Dashika was born in Moscow and lives in the city, but mostly she likes the mountains and wild nature – a lot more than the big megapolis. Her way began about 10 years ago, when she started to snowboard and learn this subculture with the help of her elder brother.
Interview by Claudia Almendros
Soon she got her first sponsors and almost at the same time (2001) Dashika started to take pictures, quickly becoming one of the most prominent snowboard photographers in Russia. Later on she continued shooting almost everything.
Combining photography with riding, she traveled Europe and the Caucasus many times, has worked with a wide variety of different people, magazines and companies, changing sponsors from time to time. She also enjoys mountain-biking and inline-skating.
Hi Dashika. How are you? How’s Moscow?
Hey! All's good, I'm very tranquila, 3 weeks ago I've closed my snowboarding season on elbrus - it's a great and very big mountain in Russia, 5642m. I had so much snow and good feelings during the winter, met some new people and made some cool shots in europe. now I'm chilling in Moscow, it's pretty hot, good weather, summer mood finally came to me. Trying to get some cash for the next season, cause I wanna spend it in mountains for sure. It's very hot in Moscow but not that bad, still possible to breath somehow so I go swimming & biking and of course I'm gonna party with my friends!
What’s a spring day in Dashika’s life like?
Here at home I wake up pretty late cause I'm more living a night life, turn on the music (I listen to music all the time), drink coffee, check my emails, facebook, etc, do some stretching, phonecalls or just tiding up a bit. Then I grab my bike, cross the 6 lines road and get into the forest with lots of nice trails and small downhills to get some fresh air for my brains & body. It's quiet and smells good, also you can get a sun tan there. in the evening I go to the center of our city to meet up with my friends or see my family or to some party, which usually ends up in the morning...
And what’s a winter day in Dashika’s life like?
I wake up early in the morning, drink some tea, my boyfriend picks me up and we go up to the mountain, the air is so fresh and clear, and the sky is so blue and deep. We meet our friends and go up & down, up & down, making cool lines and drops all day long till the last gondola...after that I can just chill out, eat, sleep or watch a movie.
Tell us a bit about your career as a photographer. How it started, what got you into it, etc.
It was 8 years ago, I was taking part in a boarder cross contest in Moscow and won it, so I got a small canon film camera as a prize and started to take some shots during the trips - my friends-riders mostly, nature, landscapes, everything around. Once we went to Finland and two guys from our crew were making a story for the Doski mag - our first and the best board magazine. I was also trying to shoot from different angles to get some good stuff for myself. In Moscow the guys realised that there were some troubles with the camera and it didn't grab the film properly so all the films were empty! Such a stress. But they still had to make this story and so they asked me to give some of my pics...I was so happy and pleased, I got about 15 shots published in Doski, than in other 2 mags 2 stories with 1-page shots and even more. Of course I was motivated to go on after that, but once when I brought another bunch of photos the editor of Doski told me: "Dasha, we like your pics, but the quality sucks... you need a good cam!" So I bought it. It was Eos 5 with 70-200/2,8L and 17-35/2,8L lens and a 540ez flash. Since that time I became a professional snowboard photographer, later on shooting almost everything, and now even the fucking weddings! I don't know why but I really like to make pictures of different faces, places, spaces, whatever...and this is mine for all 100%.
So what was first, shooting or snowboarding?
Snowboarding was the first, it gave me this opportunity to create and opened my eyes to the whole world. I would probably never learn that I have this ability...
What was your first published snowboard shot? (
It was one of those shots from our first trip to Finland...with a good friend of mine Mikey "Small". Very funny, haha. (See picture below)
We know you’re a good rider yourself. Is it hard to have to stay behind the camera as the others are enjoying the shred?
Yeah, despite the fact that I enjoy both, sometimes it was really hard and even stressy for me, during a few last years, cause I had to shoot & freeze instead of riding, and I wanted to go shredding so much...but no regrets, cause anyway I've spent lots of time in beautiful places, met nice people and I've got lots of good shots, skills and impressions, and I've also learned lots of tips & stuff by watching the other riders... Now I'm finally more into riding than shooting. And I'm so happy about it. For me it's much more easier to earn money by shooting some boring shit, but then I can stay in the mountains! And now it's time to get some cool pics with myself - it's sooo interesting but not easy at all... View from the other side of the cam, you know.
What’s your favourite shot from last season? Why?
It's definately the huge fs3 over the road gap in Montafon landed by Richie Skandera - a new friend of mine from Prague, really good and experienced rider. We met in CZ this winter. Thanks for the shot, Rich!!! Still stoked. (See picture below)
And your favourite shot ever taken? Why?
This is a really hard question... Too many of them... Including stuff from my mobile and Ixus. Ok, I'll choose this one, it's special for me cause I don't have so many good skate shots... And we were really fast and lucky with this heelflip in Bilbao. (Picture below)
What do you enjoy shooting the most?
The process of course... Self-expression... A chance to show something in a way that you can't describe with any words. Capturing feelings, emotions and rare moments. And the reaction that you get from people looking at the photos. Very exciting.
Top 3 snowboard photographers?
Espen Lystad, Dice-k Maru, Cole Barash.
Top 3 female snowboarders?
I'll name the girls from Europe... Claudia Fliri, Lisa Filzmoser and Kjersti Buaas.
Top 3 snowboard spots?
From my own experience... Elbrus, Austria & Krasnaya Polyana
What are your plans for this summer?
Stay healthy and become even stronger for the next season, get some jobs, renovate my bathroom, write more lyrics and get a couple of new tracks with my friends, have some fun in Moscow and everywhere, hope to see some good artists here. I think I'll go back to Elbrus soon for some summer slush and mountain-biking... Sea would be nice, too, but we'll see.
Can you remember your last drunk statement?
Hehe, not exactly but something like "let the jedi power be upon with you!"
Any last words?
Thanks to all the people supporting me, my family, my dear friends, all the riders and especially people who were around during this season, which was very important for me. Thanks to my sponsors - Nike ACG, Never Summer, Flux and Spy. BIGUPS to everyone! Have a nice summer time!
All photos and interview: asiplanchaba.com