Published from October to March, The Telegraph Ski and Snowboard magazine is the bestselling snowsports magazine in the UK. We talked to Editor Henry Druce about how imagery is used to showcase spectacularly visual sports
The magazine recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. What is the single biggest factor that has changed the face of the sport and how you publish the magazine?
The biggest change is the rise in popularity of snowboarding during the 80’s. It not only introduced a new sport to the mountain, it helped to revitalise skiing too. Ski design has been influenced by snowboard design leading to the introduction of shorter, fatter carving skis which made skiing easier and more fun.
Fashion wise snowboarding had a huge impact on the sport with looser, baggier clothing and cooler styling. Over the decades this funkier look has evolved and been incorporated into the elements of the ski market too.
The title of your magazine is the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard. When did Snowboarding become part of the mix and how did that change the tone?
We incorporated snowboarding into the title 18 years ago. The tone became slightly younger and cheekier but not dramatically, as our readers are from a very broad age range (25-60) with one common denominator, they love being in the mountains. Most of our readers are skiers and so it is still primarily a skiers’ magazine but with elements within the title to appeal to those who snowboard as well.
The tone is aimed to appeal to older snowboarders who are looking for a maturer, editorial voice than those they will find in other dedicated snowboard magazines.
So much of the content in our magazine, such as resort reports, destination features, and fashion articles is equally relevant to skiers and snowboarders.
Hard to imagine, but where do you see the magazine going in the next 5 -10 years? Will it exist in print? Or do you believe that we will move ever closer to paper-free publishing?
I’m convinced the print edition will still exist but most probably more as luxury item using top quality paper to show off the stunning photography. It will be more of a coffee table read, with a coffee table book price to match, and a smaller circulation.
Where the growth in circulation lies is in the digital product. We’ve recently relaunched our digital offering and it’s so much more sophisticated than the previous version, and it looks amazing on an iPad! The tablet market is only going to grow and develop and magazines that grow and develop their digital versions are the ones who are going to thrive. I genuinely believe there is nothing in the wintersports market that comes close to what we now offer.
What’s been the biggest change in editorial publications and photography since you’ve been involved?
Not having to deal with film anymore. Dealing with digital images makes producing the magazine so much easier and quicker.
What makes a great Ski or Snowboard photograph?
There are so many elements that can make for a great shot such as a stunning backdrop, skiers or snowboarders showing great technique, fabulous snow conditions, brilliant blue sky, models wearing bright clothing that really stands out.
Great shots convey the sheer unbridled joy of being in the mountains. They make readers want to be there.
What percentage of imagery that you use is commissioned, compared to stock?
About 50 per cent is commissioned covering our ski tests, fashion shoots and picture galleries.
In designing the magazine for the iPad, were there any differences to how you choose and use photography?
No, nothing significant.
Given the preponderance of white space in Winter Sports imagery, does that impact on the design of your pages?
Yes, without question. We’re always looking to use varied images and a mix of features to make sure the magazine pages don’t look too similar.
Every four years, the Winter Olympics appears and those of us in relatively moderate climates get excited by sports like curling. How does the Winter Olympics factor into Ski and Snowboard?
The magazine focuses on the skiing and snowboarding disciplines and this season we have included a major interview with a British Olympic hopeful in the first five issues of the magazine. To make these really stand out we commissioned photographs of each of the athletes.
Download a free iPad edition of Telegraph Ski and Snowboard
Follow Henry Druce on Twitter @henry_druce