A Thousand Words
Photographer Adam Clark figures out how to capture the soul of skiing in a photograph.
In this second episode of season two of “Westward,” we meet Adam Clark, a seasoned pro in the niche world of ski photography.
When Adam Clark was 17, a doctor on board a whale-watching boat in Alaska gifted the curious teenager, who was on vacation with his mother, his 35 mm SLR film camera. Clark, who grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and still lives there today, began using the camera right away, snapping photos of everything he could—including pictures of his friends on powder days at Alta. He got his first photo published in Powder Magazine before he’d even graduated from high school.
Although he dabbled with college and a profession outside of the ski industry, photography eventually lured him back to the mountains and he returned to Utah to focus on a career in ski photography, something he wasn’t even sure was possible at the time. Shooting skiing, Clark has said, “is my number one thing, my creative outlet, my hobby, and my job. It’s all I do and who I am.”
Now, Clark is one of the most respected and successful ski photographers in the business, snapping imagery for the likes of Patagonia, The North Face, Teton Gravity Research, Powder, and yes, Flylow—you’ll find many an Adam Clark photo throughout our website, catalog, and other material.
And here’s why Clark has been so successful and why his images speak volumes: He’s not just shooting a powder turn. He’s capturing a moment, a feeling. A skier on a pre-dawn skintrack. A storm brewing outside a hut window. A road trip with friends, ski gear crammed into a crowded truck. A powder day with snow as light and airy as a cloud. Clark’s photos transport you to that moment, making you feel like you’re actually there.
When the mountains call, you must answer. Or at least that’s what happened to the four characters profiled in the newest season of Flylow’s webisode series, Westward, produced by KGB Productions and now in its second season. Westward follows the life stories of four unique individuals who’ve chosen to forgo traditional lives—like desk jobs in skyscrapers and 9-to-5 commutes—for alternative paths in the mountains. They have ventured out on their own, choosing to risk it all to follow their inexplicable devotion to snow-covered peaks. Through that leap, they have become their own bosses, setting their own destiny and breaking their own trail in a world that’s rugged, wild, and beautifully unknown.