Jesse Winter spent the first half of his life trying to make it as a ski racer. But after nine years of competitive racing, the sport lost its appeal.
“I got tired of pursuing something that felt selfish,” said Winter. “It felt pointless to be able to ski from point A to point B faster than someone else.”
He found himself drawn to journalism as he loved to write and was raised in a household with strong political opinions. It seemed like the obvious career path. He became interested in photojournalism as he realized it would be a great way to stay out of the newsroom.
“I don’t want to be tied to a desk,” said Winter. “I’d rather be out in the shit.”
Mountain biker Leighton Poidevin racing in the Iron Maidan Classic in Canmore. Photo by Jesse Winter.
Four years ago he got his first journalistic paying job working for the Toronto based ski magazine Ski Trax. He traveled to ski races and sold his photos as a freelance photographer to the magazine.
“Working freelance for a magazine like Ski Trax presented some challenges but I learned a lot from it,” said Winter. “I learned a lot about the business of working for a magazine.”
This past summer he built on his experience while working for Sun Media in Canmore and Banff. Winter had the opportunity to take photos of a prescribed forest fire in Kananaskis Country for a story he was writing. As he flew over the fire in a helicopter, he could see other helicopters spreading the fire using drip torches.
“We were low enough in the helicopter that you could feel the heat from the fire,” said Winter. “That was cool.”
Prescribed forest fire in Kananaskis Country that Winter covered while writing a story this past summer. Photo by Jesse Winter.
the CBC also wrote about the forest fire and mapped where it happened.
Winter is currently in his last year of journalism school at Langara College and ultimately hopes to work for a wire service once he graduates.
“I want to travel and I really want to try my hand at conflict journalism,” he said.