Oli Gagnon

Beyond Pretense: Destinations Unknown with Oli Gagnon

Although I traveled the world with Oli Gagnon for the better part of a decade, I knew his work long before that. As a young snowboard fan in the late ’90s, I would study magazines meticulously and memorize not only the tricks, riders and captions, but the photographer’s names as well. Oli’s work always stood out, and his name was burned into my subconsciousness from the start. 

Oli was born in 1981 and grew up in Loretteville, QC.  He was hired by Snowboarder Magazine about 2002 and has been snapping photos for the best snowboarding magazines and brands ever since, most recently as a Vans staffer. He’s French Canadian but has pretty much lost his accent because he’s lived in British Columbia for about two decades. When he isn’t snowboarding or shooting snowboarding, you can usually find him working on his house in Squamish, skating the skatepark or some curb spot in Vancouver, riding motorcycles to destinations unknown, or playing sludge metal with his band Hoopsnake.

Right about the same time I was sponsored by Salomon in the late 2000s, Oli was hired as the staff photographer. We became friends almost immediately. He is unassuming, hilarious, smart, loyal and caring. He speaks his mind and stays true to his beliefs, as we all should aspire to do. There is not a pretentious bone in his body, which, in my experience, is a rare trait among professional photographers and cinematographers…

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