laura austin is one of these young women that casts a spell over us. as the online editor of snowboarder magazine she is always on the search of good people and great snow. accompanied by her camera she travels the world and captures moments and landscapes that arouse wanderlust.

first things first. why do you do what you do?
ha… getting right into it huh? I am a big advocate about doing what you love or are passionate about. if you are going to spend most of your life working you might as well enjoy what you do right? growing up as a kid snowboarding what I was the most passionate about… so it was obvious to me that I needed to find a way to make a living involving that. now my perspective has changed a little and I think travel is what fuels my fire most, which is where photography comes in... my camera has taken me to so many incredible places. what really keeps me going is the fact I can share these experiences with others and the thought that I may be able to inspire someone or make them look at the world a little differently.

where have you spent your last weeks and what project your are working on at the moment?
I have basically been travelling for the past three months straight. winters are crazy for me. the most recent trips were to Washington and Austria to write features for snowboarder magazine. Washington was a surf/snow/skate mission with the Gnu Girls team, which was amazing. and I was in Austria covering the nike chosen sessions. This was only my second time to Europe so that made it all the more interesting.

you are designing as well. please tell us more about your collaborations with brands like burton, quicksilver and roxy.
I used to work as a graphic designer yes… at one point I thought that was where I wanted to go with my life. I interned at Burton in their hardgoods creative department as well as some contract work on catalogs. But my first full-time design gig was at Quiksilver where I worked on print content (catalogs, ads, etc.) for mostly skate and snow… I also did a little work for Roxy while I was there for their snowboard line. I love design, but I was tired of being stuck at a desk all the time, and wanted to get out and experience the world, and that’s where my job at Snowboarder Magazine came in. luckily I am still able to incorporate design into what I do now.

what do you love most about the boardsports industry?
I think what I love the most is the fact that I get paid to do something revolving around an activity that most people have to pay to do for fun, and of course the places and people it has introduced me to. There have been many times I have been out snowboarding, shooting photos, etc. and I have to step back to realize how amazing it really is to be getting paid to do what I do. granted I do work my ass off… it isn’t all about fun and games haha.

is there something in the boardsports industry you don't like or that you miss?
hmmm… if there is anything I don’t like about the snowboard industry I guess I would have to say sometimes I feel a little closed in. there is a lot more to life than just snowboarding, and for a lot of people who work in the industry their life revolves around it. I am a huge advocate for being passionate about your work, but sometimes I have to fuel my other interests through side projects.

tell us more about it.
obviously a big focus for me is photography, more specifically I like shooting people or lifestyle-based shots. in snowboarding in particular there are people of course... but the focus is action shots. The poeple are normally in the distance and hidden behind outerwear. don't get me wrong I appreciate a good action shot, but to me they aren't very personal. lately I've been doing a lot of catalog shoots for this clothing company rhythm and last summer I did a fun project for heineken where I went around to different music festivals and shot the styles of the people there. in general I just like to be able to tell a story through photos and share that with people... as corny as that sounds.

your photographies live from vast nature sceneries. we want to know more about the places you lived at and you are yearning for.

please describe the place you grew up.
I was born in Colorado… where I lived in the mountains for a majority of the time. But at the age of 13 I moved to Vermont with my mom and that is the place I consider I grew up since those were the years that really shaped me. In both places there wasn’t a whole lot going on so it forced you to get creative with what you did with your free time, a majority of which was spent outside. After living in those places, and now that I live in the very densely populated Southern California I have a deep appreciation for nature.

where are you based at the moment?
I would say that I live in hotel rooms since I have been traveling so much for work, but I currently live in a small beach town in Southern California called San Clemente. I am not much of a beach person so whenever I can, I hang out in Los Angeles. LA may have a bad reputation for some people, but after you figure out where to go, who to hang out with, and how to get there… LA is actually a very cool place. I am inspired every time I go up there.

and what about the place you are craving for?
I really crave for any place I have not yet been. I’m pretty open-minded and love a good adventure so any place I have never been to is very interesting to me. There will always be new places to see, new people to meet, new perspectives to understand, and of course new pictures to take.

what do you think had the biggest impact on you as a person?
wow, this is a heavy question. I am a strong believer that people are shaped by their past. My past has everything to do with who I am now from dealing with divorced parents, to the difficult middle school years, to growing up where I did, to the friends I kept. I think you need to go through hardships in life in order to give you perspective and appreciate things now. But people in general have had the biggest impact on me. I am an observer. I sit back and take in what I see in other people. for that reason, I try to surround myself with creative/passionate people who might open my eyes to different things or perspectives.

like all people with itchy feet we love to go on road trips. do you have any tips?

take your time. 
the journey to your destination becomes the adventure. See something cool on the side of the road? stop and check it out… especially thrift stores. There are so many cool things you can find in thrift stores in the middle of nowhere. 

take pictures. 
even if is just with a phone. it is a great way to save memories and share them with others.

bring a friend. 
but make sure it is someone you can handle being in a confined space with for hours on end, otherwise your trip can go south fast. always fun to have someone to share experiences with.

go on a solo mission. 
one of the best road trips I have had was a cross-country drive by myself. you are on your own schedule and it gives you time to think… or not think at all. here is a video from that trip

be open-minded. 
you might face roadblocks along your trip… your tire pops, you can’t find a place to sleep, you get lost. if you let these things stress you out it will just make for a horrible time. plus, when things go wrong it normally makes for a better story.

this is the way to more inspiration: laura austin's website and blog.
if you want to get to know more about laura be sure to follow secret smile. she is one of our lovely contributors.

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