LTCC grads talk photos, snowboards |

LTCC grads talk photos, snowboards

Dan Thrift

Courtesy Chris Wellhausen "Emerging Careers in Photography and Digital Arts" will feature the work and words of Lake Tahoe Community College alumni Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Duke Theatre.

Chris Wellhausen’s love of Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada and the backcountry gave him a giant canvas on which to work and build a career.

His efforts paid off, as he is now a photo associate with Transworld Snowboarding magazine, and he’s coming back for a visit.

Wellhausen and three other former Lake Tahoe Community College students will present a program, “Emerging Careers in Photography and Digital Arts,” on Saturday, Oct. 25 in the college’s Duke Theatre.

“I love all of Lake Tahoe and the support I got there. It tremendously helped my drive and motivation to succeed in photography,” Wellhausen said while on a break from work in San Diego. “It was my time at Lake Tahoe Community College, interning at the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Pat Leonard-Hefner, LTCC photo instructor, who made me understand I could make a living doing what I love.”

It was Leonard-Hefner, who emphasized knowing the history of photography and developing a style, and his perseverance that helped him succeed. His time in the backcountry and at Kirkwood Mountain Resort helped him develop his skills and work ethic, while author Gahlen Rowell inspired him.

He would continually submit photos to magazines, getting picked up here and there, and also dabbled in an underground snowboarding magazine. He landed a job with Snowboard Journal and also produced Atomic Snowboards’s publication.

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“I kept at it, and it paid off. You have to have quality images, but you also have to be humble and respectful,” Wellhausen added. “There are a lot of shooters out there. You have to identify your style and find publications you would fit into.”

LTCC graduates Ian Ruhter and Kyle Schwartz will join Wellhausen in presenting “Emerging Careers in Photography and Digital Arts.” Ruhter is a senior photographer with Transworld Snowboarding, while cinematographer Schwartz will discuss the film “On My Own Two Feet.”

In the Foyer Gallery will be prints by Wellhausen, Ruhter and Tim Peare, with a special photograph Wellhausen calls one of his best ever – from the Sierra Nevada.