Cole, or “Taco” as he is known among friends, is about as true to the East Coast as one can get. One need only spend a short stint in his presence to appreciate his passion for snowboarding, as it is displayed in not only his vibrant character but also in his work ethic and relentless determination to be productive one cold night in the streets after the next. He has been making a name for himself behind the lens for some years, and his dedication to the craft can be seen in the pages of this very magazine, as well as across countless screens around the world. Lately, Cole has spent the last couple of years as a photographer for Vans working on their highly esteemed film, LANDLINE. Today, Cole continues to pursue his love for photography with a determination and grit that can come from none other than the salty shores of New England. If there are any prominent takeaways from the time I have spent with Cole, it is that he is one of the most passionate and genuine photographers in the game. He produces first-rate work on a consistent basis–all without it going to his head. Keep your eyes peeled on the horizon for more stunning images accompanied by his name. Cole is far from finished with his contributions to snowboarding. - Owen Ringwall
Birthdate: December 3rd, 1988
Current Title: Freelance photographer
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
Every day is different really. Figure out a trip to go on. See if I can make it benefit me financially. Lug two massive camera bags through the airport. Rent a car perhaps. Eye out a decent looking Airbnb. Use my phone’s GPS to guide us. Look on yelp for good food. Shovel a lot of snow. Meet new people. Make sure my camera bags don't get smashed in the back of the van. Stress myself out beyond belief by thinking I’ll blow the shot (this is my #1). Take a picture of some sort. Wake up exhausted.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
Grew up in Duxbury Massachusetts. Now I live in Kittery, Maine.
How did you start snowboarding?
I grew up skateboarding every day when I was young. In the winter it was pretty snowy here. I knew what snowboarding was, but I had no idea people were doing rails and jumps just like on a skateboard. I was intrigued and downloaded "The Resistance" off of Kazaa and thought it was the coolest thing. I started in the front yard and eventually, my parents brought me to a resort.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
I wouldn't say I made that choice at any time in particular. I just liked shooting photos of my friends snowboarding. One thing led to another and it naturally happened.
And how did you make that happen?
December 2012 I saved enough money to hold me over all winter and I quit my full-time job. There was a big scene in New Hampshire at that time with Mike Ravelson, Johnny Oconnor, Skylar Brent, Colton Feldman, and Dylan Dragotta to name a few. I kind of winged it, with no real plan and decided to shoot with them full time for Keep the Change.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
Growing up on the East Coast I looked up to Aaron Blatt and Mike Azevedo. They were the two big photogs living in the area. Being able to actually know these guys and see them just go out with their friends to shoot photos for the mags was definitely inspiring. It made it all seem possible in a sense. But, currently, it’s Jake Darwen. I draw a lot of inspiration from him. He’s insane.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
Oh man, yikes. I’m not sure what my impact is. I have trouble looking past my imperfections to even notice an impact. Although, I hope to impact and inspire future photographers to put in all the effort they can to create a photo they like. Whether that's trying a technical lighting set up or climbing onto a roof or tree to get a unique angle to shoot from. Not to just take the camera out of your bag and shoot at 10fps.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
I have a couple ideas for an ad campaign. Somewhat like what Salomon did a year or so ago. Every ad had a few frames morphed together and had the same format. That might not even make sense, you probably have no clue what I’m talking about. But I always thought that was cool. I have never shot a whole ad campaign for a company. That would be neat, I suppose.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Colton Feldman, Harry Hagan, Tanner Pendleton, Tommy Gesme, Mark Wilson, Rav, Johnny Oconnor, Skylar Brent, Videograss, everyone at Vans, Blatt, Derrek Lever, Transworld, Wellhausen, Keep the Change. Any rider I’ve shot with. A ton more I’m forgetting off the top of my head... thank you all though!