Up Next: Zoya Lynch

Courtesy Zoya Lynch

Meet the winner of the 2014 Deep Winter photo contest, Zoya Lynch.

Skiing is a sport that is constantly evolving. With winter quickly approaching, XGames.com is taking a look at seven skiers who will likely shape the future of skiing in the years to come. From an up-and-coming photographer and videographer to two skiers who are reinventing what's possible in the backcountry, these skiers are new on the scene and here to stay. Next in the series is Canadian skier and photographyer, Zoya Lynch.

Back in January, six photographers were given 72 hours to shoot, edit and produce a slideshow as part of the annual Deep Winter Photo Challenge in Whistler, B.C. At the end of the event 23-year-old photographer Zoya Lynch emerged with the win. Lynch's eye for the moment secured the victory and a reputation as one of skiing's up and coming image-makers.

"Zoya lives life in her own unique way and that reflects in her photography," says pro skier and friend Leah Evans. "She has adventure, art and determination in her blood."

When I was 13 or 14 I had this sudden desire to take photos. Everywhere I went I would see cool lighting and frame photos in my mind. I begged my mom for a camera and she finally gave in.

I carried my tiny digital camera everywhere and would take really abstract photos of meaningless things and then edit them with weird colors.

I grew up in Calgary, Alberta. My mom moved to Whistler when I was 17 so I tagged along and finished high school through correspondence. My first ski season in Whistler was frustrating, I couldn't believe the line ups and had a hard time making ski buds.

My sister Izzy moved to Revelstoke and invited me out for a visit. I took the Greyhound bus to Revy and ended up sleeping on her floor for over a month. The resort was basically empty and we skied endless powder for days after the storms.

I moved to Revelstoke when I was 18 and started bringing my camera out skiing. I just sort of figured it out from there.

Winning Deep Winter was really surreal. Receiving an invitation to compete was a victory in itself. I felt like my invitation was a milestone in my career and it was the first time I felt somewhat "legit" in the photo world.

I was so nervous to even show my work to that many people. It's a very vulnerable feeling, but the response was huge. It finally made me feel really confident in my photography.

Watching Izzy's ski career take off has been really amazing. She inspires me every day to keep going and dream as big as possible. Shooting with her is always really easy because we speak the same weird sisterly language.

I love skiing more than anything, so I don't really like standing around and setting up shots, waiting for light, getting sprayed by snow, getting cold ... I like to move in the mountains.

I always feel most inspired when I am deep into a big day of ski touring. That's when I catch the glimpses of cool light, pull out my camera, take a photo, and keep moving.

Ski photography is often way too staged and set-up. I like to just let nature do its thing and try not to force it. Some photographers are really intense.

Photography is a really cool form of self expression that is available to so many people. If you have any kind of camera, big or small, you can pick it up and capture the world through your eyes. It's really important for humans to experience moments of creativity and freedom. If everyone felt more connected to their creative side the world would be a better place.

I love Instagram. It's fun following friends and family, and it's such a powerful tool for photographers and business owners to get their name out. But it does have a darker side, and I feel like measuring the worth of your photos through likes and followers can be dangerous. I try to keep it light and not take Instagram too seriously.

I'd like to go to Europe and spend more time shooting around Revelstoke and Golden. I'd like to start working on bigger projects and assignments, hopefully tell some cool stories. I would also like to work alongside some mentors and spend time learning as much as possible.

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