Shapiro, Mark



Shapiro, Marko

You only get one chance to leave the first tracks. Marko Shapiro, known as the godfather of the art of ski photography, leaves the tracks that others look to. Shapiro inspired the previous generation of ski photographers and continues to influence the art today. He has been called "the master of light" by a French magazine. Using God’s vantage point, Shapiro captures the essence of the pure powder experience. The consummate expert, his unbelievable shots catch extreme skiers in bursts of speed and raw power with crystal clarity as they rip past his camera lens.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Shapiro took his first photos at the age of seven when his grandfather gave him a camera.

While in college, Shapiro shot photos with a manual camera and lens, developing them in a lab his roommate had set up. Graduating from trade school with a degree as a mechanical draftsman, he got a job in a factory outside of Toronto, but was rapidly disillusioned. A coworker who was from Zurich urged Shapiro to see Switzerland. So, in 1970, Shapiro left Toronto with a one-way plane ticket for Zurich, spending his first winter abroad in the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland. Then, like now, it was a photographer’s idea of visual perfection. Powder was and is the obsession — skiable terrain all around. Shapiro took typical ski bum jobs to support his photography hobby — he worked a grape harvest, followed by eight years working in Swiss hotels to buy film and equipment. In 1974, a friend asked Shapiro to take a photo of him for a Swiss ski manufacturer. Impressed, the manufacturer bought the photo for about $200. Although Shapiro now considers the shot naive, it was state of the art for what was then an undiscovered art form. After that, any spare income was devoted to the constant process of upgrading the tools of his trade. Shapiro started to follow the colorful free-style skiing circuit, and top skiers began to seek him out for photos. His work soon appeared in ads, posters and brochures.

By 1980, his hobby had become his profession, one that has since taken him to Australia, Asia and everywhere else. .

Shapiro lives in Verbier, still his favorite place, with his wife, Franziska and his daughter, Kimberley.

An artist who dreams pictures, Shapiro will station himself under a snow cornice, waiting for the exact moment to squeeze off eight shots per second when the riders fly past. It’s over as quickly as it comes. Or, poised on a rock, he captures white water paddlers as they churn by. The only thing that can be predetermined is the location of the shot; you can never preconceive the end result. Although he plans a composition from the best perspective, every photo is spontaneous.
Into the Void

Signed and Numbered Lithograph on Paper
Edition Size - 950
Image Size - 17"w x 28.5"h
Certificate of Authenticity

Price: $134.97

Power Surge

Signed and Numbered Lithograph on Paper
Edition Size - 950
Image Size - 17"w x 28.5"h
Certificate of Authenticity


Price: $134.97
Rocks and Hard Places

Signed and Numbered Lithograph on Paper
Edition Size - 950
Image Size - 17"w x 28.5"h
Certificate of Authenticity

Price: $134.97