Dasha has been making a name for herself for a long time, but it seems recently there’s been a huge uptick. Last year she was the main photographer for the Method Movie and this year she’s been traveling with the LTC crew for most of the winter, documenting their first movie, as well as shooting at the X Games, Burton US Open, and Air + Style. She’s already earned the respect of the European board world, and now it appears that riders in the US are now starting to appreciate her work more and more. I can relate to Dasha on a lot of levels and I really respect her for the fantastic quality of photos she makes, as well as her ability to hang and integrate seamlessly with any crew. She’s definitely not someone who gives a damn about “male vs female snowboarding” – all she cares about is capturing the best riding. She is a Russian badass, has a great eye for style and overall takes really stunning photos. — Mia Lambson
Birthdate: June 9th, 1992
Current Title: Photographer
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
Sometimes it's like “Yo Dasha, the trip is confirmed, here are your flights, you gotta leave in the morning”. Then I chaotically pack my bags while trying to get some work done on my laptop, catch my flight and pass out for the whole time, continue sleeping in a shuttle on the way to location, meet all the boys/girls I'm shooting with, drop my bags in the room, eat some snack for lunch in a gondola on the way up, take photos all day and maybe take a few laps if there's time, go back to the hotel, shower, edit a couple pics for everyone's social networks, eat dinner, go to bed with the biggest smile on my face or maybe grab a couple drinks if it's some big event where you get to see a bunch of your friends.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I was born in Kazakhstan but my family never lived there. I've been living in Moscow, Russia all my life.
How did you start snowboarding?
Snowboarding came into my life pretty randomly. I played tennis until I was 16. Then I discovered snowboarding via magazines that my friend brought to Moscow from abroad. I also found and watched some of the MDP movies that got me really hyped and that's when I decided to actually try to snowboard. Thanks to my Dad who was excited about my idea and who took me to a local hill outside Moscow where I had a couple lessons with an instructor. I got hooked on snowboarding right away even though it hurt pretty bad in the beginning.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
This happened a few years after, at the age of 19 when I was studying at a university in Moscow. I'd already quit tennis by that time, so that's when I got a feeling that I had to do something with my hobby or otherwise I’d get stuck with 'boring' life in university. I respect everyone who dedicates all their time to studying and eventually applies their gained knowledge to future jobs, but I just didn't see myself doing that, 19-years-old Dasha wanted to see the world.
And how did you make that happen?
I was figuring out photography and how everything worked at the same time as I started snowboarding. I would say I definitely tried to improve my skills by taking photos of my friends and what surrounded me, plus, I studied journalism and I had to write different articles for some small magazines/newspapers. That's where I submitted my photos every once in a while too. That's pretty much how everything happened–I just combined my two favorite hobbies. Years after I developed my photography by traveling to the mountains and shooting events, where I would then meet some of the editors and riders that let me shoot them.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
If we talk about photographers, I would say Blotto and Embry Rucker. I've never met Embry, I think he switched from shooting action sports to commercials right when I randomly came across his website ages ago. And Blotto has been my biggest inspiration since day one because his photos were in every magazine and he has been working with most of the best riders out there.
Also, I used to spend a lot of time watching skate videos and looking through skate magazines to get some extra inspiration, so I have a couple favorite photographers from that industry too, like Arto Saari, Anthony Acosta and Atiba Jefferson.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
Again, Blotto who I like for his angles and color correction, and I want to say BYND X MDLS gang (Kevin Backstrom and Tor Lundstrom) helped me a lot with finding my way in photography and in snowboard industry in general.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
I just wanna keep enjoying what I do–traveling and working with the nicest people where many of them have become my good friends. I feel like my life changes every year and I'm happy with what it's like when I look at it. Though, that'd be rad to shoot summer sports like skateboarding and maybe even surfing more often than I get to shoot these days.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank all the riders who I shot/shoot with. I'm here because all of you make my photos look better. Thanks to all the brands and team managers who trust me and make my schedule busy throughout the year; all the events I got to work at for inviting me and helping with accreditation when I needed it; all the magazines for checking out my photos and replying to my emails with some pieces of advice and extra motivation. And, of course, thank you Transworld for still being alive and making this story happen.