Get the Shot — Stevin Tuchiwsky
All photography by Stevin Tuchiwsky
Stevin Tuchiwsky started out in photography the way many do, in front of the lens. As a pro mountain biker Stevin explored pushing his own limits in sport before he picked up a camera and started shooting his buddies. His work in sledding is not full time, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t left a lasting impression. Stevin’s ability to grab a frame that brings out emotion makes him one of the best in the game. – TG
Get the Shot — Stevin Tuchiwsky
Let’s start with the basics: Where are you based? How old are you? Got a nickname?
I am based out of Calgary, AB where I have resided for about two years now. It has been a perfect gateway to the mountains while still being in a place that makes living practical. I am currently 31 and hoping to stay there for the next 30 years. I don’t think I really have any nickname? My last name is complicated as is, I don’t see how you could make a nickname out of it.
Favourite lens? Why?
It all depends what I am shooting and where I am shooting. Asking that is like asking a parent who their favourite kid is. I really have been enjoying my new Sony glass lately and excited to see the company evolve and establish more products.
What are you searching for when you set up a shot?
There are so many things I look for when composing a shot: rule of thirds, foreground, depth, light, separating subjects and so on. I feel photography is such a projection of your personal self and everyone is entitled to their own style. I really like a clean look and not too over done. Trying to capture a feeling in one single image and hoping that feeling can convey across to a wide audience when they see the image is always the end goal. If I can make an impact on someone with an image with that shock and awe effect I am happy and feel comfortable of the image I have produced.
Who are your favourite people to work with?
I have had the chance to work with so many great people, from athletes, to friends, to just people of the same interest. I really love working with people who get it though, that have the same vision and willing to go that extra step to produce something special. It is those people who make taking an image easy and really are the real reason why I get to capture some really interesting things. I have always believed if it wasn’t for the relationships I have gained I wouldn’t have half the portfolio I do.
Does landscape photography pay better than sledding photography?
The snowmobile world is such a small world in some ways, but it’s one of the most expensive outdoor recreational activities. A lot of the people out there are doing it for the pure passion of the sport, which is awesome but it limits professional opportunities. Landscape and other established sports have been my bread and butter for the most part but I love shooting sledding for the pure challenge.
How do you make a career as a photographer?
I wouldn’t say I have made a full career yet. I have slowly been phasing myself in to be established. It’s been hectic trying to balance life, especially more as of late with real world work and photo work. My full time job is as a Civil Engineer Technologist which keeps me just as busy.
Do you shoot weddings?
No weddings for this guy. That sh#t is too crazy. Ha.
How has Instagram affected your business? Do you get pissed or stoked when you see your stuff reposted there?
Instagram has been a huge platform to self promote myself for sure. Along with that, building client relationships and also personal relationships have been key from it. It is a great tool these days to help with getting your name out there but I think it should also be considered it’s not about the numbers of it. Some of the best photographers I know don’t have IG or other social platforms but have established themselves by just having great work.
It is easy to get caught up in it but if you can separate yourself from it and use it for it’s resourcefulness I think its a great thing. I am pretty stoked to get work shared on it and generally it is with the hashtags I used. I don’t mind work getting re-posted for the soul purpose of sharing media on a general spectrum but when it is being used for commercial purposes then that is when it gets not cool.
5 tips for those who would want to pursue photography as a career?
1. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Digital has made to so accessible to learn on the fly these days, don’t be scared to try new things.
2. Don’t worry what others think, establish your own style and what you like. That is half the process of making yourself stand out. Be unique.
3. Challenge yourself, get out there, put in the work. The more you shoot, the more time you devote, the more return you are going to get I believe. Some of my best times and images have come from my most miserable times being outdoors.
4. Invest your money in glass. I can’t say this enough. It is easy to push a body a little further than it can go, but glass is a game changer.
5. Find what you love and do that well. The more interest you have in shooting a particular genre the more it is going to reflect in your images I believe.
Advice for shooting sledding?
Biggest advice for shooting sledding would be multiple batteries and always keeping spares close to your body. Keeping them warm will help maintain the juice you get out of them. Additionally, Pelican cases with the Ski-Doo quick release system make a great way to transport a large amount of gear easily. Regardless, it’s key to have a good system transporting your gear to help minimize the stress on your body. Other than that, don’t be afraid to get your equipment in there, it’s going to get wet, it’s going to break and it’s going to get abused. It’s the nature of the game with winter.
Any props or shout outs?
To everyone who has supported me during my times of shooting. I am so thankful for all the opportunities that have come along the way and can’t thank people enough who have been involved with my photography, either in front of my lens or behind helping out. Thank you!