Q&A: Jerome Tanon is Making the First Ever Female Snowboarding Photobook, and He Needs Your Help

words :: Ben Osborne

When Jerome Tanon is involved in a project, it moves the needle, plain and simple. From his cult classic ‘The Eternal Beauty of Snowboarding‘ to ‘Zabardast’, Tanon has been a part of some unbelievable projects.

Known for his choice to shoot only on film, Tanon is a bold character. His latest project is just another example of his boldness—he’s making the first photo book that is solely dedicated to the women of snowboarding. Titled ‘Heroes’, the project is currently gathering funding via a kickstarter.

We can’t wait to see the project, so we decided it might be best to quench our thirst with a quick conversation with the man behind the shutter. —ML

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An early mockup of the first-ever snowboard to feature only women.

Tell us a bit about yourself (personal background, snowboard background)

I grew up in Paris and left school to become a snowboard photographer at around 20 years of age. No regrets. It’s been a hell of a ride. I travelled around the world with the best film crews, met the raddest people and found a second family. I started shooting on film in 2010 and never looked back since. I just love it. I love the grain!

“They support each other like family. It means so much to them, you have no idea. They have so much passion. They give everything they have to the sport of snowboarding.”

What’s your background in snowboarding?

I was a 2 weeks ski holiday per year type of kid; started snowboarding at 11 and loved it right away. In my teens, I started doing summers at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes to ride more park. You could help shape the park and they gave you a free pass.

One of the most influential women in snowboarding, Marie France-Roy.

What type of riding do you typically shoot?

Backcountry & streets. Sometimes freeriding, but that stuff scares me! I haven’t shot a contest in a decade.

What inspired you to shoot only on film?

Curiosity! I wanted to know everything there is to know. And I’m still learning! It’s a world of its own. Grainy black and white is what hooked me up right away. That, and doing my own prints in the darkroom.

Christy Prior digs into a toeside turn.

Proudest moment in your photography career?

Heli trips in AK with Absinthe & Ripcurl crews. Also the freeride expedition in Pakistan in 2018 for “Zabardast”.

How did the idea for an all women’s book come about?

I was bummed to not have any banger shots from girls in my archives. Dicks, dicks, dicks. Only dicks. I realized I didn’t try hard enough, and I had just finished the big Pakistan project; decided to only shoot girls. The more girls I met and shot in their passions, the more I realized a proper book had to be made. They inspired me so much. It was like re-discovering the passion for snowboarding from a different perspective. It freshened me up!

Tanon’s photography is more than a breath of fresh air—it’s in an entirely different atmosphere.

Tell us the biggest difference in shooting with men vs women. Is there one?

My photographer friends were making fun of me, but actually the only differences I felt were positive. They support each other like family. It means so much to them, you have no idea. They have so much passion. They give everything they have to the sport of snowboarding. And frankly, the level is so high that it’s just like with the guys : I’m always too scared to hit what they hit, so I’m happy to be a photographer.

What did you learn throughout the process?

To be more dedicated. To work harder. Hard work always pays off.

Any last words (ask for support, direction on where to go to fund the project?)

The project is recieving a tremendous support from the community and I couldn’t be happier right now ! Go and pre-order a signed book over here.

Currently the project is fully funded, but this is your best chance to get what looks to be an amazing book, and potentially help Jerome take the book a step further. Thanks Jerome for all you do for the mountain community, we can’t wait to get our hands on this one! —ML