and then flew up to Alaska to finish the season in some of the biggest mountains in the world to snowboard on. The experience was so new to me, and everyone else on the trip that the excitement just never ended. We got totally screwed by the wind, but spirits stayed high and we ended with the trip of a lifetime.
What’s your favorite type of terrain to shoot?
I like when people go big, whether in the streets or in the backcountry.
What would your dream trip be and who would be on it?
I’d love to do a trip up to Terrace BC with Eric Jackson and Curtis Ciszek. During the winters the mountains are loaded with pow and the rivers are loaded with wild winter steelhead. I don't think it gets much better than that.
Who are your influences action or not in photography?
Everyone I shoot photos of influences me; there creative styles are what give my photographs a personality. Definitely some standout photographers that have been super influential to me are Ethan Fortier, Frode Sandbech, Andy Wright, and Scott Serfas.
Check out Darcy on the internet: