Interview by Madlaina Walther, pictures by Samantha Saskia Dugon
Can you please present yourself, who are you, what are you doing?
I’m Samantha Saskia. I’ve been doing photography in the mountain bike industry professionally for the past year or so. I got taken to watch a mountain bike race by my boyfriend at the time and I had my camera with me as I had an unexpected day off work, and I was like, “that’s good fun!”. During university and before it was just a hobby that I enjoyed and in my 3rd year I wanted to really give it a proper go and from there I’ve been working hard on it and yeah, it seems to be going well!
Nice! And your studies were photography?
No, I studied law… (laughing) Well, yeah, I’m passionate about law and politics and all that sort of stuff along with music. Law, politics, music and photography are basically me. That sums me up.
Ok, nice. A special approach to photography! A little bit like my own…
In the UK, it is the norm to go through each stage of education and get pushed into uni without taking any time out to really learn and explore yourself and what you’d like to pursue as a career. I took the usual route of going straight to uni from college, and picking a subject that I enjoyed and was good at, but without having any experience in it or anything else for that matter. So by the time I got experience I was like “I don’t want to do law”, the thought of trying to climb some corporate ladder in an office somewhere, living for the weekend sends a shudder through me.
What are you doing here now?
I’m shooting the Women’s Bike Summit for Allegra Tourismus. I’m capturing the event, having fun, being able to meet women in the industry and share their stories. It’s a really cool opportunity!
I like the fast pace of action sports. It’s basically the same as mountain biking, the adrenaline is there, you have to get the shot there and then, and in those split seconds you can learn a lot about yourself.
What do you like specially about action sports photography?
I like how you have to think on the spot. I don’t think I would have the patience to do something like landscape photography. I like the fast pace of action sports. It’s basically the same as mountain biking, the adrenaline is there, you have to get the shot there and then, and in those split seconds you can learn a lot about yourself. I really like being put on the spot, having to think creatively and quickly. Yeah, I really enjoy that aspect of the fast pace environment even though it can get stressful at times, it’s good fun.
Do you have a definition for yourself of action sports photography? How do you decide for yourself whether it is action sports photography or just sports photography?
I think it’s about the terrain and the landscape that it’s in. If you’re out in the wilderness somewhere I would see that more as action sports than just standard sports. That’s how I would try to classify. There is more adventure to it and there is more of action to it.