Frode Sandbech is without doubt one of the most highly-regarded snowboard photographers in the business today. He grew up in Rykkinn, Norway, though he currently lives in Oslo. Here, he talks us through his five favourite ever pictures and why he skipped school…
My first camera was an old Panasonic, which I traded for my electric guitar. I was 17 years old and super into snowboarding at the time.
I didn’t shoot much snowboarding at the very beginning because I wanted to ride myself. Instead I shot photos around the house and on some holidays. I actually bought a fisheye lens on a trip to the Canary Islands. It was for a videocam, but I cranked it on with tape and some adaptors. Good memories.
"In the end I skipped school and was hanging out and shooting in Australia for three months instead."
I did not go to school. My plan was to study photography in Australia. But I was already so into it, that I figured I would just go for the working part straight away. I mean, I had been into photography for a while, and you could say I had studied it for a time myself.
So in the end I skipped school and was hanging out and shooting in Australia for three months instead. After that I went straight into the mountains and started shooting snowboarding.
In the end I got so into photography that the snowboarding had to move down the ladder. I guess it worked out perfect as I ended up working as a snowboard photographer.
Most of my professional photography career has been shooting snowboarding, 15 years now. Lately I have moved some of the work time over to different outdoor/adventure activities, but still snowboarding is my passion.
Everybody and everything can be inspirational. It can be the girl down the street who posted a quick snap on instagram or it can be an artist who’s been working on a specific piece for years.
My snowboard photography heroes when I first started were Espen Lystad and Vincent Skoglund. Today there are so many good ones. With technology and camera revolution everybody always has a good camera (phone) in their pocket.
One photo that I wish I’d taken? That is a hard question, but that one ski shoot they had in front of the solar eclipse a couple years back was pretty insane. Reuben Krabbe I believe is the name of the photographer. All the planning and things that have to come together is just nuts.
Folgafonna sunsets are just on another level. My brother Stale [a Winter Olympic silver medallist] doing a fs1080 at about 23:00. Not much more to say.
This one of Gigi Ruf (above) was shot during filming for the Nike movie Never Not. The field of pillows looks more like melting ice-cream. I love the formations and backlight. I asked Gigi if it was possible to jump that one in the horizon, and with some preparation it worked out fine. It was shot in Retallack, Canada.
Landscape, scenics and action is a combination that goes good together. It is pretty much a recipe for a good snowboard photo. Above is Andreas Wiig with a surf style layback in Narvik, Norway.
Burn had a shoot at an indoor snowhill in Holland, with lasers, smoke, neon lights etc..They invited me over to shoot it and with a couple extra flashes to light up Stale (who is launching off that pyramid rail), this is one of the results. Something different for sure. At the time when Burn had a snow team we did some really fun stuff.