Robbie Sell: I’m from Truckee, not Reno.

Robbie Sell is one of the many pros who gave up professional snowboarding to become a snowboard photographer…the peculiar thing about Robbie is that he actually shoots damn good! Since his goodbye to pro status, he travelled around to snowboard, meet friends, ride his bike and generally spent time enjoyin’ life..and he’s more down to eath than many others Mr.Nobody. We found him really easily through his amazing portfoglio and that’s it!

Hello Robbie, where are you  right now?
I’m in Reno, leaving to Portland tomorrow to visit some old friends, like Scotty WIttlake and Cory Grove.

You’re from Reno Right? Why it is called the biggest little city in the world?
No, I’m from Lake Tahoe, Truckee to be exact.  I think Reno is called that because there is so much going on in such a small area.  I live 2 blocks away from the casinos, 1 block from a strip club, 3 doors down from a suspected drug dealer… haha, Reno is really nice if you know your way around though.

Searching for further info about you on the web, I found you on every single social network…I argue you like modern networking…
It’s true.  I’ve embraced the internet.  Honestly, I hate it, but realize how powerful it is in today’s world.  I wish somehow it would break, then newspapers & magazines would flourish once again.  My fingers are crossed.


A brilliant career as snowboarder and now photographer. The curious thing is not your choice, that somebody else already did before, but the fact you cut down with professional riding while you were still on the verge..Did you get tired of being pro?
A few things led to my “retirement”.  It had some politics to it, blah, blah… I don’t need to give details, but I got extremely burnt out… which led to breaking up with my long time girlfriend.  All that created a mental breakdown.  I needed some changes in life.  It was too convenient to transition into snowboard photography, with all the connections I had and the comfort of the athletes, I couldn’t lose.  Except for the unknown future of the harsh economy.

Talkin’ about snowboarding, do you feel better now that you can ride without thinking about the next trick or you never suffered that kind of pressure?
It’s nice to go casually cruising without trying to put on a show to sell my sponsors.

Which kind of set you put on the backpack on an average shooting day on the hill?
35lb backpack, 51lb case with flashes, either in the back of a car or on a snowmobile.

Which is Robbie Sell favourite subject to shoot? Name a person, an object, a situation, whatever…
Anything unique (person or place).

You’re still heavily involved with snowboarding, right? You shoot mainly snowboarding, you keep the Active Ride Blog….is that true or are you heading elsewhere?
WIth the recent change of ownership of Active, things got weird for a couple months and I am temporarily paused on that project.  I may continue with it, but have some other things lined up that I may do instead.  I want to diversify my photography, not limited to just snow, but still keeping involved.  In the meanwhile, I do that twitter crap if anybody cares to be entertained by my random


Behing Mag is a multi purpose website, we come from really different scenes; one of my buddies is a shooter like you and said your pictures are not only masterfully freezer but also technically perfect. Did you get classes, made courses or simply tried and improved?
I have no formal teaching.  Just having so many photos shot of me over the years, I would critique them what I would want changed, or what I liked; that led to me envisioning how to shoot my own pictures.  I usually just read books on the subject.

What does Robbie when is not shooting or riding his board?
I’m way into biking.  I frequently go mountain biking on the trails of Tahoe, and mash downhill trails like I would on a snowboard.  But I’ve really been into road biking, going on long distance rides and adventuring.  On 2 trips, I’ve now done the US west cost.  Also, it keeps me from getting a beer belly.

Future plans photo related?
Get some projects and get some cash.

Future plans non photo related?
Find a cool rich beautiful girlfriend.


Being a professional photographer, what do you thing about the LOMOGRAPHY fever?
I’m happy people are into photography, what ever it may be.  I hate people who ride fixed-gear bikes for fashion, but love that they’re biking still.

A friend of mine told me youtube made become everyone filmer, such as flickr did with photography and with myspace everyone could become a musician. What do you think about it?
Yeah, it’s very diluted, hard to float as a pro in a sea of amateurs.  In some aspects, I kinda wish digital photography/film never was created.  Damn, I need a time machine.

Thank you very much Robbie, thank you for your time. What are you doin’ as you switch of your mac?
I’m going to make a late breakfast, a BLT.  Eat that while editing some photos of Stephen Duke, for an interview on the ESPN snowboarding website.  Then go biking, maybe later get some homeys and float down the Truckee River; which will linger into a late night party in downtown Reno.