Episode 48: Building Trust with Corey Seemann
Life as a professional athlete looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago. In conjunction with last week's interview with photographer Andrew Chad, this week's guest has experience on the other side of the lens - professional big mountain skier Corey Seemann. Corey shares his perspective on being an athlete in the social media age, what he looks for in athlete-photographer relationships, and living a life of risk. Corey doesn't hold back and gives us a glimpse into the importance of negotiation when beginning new creative relationships.
Follow Wheelie on Instagram: @wheeliecreative
Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes every Thursday and leave us a review to let us know what you think about the show!
Lisa: What's going on all you listeners? Welcome back to Outside by Design. It's Lisa...
Iris: and Iris.
Lisa: And today we are talking to a pretty fun guy named Corey Seemann.
Iris: Yeah, Corey is a professional Big Mountain skier. He's also a pilot. And this episode is kind of a follow-up episode to our episode that we released last week with Andrew Chad.
Lisa: Yeah, last week photographer Andrew Chad spoke about what it's like to work with athletes from the photographer side. And so we got Corey the athlete he was talking about the most we got Corey Seemann on the podcast talking about what it's like to be in front of the camera and be an athlete working with photographers.
Iris: Yeah, so if you haven't heard Andrew Chad's episode you should go back and listen to it. And now we got a perspective from a professional athlete and how he works with brands and photographers and that relationship and I think it's a really interesting listen. If you're an athlete, if you're a photographer, if you are a brand who hires either of those people this will be a good episode for you to hear.
Lisa: And so if you're a photographer, I know a lot of our audience is comprised of amazing, talented professional and aspiring photographers. If you are a photog make sure you listen with an open mind because it's always good to hear what athletes think and what other people think because as photographers we get so caught up in our work and love what we do and bring a bit of ego and pride and hopefully contracts to the job. So it's interesting to hear a totally different perspective. So open your heart and open your mind.
Iris: Yeah, let's do it.
Lisa: First of all, thank you so much for being on a podcast today.
Corey: Oh of course.
Lisa: And we had Andrew Chad the photographer on the podcast last week and he talked so much about shooting skiing with you that we thought it would be fun to have you on the podcast and talk about what it's like to be in front of the camera and what it's like to work with photographers from the athlete side. So I think it's going to be awesome. And why don't you just start out by answering the first question we ask every one which is where are you? And what are you looking at?
Corey: Oh, perfect. So yeah, I am currently here in Whitefish. Just got back from a trip and currently at the house, which is honestly a nice break just because I've been on the road for the past six months we'll call it.
Lisa: Nice. And then tell our listeners who are mostly creative Professionals in the outdoor industry... just kind of tell them who you are and what you do.
Corey: You know, my name is Corey Seemann. I was born and raised in Vail Colorado and now currently reside out of Whitefish Montana as a base camp and I'm a professional Big Mountain extreme skier. Which kind of entails chasing some of the largest most most fun intricate mountains in the world and trying to leave your... leave your own trail down them kind of like an art canvas. So it's been a privilege to be able to pursue... pursue skiing as a passion as well as a sport and kind of have it pay the bills and support college and basically you're trying to... you're always on an adventure that is completely unknown.
Lisa: Awesome, and you also are a pilot. Right?
Corey: So, yep, the side hustles... got my multi-engine instrument commercial rating. So been flying since I was a kid. My mom, she's an old Bush pilot from Alaska, started K2 Aviation and you know, gave John Denver his seaplane rating as well as... you know, flew Yvon Chuinard, founder of Patagonia and kind of pioneered this pretty extreme bush pilot entity of Alaska. And then my dad he was Jean-Claude Killy’s coach and manager in the 70s. So kind of came from these two parents that were adventure and Thrill Seekers and instill the aviation as well as Backcountry skiing to where it now is kind of my full-time full-time gig.
Lisa: So awesome. Maybe we'll get your mom on the podcast. She sounds like a badass.
Corey: You should get the mom on the podcast. She's probably one of the most badass ladies. She's in books with Amelia Earhart. She dated... What is his name? He played Caddyshack. What is….
Lisa: Bill Murray.
Corey: Bill Murray. She dated Bill Murray and... definitely a pretty crazy history. But yeah what she has done makes me look like I've never done anything in my life, which is pretty awesome. It’s insane though. She's like... she's... she's... it’s... her stories are crazy.
Lisa: That's cool. We'll have to check her out. Well, awesome, you are on the podcast during the month of the word negotiation. And so we're curious what that word means to you in terms of you know, how do you use negotiation in your skiing career?
Corey: You know, it's a great... that is a great question or topic just because everything nowadays is negotiation, especially with... I’m not going to call it that you know, the degradation of social media, but... Social media now has played such an intricate part in the profession, both with photographers as well as the athlete standpoint. Where back in the day, you know, it's basically you’re negotiating contracts to get in a movie, magazine, you know Publications. Where now things are so different and kind of well-versed as well as differently weighed where it's like how many social media posts are you going to do? Where it... your kind of, it’s evolving from more kind of paper and more, you know filming with TGR and larger production companies, when you really work with a company as well as a filmer you're negotiating, you know, what products you're going to get out. A lot of times the filmers and the photographers you know, that's like we have the rights to our own footage. Where the athletes really won't get what they are working their butts off for to kind of give the sponsors. So it's really an interesting topic just because you go out with a filmer or a photographer and you know, you're supported by your sponsors. They… in your contracts they negotiate how much that they want to expect out of you and the rights too. And then you're supposed to go film with these photographers and filmers where you have the rights to their footage but the same time they're sitting here. They're like, nope. This is…. You know, we have the rights. We are pushing the button. It's our SD card in a way where it's an interesting dilemma because you need that footage to pay the bills, offset to your sponsors, but they need to sell it to your sponsors as well as other media companies so they can pay their bills. They've got kids and... so it's honestly just the fine line of working with filmers and photographers and basically getting the amount of content that you need and supply to your sponsors if that kind of makes sense.
Lisa: Yeah, it's a broken system now.
Corey: It is a very broken system and I would say, you know, social media... and you know, mainly Instagram. It's a great platform. But what it also does is, say if you've got a contract for X Y&Z financially and they want XY&Z out of you but then on the other hand, you know, you've got people that just have their, you know average cell phone and they're honestly getting Class A content as well. I mean cell phones nowadays, they shoot up to 4K and some dosage where.... You know, they could be filming somebody that just took the biggest crash ever off a chairlift and that gets as many views as you trying to Summit a peak and with this big film project and putting your life on the line. And so it's just this really interesting kind of saturation standpoint of the media that's coming out. And everything is sent to those companies for free from the... kind of the average consumer because they're super stoked and it's like, oh look what I did in my K2 Skis today, XY and Z and you know... so it's an interesting demographic when you've got your expectations from companies, but then when it breaks down to the social media aspect, you've got a million other users that are out there with their iPhones catching just as epic content that's more raw form. So when it kind of comes to the balance of... kind of what you're... what you're going for working towards a filmer and... basically it's just a really, it's a really interesting process to see. I mean, iPhones nowadays have changed everything. You can capture everything. You don't really need a filmer. The average consumer is is pumping out some pretty, I mean, they could just make a quick little crash segment on Instagram of just somebody that took a faceplant that gets as many views is you that you put this big project together, you put thousands of dollars behind, you've hired out helicopters, guides, film Crews, and it's really interesting just to see how the market’s going.
And with sponsors, they just want product exposure. So, you know for the base client, that is the average client. That's just you know, it's a dad and kids with two… you know, two kids per se and they're out ripping on a family trip and you know, the dads filming the kids and it's going on Instagram getting shared by those hashtags and X Y&Z. It's like, that almost is pushing as much product as the athletes that get paid to do these pretty elaborate film events. And so it's... that's another thing that you're battling against which… you just kind of have to stick within your Market of... you know, they're they're pushing some Frontline and getting the exposure that way as a consumer and you're kind of doing more intrical extreme projects and it's more trying to tell a story as well as sell the product instead of just being product exposure.
Lisa: Yeah, how do you... how do you feel about... kind of that shift in the role of the athlete where you know, it used to be like you get that video part and then you work all season for one five-minute segment versus now you just have to constantly pump out incredible content and put your body at risk so much more. Like how, how do you deal with that?
Corey: That's a great question too. And one of my kind of business models that I've actually presented to sponsors going forward... because I mean... first of all the platform... as an athlete when... the first thing to go for a sponsor within their marketing budget is the athlete budget. So, you know, say if they get in a drought, recession, sales aren't up, dealers aren't paying on time. The first thing that is going to go to hold them over is the athlete budget. So for me, and I kind of took that stance, they're always going to have a marketing content creation budget, but they may not have an athlete budget. So, you know, for me, I present, instead of doing these large elaborate products. How about I pitch, you know, for x amount of money, you know, I will produce 10 Instagram, you know, one minute long videos that you guys can loop over the year. You can put them on X Y&Z platform. You can run them on your catalog you can put them on your website... and that is definitely a larger hit rather than… you're filming with Warren Miller or TGR, and you don't even get a five-minute segment. You maybe have four or five shots that's equivalent to 30 seconds. And there's really no product exposure. They don't have the rights to the videos. They have to pay, you know, they pay the film production company as well as the athlete just to be in the film production, but they don't really get anything out of it. You don't... you don't really see the logos of the skis or the gear. So for me, I kind of took this template of... I'm going to pitch you guys. Here's 10 videos, 1 minute long clips for Instagram for your website. This is what I want in return. As well as on the side you hopefully get that call to go film with Warren Miller or TGR or Matchstick productions. So it's kind of where you put your pawns and you know, if they do get in a shortage, supplies are down and they have to cut budget. Yeah, then they look at you as an asset rather than just an entity that's kind of expendable and there's always somebody that is better, younger, that will do it for Less. So at that point if you're producing top end quality content that they can use over and over you're much more of a value to them.
Lisa: Absolutely, and it's a competitive game out there.
Ad Break: Say Iris, do you want to know a weird fact about me? / Yes, of course. / I don't like going to yoga classes because I really struggle with group relaxing. / Yeah that stresses you out. / I don't like how everyone's laying on the floor and it's supposed to be relaxing. / Huh. / But you know what I do like? Subscriptions where I can do yoga from the privacy of my house, which is 11 miles from anything. / Oh, yeah. There are a lot of websites that you can subscribe to and they send you yoga classes to do in the comfort of your own home, which is much more relaxing. / Yeah, you pay a monthly fee and you get unlimited yoga. It reminds me of when you sign with a creative Agency on retainer and you pay them a certain amount per month and they just handle shit for your business. / Yeah, do you know any creative agencies that offer that? / oddly enough I do, wheeliecreative.com. The greatest creative agency. Sometimes when you first start doing yoga you get discouraged because you can't, like, reach your arms behind your back or grab your back, but guess what? With a great creative agency like Wheelie, Wheelie’s got your back. / Here at Wheelie we're really flexible and limber and we'll make a strategy that fits your business. / Damn right Iris was a good one. / We'll get your business into a sweet Vinyasa flow. / wheeliecreative.com.
Lisa: All right. So it's a recurring theme we get with photographers and athletes that have been on the show and it reminds me a lot of last season we had the amazing photographer Re Wickstrom on the show also talking about the broken system between brand, athlete and photographer and it really is a broken system right now that a lot of people are facing. From the creative side, from the physical athlete, you know, basically the one doing the doing the stunts, and also the brands who want the content from the photographers of the athlete, so... It's not… it's a symbiotic relationship where all three meet each other. However right now it's because of social media everyone is not necessarily getting their needs met financially or... I guess even emotionally, really. Because so much emotion does go into creative work, but this is an interesting Dynamic don't you think?
Iris: Yeah, I think when we've talked to other athletes and other photographers, videographers what we hear a lot is kind of an anxiety around this because brands can get content that performs well, that sells the product and they're getting it for free from everyday people. From from people who aren't professional athletes or professional photographers. They're able to access content that they can use on social media.
Lisa: Absolutely and I think you know, maybe I'm just intellectualizing the situation. But again, this is where contracts come into place you've got to get those contracts going and you got to get those those goals and objectives. And this is the exchange, you have to get that in writing and it takes away a lot of the emotion behind this confusion and this relationship.
Lisa: Anyway, back to Corey.
Iris: Back to Corey.
Lisa: It's... it's interesting how like there's athletes and then there's influencers and they're all kind of working with the same brands.
Corey: And that's something that I've yeah, it's still haven't really grasped the whole influencer end of it. Everyone's like oh, you know, you should kind of change it and be an influencer and for me, it's…. It's kind of what we all do anyways, it's your... you know your filming what you love to do and promoting what you love to do. And you know for me I just hope that it pushes other people to do the same at least in their own dreams with whatever, you know could be space science or mathematics and you look at all these different levels of what people love, it just... as long as you have a passion you follow it and... you know with the influencers in my opinion, the only thing they do is just influence products to a degree for companies, which I get. But I mean, honestly, a lot of influencers make a lot of kind of average... I wouldn't say average people. People that may be locked up and don't have the free time to go explore, to go travel and Adventure, you know, they're stuck in a nine-to-five. It kind of makes, you know, the norm feel bad just because you've got these people that are you know, typically good-looking people that get to go all over the world and they're doing these really fun things where... I just don't see it as the true influencer. I think it kind of works against the average norm that really can't do it. Maybe makes them feel a little bit less confident. Where is you know for me, you're trying to work with these sponsors and you know product promotion as well as it's like, I'd love to push people to really break outside the norm and go pursue their dreams and do they want to do. And I've been lucky enough to have that opportunity because somebody kind of gave me the same speech as a kid. But yeah, it is a really interesting thing again, you know, your athlete verses influencer per se.
Lisa: Yeah, it's super interesting. And you as an athlete kind of have to get savvy with cameras and working with photographers or creating your own content. You know for you, did that start by throwing a GoPro on your body and going from there? How did you... I know you're getting into editing and video and photo yourself. So how's that going?
Corey: And yeah, I mean, that's a great, great question as well. Yeah, kind of started working with GoPro and I just love doing kind of more extreme Adventure Sports, whether it was water skiing or snow skiing or flying just kind of pushing the limits. And started to film it and then started to... you know, I always... the GoPro is kind of my main, that is the key to be honest. I got a drone and then a GoPro and you kind of film other people nature shots kind of openers, then you just parlay it straight into the GoPro and that's been part of my great success. But the other you know, a lot of people ask me it's like who does your filming? For me, you know, I'm a novice at it where I guess I'm very new. It's kind of just slapped together rough cuts that you put some rights free music to it and it comes up pretty great. But it's yeah, I just kind of started with a GoPro and then got on iMovie and just started throwing stuff together and then you'd kind of learn different presets and editing tutorials where then you can kind of make transitions more smoother and make it look more professional. And for me, it's still a work in progress that I try to... try to expand on every day when there's a little gig coming up.
Lisa: Right, which is kind of funny because you're,,, you know, you want to ski.
Lisa: Yeah, that's like what your... you know, what your mission in life is, to go skiing. So it's an interesting place that athletes have been put in recently.
Corey: And yeah, I mean, you're kind of taking on three roles at once where you're you know, you're the athlete skiing, but then you're also turning into a filmer and then you're also turning into an editor. And if you have budget, you know, it's amazing to hire out and editor as well as a world-class videographer, cinematographer just because they you know, they can get Barbie shots. They really have an amazing eye for what they do. But if you are Balling on a, you know more leaned out budget per se you really have to be pretty Innovative so you can kind of keep that capital in your pocket. And put it towards trips and maybe you're saving up for a big AK trip. And when you're working with helis. I mean, it's... there just so expensive that you need as much budget as you can. So you definitely try to monopolize your own system of kind of being more of an entity of the the athlete, filmer in the editor, which is is definitely a more of a complex system. You know right now, I'd love to go ski, but it's I, you know, just came back from a trip and I've got to put together, you know four edits. And it's weird looking forward to that instead of like all right, what's the next trip going on?
Lisa: Right, right. So what is it like for you when you get to work with a photographer? Because we have a lot of photographers that listen to this podcast. You know, what... what makes a good experience for you from the athlete side?
Corey: That's an awesome question. I think the key is just to be on the same page, you know for me I try to pay a day rate for a photographer where if I'm going to go put my body my life on the line and they're they're just literally pushing a button to capture it. And I know that there is so much more to it. I don't degrade their profession in any way shape or form. I think it's 50/50 to a T. But I have worked with a lot of photographers that you know, they won't give me the rights to the footage. They won't even send me the photos. There's a ton of photographers that you know, I'd say. 70% of my portfolio in my career. I still don't have and they won't give it to me because you know, they're afraid that you're going to leak it as well as you know, they're trying to sell it - which I completely understand but you know for me it's like my parents are like what are you doing? And when you don't have the content from these professionals it's just... it's just hard to show and you don't have a portfolio. And you know I’ll look at somebody. I'll be like I'll sign a nondisclosure. You have the rights so you can do whatever I will not post anything without your permission first, but the key is to really go into it. It's 50/50. I mean, they're capturing amazing shots. They have the professional skill set. You're putting your life in your body on the line literally where it's you know for me when somebody is like, nope. You can't have the shot. It's it really, really... I'm not happy. And that's one great thing. I love about Andrew Chad Jeff Cricco, a few Big Time photographers is they, you know, they are there for you and they shoot the photos over and they trust that you're not going to leak the photos because they're also trying to pay their... and they've got kids and it's just this you truly are a team. And it's also working on their end working with athletes that they trust that aren't going to go, you know Splurge the footage and you know ruin their career, so it's you walk into it's like... I want all the photos from today you have my word that I will not post anything I'll sign whatever. And on their end it's, you walk into it and it's you're going to try to make the best shot, most creative shot for them. And it's hard because you are putting everything on the line for a photo. And if you get hurt, I mean your whole winter is done and it's... it is a pretty... I just say is you just have to be on the same page and transparent with each other and be willing to share and just know each other's motives and where you want the footage to go and who it's going to go towards. And if I can help sell a photo to a sponsor, perfect. But at the same time, I do want all the images for my own portfolio and a shoot, you know shoot to my parents and. Be able to review your art that you left and that... that you collaborated on.
Lisa: So that's the most important thing to you.
Corey: I'd say it is. I mean it's hard when... when you go and you literally put your life and body on the line and then you're doing it for a photo. And if the photographer won't give you the photo. It's I mean, what's the point right? It's like why am I doing this with you? I could be doing this with somebody with an iPhone or you know, you bring the girlfriend out and you just get a camera and there you go. So it's... it is the most important thing. Otherwise, what's the point?
And obviously there's... there's a lot of step down points to it, where I've worked with photographers that will put you in some pretty dangerous situations. So, you know going out with somebody that's super safe. That's not trying to kill you, that you know, understands your skills and maybe you what your maximum ability is that day. If the avalanche conditions are terrible, it's... I have worked with photographers to it's like, you know, how about you go ski that slope you hit that 50 footer and you land in the chute and you're just sitting there like guy, avvy danger’s on high, like that's going to… no. What are you…? You know, so kind of working with people that are like minded safety wise too is a huge proponent just because if you're out there with somebody that A, doesn't have the ability to save you or the skill or knowledge that's going to try to put you into a dangerous situation. That's pointless as well, because you're not going to come home at night. But you also have to be on point where it's... you can look and be like, guy, I'm not going to do that. Today is not the right day for it, not feeling it. So it's just honestly being... You meet up with the new photographer. It's being transparent. I want the footage. I will you know, basically it's going nowhere without your permission. You know, what's your skill set? Can you save me if I get an avalanche? Do you have your WFR, what first-aid kind of equipment do you have? If any, you know, it's... you’re a team because sometimes it's you're just a Duo. Where you could be pretty far out there and it's just you two and you really rely off each other. And same thing with me, I mean, I could kick an avalanche on a photographer that's trying to get a really unique shot put himself in a bad position and it's up to me to be like, you know, that's probably a terrible spot. If this does break, you're going to die and if he's you know, if it's borderline where you both feel somewhat comfortable. It's on me to be like, I got you, I can you know, I can resuscitate you if something happens, you know, I'm great with a beacon. These are my safety skills. What's your contingency plan? So it's... It's really just everything needs to be reviewed before you go out into the field just because things can get very sporty very quick. And you know, if you're not safe, what's the point, you're not coming home at night? And if you don't get the rights... I wouldn't say the rights to the footage. But if you don't... if you don't get the art that you guys are collaborating on. What's the point? I mean, there's it's just what are you doing it for?
Lisa: Sure. Is that something that you try to set up with contracts ahead of time? Like, when we work with athletes, we always have contracts ahead of time.
Corey: Yep, and I do do that. It's hard now that I'm haven't shot with a lot of new photographers. I kind of have you know, my portfolio that I'll call where you trust there's some of the world's best and you already on that established kind of connection of transparency of what you both expect.
Lisa: Like new to you, like new as in like a new relationship?
Corey: Correct, yeah a new relationship because you know, there's always people that are reaching out like, hey, let's go do this and this and you know, it is hard when. You know, you've got your establish connection. You have your established photographer that you trust, you know, he's great with a beacon. He's can save you, you'll get the rights to the footage, you know, everything's already been talked about. You know, when you go with somebody new. I'll tell them straight up. It's like I'll pay you a day rate, you know, it's not going to be near what it is for a large company to hire somebody out. But the same time they're they're still getting somewhat, you know compensated for the work that they're doing. Because half those shots are never going to be seen anyways, they're going to go on a hard drive and just be disposed. And that's also a reason, another reason why you want them. But I mean, yeah, and I've never done a formal contract with a photographer. Normally, I mean, sometimes if they were smarter they would have contracts where it's like I have the rights to the photos, I will send them to you but you can't send them to anyone X, Y & Z where you know, that could be a good option for me to just formulate my own so that they feel comfortable with it. But it is pretty cool with one photographer Craig More and he brings to the table his own paper with with ink on it and it's definitely a more professional manner because you just you both know exactly what's happening what to expect out of the Chute.
Lisa: Absolutely. I think that's super important.
Ad Break: Lisa, dating can be really hard. / It can be really hard to know what you want in life. / Yeah, when you're trying to find the right person you have to like go up to someone in bars or you have to download an app and you gotta swipe in different directions. It's really complicated. / You know, sometimes it's about timing and fit like who's available at the time. / Yeah. / sometimes it's about going with what you know, because your friends said they liked someone are going with someone that your friend tries to set you up with. / Yeah, we've all been on dates like that where it's like this just isn't a good fit when can it be over. / Yes, luckily, there's an app for that for dating but you know what, there's not an app for? / What? / Finding the right creative agency. / There's so many creative agencies out there. How are you going to find the right fit? / Let's just save people some time and tell them about a really great creative agency we know called wheelie. / Oh, yeah, we do know that creative agency! / There's a fun-o-meter wheelie and so you have to like fun, be outdoorsy, have products that make a difference in the world, and basically not be boring. / Yeah, so if you drive outside, you should swipe right on a great creative agency called wheelie and visit wheeliecreative.com / if you're boring swipe left.
Lisa: All right. Well while there were some strong opinions in there, I think Corey does bring up a good point about learning what the athlete you're shooting with wants
Iris: Yeah, I think basically what Corey is trying to say is that trust is so, so key when you're working between photographers and athletes that you have to start out on the same page, so before even a relationship starts, before you're going out, you have to figure out what does this person want from me? What do I want from them? What's their risk-taking style? All of that needs to be set out beforehand or else this relationship’s going to fall apart.
Lisa: Absolutely and trust is crucial in the backcountry, whether it's just... whether it's your friends and you're going out for a Backcountry ski day or it is a work setting where you're trying to go get a shot and you have a specific objective and Mission. And it is just critical to be with people that you trust who have strong, strong skills and who are not complacent with their Avalanche learning.
Iris: Yeah, and Corey obviously cares a lot about the portfolio and the photos that he receives after working with a photographer, but maybe other athletes don't care as much about that. They care about something else. So you need to set those goals, objectives, and results before you start a relationship with an athlete. So I think that's helpful information for a photographer and to keep those relationships with your athletes strong.
Lisa: Awesome. Back to Corey.
Lisa: So what… so let's say you're good to go with all the obligations and what's going to happen with the content and you're shooting with a photographer. Like, what works for you? Like what's a good communication style? Do you guys talk about like what zone you want to ski or what you're inspired by or like, what... what makes for a really positive shoot?
Corey: And yeah, I mean that's another great question. In my opinion… so the athlete kind of holds the cards. Where it's how you're feeling that day, what skill level you have, you know who's in the group... where you know for me, you have a Zone in mind where you're trying to line stuff up, snow’s great, you want to go hit this face, hit this cliff, where... it is really hard for a photographer to try to talk you into do something doing something that you're not already pre-planned on. As in like hey, you know go hit this and do that and you're just like, that is... today is not the day for, I'm not trying to hit a hundred footer right now or ski some death spine. So it is kind of in the athletes... and you know, it is... it's a collaboration, right, where you hop... say if you’re inbounds, you hop in a resort and for the lift and the you know, the photographer's hey, we just need power shots. So at that point you're more in the same level and same page of like, all right, let's go farm a field or let's go hike something or... You know, it's what is our objective for the day? But if the objective for the day is to get some pretty sporty intimidating shots, then the athlete definitely holds the cards because they're the one that is ultimately throwing themself off the 40 to a hundred foot cliff, trying to do a trick or ski a little bit more sporty shoot where I mean, it's their life that's on the line. And it's great to have an advanced experienced photographer that also can review terrain with you that knows, you know, what certain obstacles are, where it's going to be hard to shoot, where the lights going to be, where the shadow line, you know things that are going to obscure the shot for him. So it is pretty awesome when you do have a knowledgeable photographer that is like, you know, if you do want to ski this which you just said you did. I'm going to shoot it like this. This is why, because this tree is going to be in the way. So can you maybe turn over here? And you start collaborating on the actual objective instead of a photographer just being like, all right. We're going for big Cliffs. I want you to do this, then over to this, and you're sitting there like... it's not your knees, buddy. You know, it's like. This is what I want to ski, this is where I feel comfortable skiing. Now, let's figure out, now that this is the objective, how we're going to shoot it and be efficient and be able to produce.
Lisa: Yeah. Absolutely. So you... you like it when the photographer has already been to the zone kind of knows what they're looking for?
Corey: I wouldn't say necessarily been to the zone because you're always going on exploratory missions where you both have never been to the zone, right. And there's been plenty of times where it's like, hey, let's go here, always wanted to go here, heard it's great, never even seen it. But it's... I just like when the photographers are just a little bit more mellow in the fact that they're not pushing once you get to a new zone or a zone that you guys have been previously shooting. That they don't push you to do something that is detrimental to your health, which can happen a lot. So no, I mean with the new shoots, you know, it's like hey, let's go up the South Fork never been there. There’s some great spine zones or XY and z and you both get there you both have never seen it and then it's basically up to the athlete to be like, you know, I feel comfortable skiing this, this, and this. And then you look at the photographer. It's like what shot are we trying to get? You know, what's our objective? What do you want to shoot? If he's like, yeah, that sounds great, we're trying to get spines, are trying to get pillows, perfect. Ir maybe all we need... it’s you know, it's a magazine. It just needs a power shots. Like how about we just go to this field here and you're like, perfect. So it is... it's a it's a team in the backcountry, but I just love it when you're not pushed to do stuff that is just spooky. And it's one thing for you to you know, bring it up of like I want to hit this, is it worth it? How could you shoot it where it's going to look great? It's a one-time hit, it's a pretty scary one because I mean once again, I mean you're you are putting a lot of stuff on the line, which you just want to come back at night.
Lisa: Absolutely. The... yeah, the first question I always ask an athlete when we get into the zone is, what are you inspired by? Like when you look at it, what are you just so stoked on.
Corey: That's a great thing. I mean, that's, yeah, that's killer. That's how you want to start it. And then they look at you like, sick. Like, I kind of hold the cards. I want to go do this. What's our objective, does this fit in the criteria what we're trying to shoot? And then you're like, yeah it does or maybe you're like, no, we kind of do this... what else would work in this kind of mantra of we're trying to trying to capture today. And that's a great way. With some people i's just like how about you go for the big one? You're just like, no, it's not going to happen right now. It hasn’t snowed in six weeks.
Lisa: So as an athlete, where like, your... your currency basically is your body. What are some things that you do for self care to take care of your body?
Corey: That's a funny question. I definitely need to. I'm in great shape, but I definitely need to do a lot more yoga, a lot more strength training. I kind of... kind of hot off the bench in a way where you know, you have your lifestyle, I love mountain biking, love waterskiing, where you're always in good shape. You're always strong. I do know a lot of other world class athletes pertaining to the backcountry ski industry that you know, all they do is train year-round. They’re in the gym just crushing. Where for me, you know, I'm not much of a gym rat. Where I'd rather go on a bike and kind of train speed mentality on a dirt bike or a snowmobile and kind of transfer it over. Whereas a lot of people are more, you know, they go to the Daily Yoga class, eat very healthy, which you know, I do my best. But at the same time, I love McDonald's fries, you know, I love love sugar. I think sugar’s my Kryptonite. I eat way too much sugar. So I think for like, your typical, you know, really really in-depth superpro that's really pushing it. They really, really push their bodies and you know, they're they're doing yoga every morning, eating super clean. It's all health, health, health where for me at that caliber I still... I still love to be rambunctious per se. But you know, I do keep myself in great shape. I do need to stretch more, you know. Maybe hit the gym first two months a little bit harder in the beginning of the season instead of just hot off the bench, but you catch up to it pretty quick, right,where you know, if you do live a life kind of always pushing it in every season. It's nice to just have a break where you’re not just full pinned.
Lisa: Absolutely. And do you... when you get home from your trips do you just sleep?
Corey: I do. Well it's hard too because I've got a lot going on outside of skiing as well. Like, you know with real estate, you know, trying to progress into being a broker so Remax of Whitefish as well as there's just... got a side gig with photography as well as trying to, you know, get a job playing float planes. So... You're trying to manipulate your system and your schedule now where you come back around clients or you know other work that you now are kind of fallen into. So it's... I don't really get the time off that I'd love to, you all maybe get a day of just kind of chilling, do laundry, and then you're straight back into it. You know, I’ll line clients up the you know, the next morning that I get back. I get back at one in the morning and you've got a showing an 8 where you're just... you really don't slow down at all. And that's just kind of how it's been in my family forever is there's just... you only have so many seconds in a day and there’s still not enough.
Lisa: That's yeah, that's a hell of a work ethic.
Corey: It is but you know, it's... for me, I'd love to wake up and do yoga and honestly I should probably just wake up a half hour early. But since you go to bed so late you're catching up on emails. It's pretty difficult. But these are goals that I, you know, I'm trying to achieve and... I definitely think people that take care of their body. It's they're the ones that are going to live longer if it comes to health.
Lisa: Yeah, totally.
Corey: As well as injury, you know, it's it is just kind of the right mentality.
Lisa: Right, and being you know, injury is part of the game and kind of living... accepting, I guess, accepting the fact that you're living a lifestyle where you accept risk.
Corey: And that's... yeah. That's a whole nother entity. I mean for me... I lost probably 10 of my best buddies before I was 21 just in extreme sports. Where... you definitely see how fragile life is pretty quick when you start losing a lot of friends. As well as, you know, I've seen people die in front of my eyes in the backcountry where your they're trying to resuscitate them, X Y and Z. And it is... it's a really finicky line. Where you know for me, I want to live till I'm 90. I've made this career out of skiing professionally, now, my plan B is real estate sales as well as you know Aviation. So I'm trying to find the balance of how... how I can maintain this lifestyle and just come home every night. Because I've seen way too many cases where that doesn't happen.
And it is an acceptance to degree. You know, when I was when I was a kid, I was extremely loose, I got fully buried in an avalanche, considered dead. I had a buddy that I was with, he got fully buried. Dug him out, shattered tib fib. And you know flying I've definitely had my fair share of close calls. And kind of... a bunch of other stories, but I think as you grow older and you see more and more friends die and what it does to their family, it impacts you a lot more. Of, you know, it's... I would love to bury my mother and I would love for her not to bury me when it comes to that time. Once you've seen that enough you start to pick your battles. And we were shooting with TGR about five years ago. And you know, one of the one of the world class skiers my opinion Todd Legare. I was like Todd, you know, I'm 22 years old I think at that time. Yeah, I was probably 22. I was like, what's your advice when you're a super pro? You've been filming with TGR for 10 years and you are one of my idols and he's like, you know kid, you got to pick your battles. And I didn't really get what it was until, you know, a lot more things started happening in my life, devastating as well as just injuries. And you know, if you don't have to put yourself in that position at that time if it's not worth it, which it really never is when it comes to death it never will be. But when you're trying to push it for a shot and injury, you know, presents itself. It's really picking your battle for the longevity of your career, of your life and as well as a loved one's around you.
Lisa: Wow, that was... that was amazing. We'll probably pull a quote out of that, there was a lot of good stuff in that.
Corey: Well I appreciate it. It's, you know, it's, for me... you know, I've been fully buried in an avalanche, considered dead for 15 minutes and kind of that is a whole different subject. But what I went through then, when I was 18, you know, it's never going to leave my mind. You know, it's... before I was pretty rambunctious and wasn't too proud of the life I was living and you know, once you're sitting there under snow dying, it's just like... you really think about other things differently as well as, you know, how you act around people, how you help other people, what your goals are, how you can help motivate people, and just the kind of the end-all goal when you die. And then what's your legacy, right, are you just one of those just trying to make money that scams people or do you actually help people achieve their goal?
Lisa: Yeah. Amazing. Wow. Well, we are totally out of time on the podcast and that was a hell of a way to close it down. So thank you for that.
Corey: Oh, of course.
Lisa: and where can people follow you?
Corey: [laughs]Aas against it as I am, you know, it's... it's social media, right? Yeah, my name is Corey Seemann, and I guess my handle is they call it - which I've never said it like that - is @screamincmon. But yeah, I mean for me... I wasn't the biggest on social media but for sponsors and supporters, that's kind of what it is and that's kind of how I portray my life is through there. And if anyone ever has any questions about how to... how to help push themselves or achieve the goals that they want to and you know, please feel free and I love to help out in any way.
Lisa: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time and for being on the podcast and talking about what it's like to be an athlete working with photographers.
Corey: No, of course, and I appreciate your time, and I hope you all have a great day.
Iris: Thanks, Corey for being on the show. You can find him on Instagram, we will put his Instagram handle in the show notes, and don't forget to subscribe to Outside by Design. We drop new episodes every single Thursday morning and next month. We're starting a whole new theme. So keep a look out for that.
Lisa: Yeah, tune in next week to learn what our word of the month is.
Iris: It's going to be a good one.
Lisa: Have a good week. Talk to you next week.