Yesterday the Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival announced that Tofino’s Marcus Paladino won the wildcard entry to this year’s Pro Photographers Showdown. For those who are unaware of the competition, it’s a big deal! Four chosen photographers plus one wildcard display their work in a nine-minute slideshow in front of a huge crowd and a  panel of judges for a hefty $10,000 prize purse. In action sports photography, this is one of the most significant events in North America.  We are so stoked and proud of Marcus, one of our main contributors to have made it on the big stage to battle some of the best in the business. Scroll down and read Marcus’s thoughts after he received the big news.

1. First off, huge congrats on taking down the wildcard at the WSSF Pro Photographer Showdown.

Thank you so much! It’s been a pretty surreal few days, especially since I wasn’t allowed to say anything until it was officially announced.

2. What were your first thoughts when you got the call?

That it wasn’t real and there must have been some sort of mistake. I’ve been dreaming about being in the Pro Photo Showdown since I first started shooting photos.

3. Have you ever tried entering the contest before?

Once, back in like 2010. Needless to say, I didn’t have a very extensive portfolio at the time so I can understand why I didn’t get accepted.

4. What’s your plan of attack going up against photographers who shoot such a wide array of action sports?

Stick to what I know, which is cold water surfing. Emphasize the lifestyle and our unique environment, without coming across as stereotypical or overdone. Which is tough, but I’m excited about the opportunity to be creative and try to stand out.

5. How does it feel to be in the running with such legendary photographers such as Zak Noyle? 

It’s pretty crazy! I’m doing my best not to compare our work, we shoot in two totally separate surfing worlds. I actually met him last year in Hawaii, he’s super down to earth and a really nice guy so I’m looking forward to hanging out with him again.

6. Well, you have a huge community rooting for you, good luck and enjoy every minute of it!

I really appreciate that! I’ve got to get to work on this slideshow now.

For tickets and information about the Showdown, click HERE.

To see more from Marcus check out his website HERE and instagram HERE.