Meet Jossi Wells: Professional Skier & Photographer

Jossi has been skiing professionally for the last 16 years, representing New Zealand at the Olympics and having a number of competitive wins under his belt. Being a part of The North Face global athlete team, and a natural advocate for the brand, we were thrilled to team up with him to create a content collaboration to showcase The North Face in his everyday element. Known for both his sporting talent and his creative eye – this editorial piece includes a collection of his own photographic work, behind the lens.

 

Tell us a little about yourself and what keeps you busy.

For the last 16 years I have been skiing professionally & was heavy into the competitive side of the sport. Over the last few years I have transitioned out of competition & into the media/film-making side of things. I spend winters based in my hometown of Wanaka and spent the NZ summers between the US & Europe. I’ve been doing these back to back winters since the age of 13.  

 What has been the highlight of your career to date? 

Highlight for me was winning X-Games Slopestyle Gold in 2016. Representing NZ at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games is a close second. 

 When and how did your partnership with The North Face come about? 

I was approached by The North Face in 2016 about joining their global athlete team. They have the most stacked team across the various outdoor industries and I was super honoured by the offer to join their ranks. I’m very particular about what brands I represent and given my passion for the mountains, technical product and also fashion I couldn’t have picked a better brand to partner with. 

Tell us a little about the inspiration behind this shoot?

When Superette reached out about doing a collaborative shoot my desire was immediately to be behind the lens. Over my career I’ve spent a lot of time in front of the lens as the subject, either skiing or modelling the products I’ve designed or endorse. I saw this as an opportunity to use my passion for photography & the things I’ve learnt being involved in photoshoot, and explore a different approach to a collaboration than I’m used to. The idea of collaborating with Superette using The North Face products alongside Carhartt WIP was very natural for me – It’s what I wear every day. 

How long have you been into photography & what’s your favourite thing about it

My journey with photography began about 15 years ago. I was involved in photoshoots for skiing from a young age and I began to take a real interest in how the images were made. I saw the final result as a real collaboration between skier and photographer. During my teenage years I was working a lot with Nate Abbott, a fashion and ski photographer. After showing such an interest in the process of making the images we were creating together he encouraged me to get my first camera. He taught me the basics and I ran with it. I’ve been making photographs ever since. 

My favourite element of photography is the process. It teaches me to slow down, to observe my surroundings & appreciate the things which are. This is largely why I am drawn to film photography so much. The process is slow & precise. 

What is something not that many people know about you?

Before I went pro, I used to busk with my violin for income. Wanaka New World’s resident musician, lol. 

What are you listening to right now? 

I’ve been enjoying The Smiths recently.

 What are you watching at the moment? 

I watched Momentum Generation again a few nights ago. So good. 

Describe your style in three words: 

Monochromatic. 

What’s your daily go-to outfit?

The North long sleeve, The North Nuptse jacket, Carhartt WIP single knee pant & Vans slips.  

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been  given?

When I was young my Dad told me “Someone’s gotta be the best, why can’t it be you”. That spoke to me when I was a competitive grom. These days I relate to it more in the sense of just taking your shot. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

What should every person have in their wardrobe?

Whatever they desire. 

What’s your favourite thing about living in Wanaka?

The access to the mountains. Heaven on earth baby!

Can you share with us any of your local hidden gems? 

Kai’s $10 cabinet food goes hard.

Where is your favourite destination of all time and why? 

Honestly, New Zealand takes the cake for real. The US goes hard too, but the land & natural beauty we have in this country is incredible. If you’re into doing things outdoors there’s no better place.   

Where to from here, what’s next for you?

I’m having my first photo exhibition next week. The homies at General Service have given me the opportunity to show some of my work in their space, so I’m hyped for that. Working on a conceptual video piece for The North Face that’ll be dropping this spring and spending the NZ winter filming for my homie Torin & I’s upcoming ski film that we’ve been working on since January. 

 

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