COVID OPEN 2 Pipe Highlights + A Mini-Interview

Following up on yesterday’s promise, here are our favorite pipe related moments from this year’s Laax Open. Check out the highlights and then keep scrolling to get to know the photographer a bit better…

Hey Andri, can you please introduce yourself for anyone who doesn’t know you?
I’m from Winterthur and I’ve been into snowboarding since my first visit to the in Zurich. After that experience I refused to go back to my skis again…

My way into photography was a more fluid transition. I already had the passion for it in art school, but first moved into the movie direction — Like post production and special effects. But pretty soon I’d had enough of the 5-6 day working week in a darkened office in front of a computer. So I moved to Arosa to spend a season searching for the next chapter… and riding as much pow as possible.

That was the point when I got into photography again and started to take photos of my friends and getting my first little photography jobs. One thing linked to the other and started to grow, so I decided to go a step further and try to make it as a freelance photographer. Luckily, it’s worked out pretty well since then.

Nice! What were some of your favorite memories from this year’s Laax Open?
I think that the whole event was even possible in this Covid time was the biggest highlight for sure! The night finals without all the spectators was pretty special too… And I also enjoyed some camera talks and idea exchanges with the other photographers on the mountain. That was very inspiring for me.

What’s the story behind that old Hasselblad camera that you were carrying around?
My grandmother gave me the camera as a gift. It was the one that my grandfather worked with, so I have a very personal connection to it. And after looking through the viewfinder for the first time, it was love at first sight! You get such a unique depth and coloring through it. There’s nothing comparable to it.

What are some of the differences in your approach to shooting film, versus shooting digital?
To shoot with a Hasselblad, you have to know the craft behind photography. I think that knowledge was essential for me to dive deep into analog photography. Having only 12 frames per film roll really slows you down and makes you think much more about the worthiness of a shot. I mean, if you can blast 9 frames a second and see the result right away on the monitor, it’s a big help. But if you only have one try, and then you have to develop the film first to see if you got a good one, it makes the reward so much sweeter.

For me, it’s about finding the right balance between analog and digital. If you have to deliver on point, or you’re trying out new stuff, digital is of course the easier, safer and cheaper way to do it. On the other hand, with analog, you get a physical product at the end which is not comparable to a photo on your phone or computer. The same can be said about having a photo printed in a magazine versus seeing it online…

Totally agree! What are your plans for the rest of the winter?
I really want to push my analog photography further this winter. So if someone’s got a nice project in mind, but is still looking for a photographer, hit me up! And I’m also looking forward to getting some nice shoots, turns and splitboard tours with my buddy, Dani Lanz. He’s progressing so fast, I’m really excited to see him riding again this season!



Dani Lanz in Arosa, from Whiteout 48 © Andri Kaufmann

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Thanks a lot to Whiteout for giving me the opportunity to shoot at the Laax Open this year and for the creative freedom and trust you gave me. Letting me try to shoot the slopestyle finals with a 60 year old analog camera is not something that can be taken for granted!

Thanks to you Andri! We’re stoked on the shots and excited to see more our your photos in our magazine soon! 

See more of Andri Kaufmann’s work here and here.