On the biggest powder day of the season at Mammoth, CA, legendary photographer Christian Pondella and his family crush powder on their back deck. That’s one way to do quarantine at home with your family.
Christian Pondella is one of the top adventure sports photographers in the world. A senior photographer for Powder Magazine, a San Disk Extreme Team member, Fstop Global Pro, he has published work in Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, Maxim, FHM, GQ, Climbing, Outdoor Photographer, Shutterbug, and a variety of other publications throughout the world. His images have also appeared in commercial campaigns for Red Bull, Patagonia, San Disk, Oakley, Atomic, Eddie Bauer, Clif Bar, and many other outdoor brands.
One of the elements that makes Christian’s work truly distinctive in a competitive field is his ability to get up close, personal, and often way, way out there with his subjects. An accomplished ice climber, rock climber, ski mountaineer and extreme athlete in his own right, he is always a fundamental part of the team on whatever adventure he’s shooting—including having to move faster and carry significantly more weight than anyone else—giving him a unique and intimate perspective at the cutting edge of human endeavor. Not only does he have an eye for the shot, he can actually put himself where he needs to be to get it.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Christian is as comfortable in the urban chaos of La Paz or Kathmandu as he is hanging from a 3,000-foot granite wall in Yosemite. And surprisingly—talk to anyone who’s spent any time with him—he’s also a down-to-earth, unflappable, super nice guy. Best known for his iconic, award-winning images of skiing and climbing, he’s also shot base-jumping, downhill mountain biking, motocross, wakeboarding and a variety of other adventure sports, as well as distinctive portraits and travel and lifestyle photography.
When he’s not sleeping in airports, eating sketchy street food and shooting stunning images in remote mountain ranges and other nausea-inducing no-fall zones, you’ll find him at home with his wife Julie, and his commercial-grade espresso machine in Mammoth Lakes, California, in the wild and dramatic Eastern Sierra Nevada, or out shredding fresh powder with his four-year-old son, Blaise.