Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

From NYC Desk Job to TGR Photographer, Meet Nic Alegre

I’m not gonna lie, when I was speaking with Nic Alegre about his career in action, environment, and lifestyle photography, I about cuffed him to the table, forcing him to hand me his life. Weird, maybe; warranted, yes. The dude travels the globe alongside elite athletes, photographing their almost annoying beautifulness.

Rest assured, I held myself together. Alegre’s not chained up. Instead, he’s kicking it in New York, recouping after a whirlwind year, a large part of which he spent sidled up to TGR for the filming of Tight Loose

I asked Alegre what the whole experience was like, hoping he’d confirm my vision of endless face shots. He said, “Well, it was tight…and it was loose,” and continued, “It was such a team environment, and that’s why I love working with them. They know the balance, and that’s why the content works.”

Apparently, action photography requires a little more than just a camera. Nic Alegre photo.  

Alegre’s fairly new to professional photography, but his innate talent has shot him up the ranks, and fast. Just a few years ago, he was one of those fancy people at a fancy desk in fancy Manhattan, doing fancy marketing and advertising.

But all it took was three smartly-dressed years and Alegre was done. He and his desk weren’t jiving. The latter wanted commitment, Alegre wanted adventure. He was over the cubicle in the room in the building on the street in the city. He wanted mountains.

See Who, What, and Where Alegre was Shooting in Tight Loose

The mountains have intrigued Alegre since he was a kid. He grew up surfing in New York—apparently the state’s more than just black clothing and shopping for black clothing—and while he loved the water, he felt a pull for more rugged terrain.

Hate to rain on my own parade, but this is probably the closest I'll ever get to doing Alegre's job. Nic Alegre photo. 

That pull was put on the backburner until his mid-twenties, when Alegre plucked up enough courage to do what all good pioneers, I mean people, do and head West. He landed in Lake Tahoe, where he spent the winter doing all the miserable activities you do in that hideous part of the world, like snowboarding, exploring the backcountry, and drinking beers by the lake.

Meanwhile, Alegre’s camera joined him everywhere. 

Alegre taps into athletes' emotions by putting them where they thrive. For some, that’s cruising through snow-covered trees and sending it off pillows, and for others, it's standing atop cliffs, scoping out lines. It’s in these happy places that you get that glow, and where Alegre can capture the rawness his photos are respected for.

Holy mother of snow. Now you see why he does what he does. Nic Alegre photo. 

To make it in pro photography, self-taught Alegre says you’ve got to be crazy critical of your own work, take criticism constructively, and “just keep chopping wood.” It also helps to actually know what the eff you’re doing in the backcountry; an athlete’s not going to photograph well if you’re out there floundering about on your planks.

You’ve also got to have the right equipment. Sure, there’s the camera, but there’s also the knife, saw, radio. Alegre’s always got these safety tools, and he uses them. Once, he had to cut himself out of trees.

Cutting himself out of trees isn’t the worst Alegre’s experienced out shooting though. There was that “oh shit” moment on a sketchy weather day in Whistler when he triggered an avalanche on his snowmobile. Alegre was riding up a chute after the crew pulled the plug, but had to turn off because he wasn’t going to make it, and in those few seconds came the infamous crack. Alegre escaped the long slide uninjured.

Just a casual morning at work. Nic Alegre photo.

Avalanches aside, photography’s been everything Alegre expected. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he’s driven by pushing the envelope. Alegre’s quick to say the industry’s not actually the part that’s hard; it’s yourself, and the fact that you’ve got to push yourself to exhaustion. There’s also the pressure and commitment, not to mention the guts it takes to express your true self. You’re literally fully exposing yourself.

Get Your Tight Loose Ticket Now

Alegre describes his style as dramatic, gritty, and low-key expressive. He won’t stop until he’s got the photo that speaks a thousand words without saying anything, and he finds that magic shot often comes at the end of the day when the subject's tired. In their fatigue, you find real feeling.

Behind-the-scenes on location. I guess this could beat the city desk job. Nic Alegre photo.  

With a love for the past—Alegre studied History at Villanova University, with a concentration in War and Peace—you’d think he might look back on his desk job days, but that ain’t so. If anything, he’s focused on the future, with goals to just keep shooting new people in new places. He’s thinking the South Pole and Patagonia, and he’s also thinking about war-torn zones. The guy’s fearless and hungry.

To learn just one more thing about this photographer who put following his passion before having a stable desk job, I asked Alegre which three people he’d invite to dinner. His response: Todd Jones, Bill Murray, and Emily Blunt, “because she’s a total babe.” 

From The Column: Through the Lens

is that a beach house x kendrick mash up?!

Play
READ THE STORY
Op-Ed: Sh*tf*ck Conditions Need to Be Skied Too
Up Next Culture

Op-Ed: Sh*tf*ck Conditions Need to Be Skied Too

Op-Ed: Sh*tf*ck Conditions Need to Be Skied Too

"Concerningly stairlike" sastrugi makes for great climbing. The skiing? That's for you to decide. | Max Ritter photo. “I think this bootpack might be the best part of our whole day,” I half-joked to my ski partner Max, who was working hard not to roll his eyes as we booted up a narrow couloir in the Tetons that from afar we had deemed “chalky.” Wind howled up the leg vents in my ski pants as I kicked steps up concerningly stairlike sastrugi, which was proving to be an excellent surface

Play
READ THE STORY
Tactical Trifecta: Atomic’s Maven, Hawx and Strive is a Team for your Carving Dreams
Up Next Ski

Tactical Trifecta: Atomic’s Maven, Hawx and Strive is a Team for your Carving Dreams

Tactical Trifecta: Atomic’s Maven, Hawx and Strive is a Team for your Carving Dreams

Expand your quiver, expand your mind. No really, it’s true. Snow, much like life, is variable. It’s helpful to have a tool for the deep days, the park days, groomer days, and the all around days. If you want a ski that can handle just about anything, has an uncanny ability to be a charger through crud, slice through ice and is a stallion on steep groomers, Atomic’s 2023 Maven 93c is what you need. Let’s break it down, from tip to tail and everything in between. Ski: Atomic Maven 93c When I

Play
READ THE STORY
Reflecting on the Evolution of Women’s Freeskiing at X Games
Up Next Ski

Reflecting on the Evolution of Women’s Freeskiing at X Games

Reflecting on the Evolution of Women’s Freeskiing at X Games

Rachel Karker, X Games 2023. Photographer Joshua Duplechian. The energy at the Winter X Games is electric. Year after year, history is made at every event that progresses the sport even further than the pioneers of freeskiing could ever have imagined. The women at the Winter X Games this year pushed the sport into a new era, with tricks like triple cork 14’s and double cork 16’s. This current wave of progression is one to be proud of, but where would we be if we did not honor the