Snocial: Stephan Jende


A third generation photographer, Stephan Jende, grew up in Minnesota constantly surrounded by photography. Being surrounded by snow it was only natural for Stephan to use his eye for photography to start capturing his passion. Over the years his photos have become stronger and stronger eventually landing him a gig at The House. This led to him to having the opportunity to work with The Impaler, Arbor, and Bald E-Gal. A definite must follow, it will be exciting to see where photography takes this young talent in the upcoming season.

How did you first get into photography?
I grew up around photography. My grandpa was a photographer and my dad was pretty into it. I really got into it in 9th grade when I took a graphics class in high school. I am dyslexic so school in general was tough and I gravitated towards art cause I enjoyed it even though I wasn’t very good and drawing or painting but at least I didn’t have to read out loud to the class. When I stated looking into colleges I knew I wanted to do something in photography and decided to go to Ai Minnesota. After graduating from Ai Minnesota with a BFA in photography I was job searching and with the way photography has become finding anything that is “full-time” is rare so when I got a call from my school advisor at the time saying The House Boardshop is looking for a second photographer I jumped on the opportunity. Working in 2 industries (photography and snowboarding) that I love was a dream. They could have paid me minimum wage I probably would have still taken the job. I have been there for 4 years now. The House has introduced me to a bunch of contacts that turned into friendships and opportunities to shoot in the streets with rad crews (The Impaler, Bald E-Gal and Arbor) and trips I wouldn’t have had the chance to go on.

What was the Hill Billy Shred Tour?
Every year I always have friends (outside the industry) who complain about riding in Minnesota and don’t end up going because they say runs are to short, snow is shit ext.. The whole tour was about showing people you didn’t need to have mountains to have fun snowboarding, whether you are in the park or flying through the trees you could still have fun with your friends at places little to know elevation. We hit 18 different resorts and 4 states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan) in the 3 weeks I was on tour. Resorts from Nubs Nob to Hawk Island and places like Caberfae that had a smaller park then Hawk Island but has some amazing tree runs.

While we were at the resorts we pretty much hung out with the locals and were trying to get them hyped on snowboarding. We were demoing out Nitro’s 2013-14 line to the locals at each spot, The House hooked us up with a ton of Working for the City 2/You Know My Function videos to hand out and we got a ton of #hillbillyshred stickers cut from FL Project. All while filming it with an abundance of GoPros. It Wouldn’t have been possible without Cody Prudohl and Dan Copeland as well as Nitro, L1, Spacecraft and Airblaster for be down with what we were doing.

Aside from snowboarding what other subjects do you like taking photos of?
I am really into B&W landscape and architecture. Kind of cliche but Ansel Adams is one of my favorite photographers and trying to learn how to use the techniques the he used like “The Zone System”. Did a project in college using the system but instead of landscapes in the mountains it was the layering effect you get while looking up at the different skyscrapers. This past winter I started a mini series of high contrast B&W portraits in the studio using a really basic lighting to showcase the subjects personality. I also enjoy the snap shot aesthetic. I try to always have a camera with me to capture random moments while hanging out with friends.

What was your favorite photo you shot this season?
Thats tough. Probably the Fisheye photo of Matthew Boudreaux board sliding the kink rail. I was running late to the spot, the guys had it all set up and he was about start hitting it. The landing was in the parking lot of a church and we were there on a sunday morning right as church was letting out. Some lady was getting on her phone and was looking/talking about us. We weren’t sure if she called the cops or not. I was rushing to get my light set up cause i wasn’t sure if it was going to be a bust or not. I think if i remember correctly a cop did show up and was cool with it and we even had a guy come up and ask us if it was cool if he went and got his kid to come watch. Something you don’t get really every at a spot. In the end Matt got the clip and I got one of my favorite shots of the season.

What are your plans for next season/ the future?
Continue the shoot as much as I can and get photos and work with The Impaler crew and Bald E-Gal crew as well. Try and take a few more trips this year. Road tripping it out to Bear with Cole Lynzmyer and a couple other buddies for HDHR this year. I think we are camping some where but not really to sure. Defiantly going to make it out to Mount Bohemia this winter to ride some midwest back country.

As for the future, I just want to take photos for a living, whatever the subject matter maybe. Right now I am enjoying going out with my friends and getting shots in the streets and from there I am kind of just going with the flow.

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