Last week, the magazine’s web editor Alexis pulled me aside to share some news: Portland Monthly had just purchased a Flip Camera for use by our bloggers, and she was curious if I wanted to test the gizmo out.

After a heated debate on the merits of going for a Reno 911-style approach to documentary footage, I reluctantly agreed that playing things closer to vest might be advisable, at least right out of the gate, anyway. Instead, I decided the most logical thing to do was to try and break our new toy by volunteering to haul it up to Meadows with a friend in order to capture the last day of the ski season on camera.

Lucky for me, the Flip cam turned out to be pretty darn durable. During its inaugural test run this thing managed to endure an afternoon thunderstorm, a pocket full of wet snow, and a few errant smears of mustard during lunch (nothing a little more wet snow couldn’t fix).

More importantly, for my all coworkers who are assigned similar tasks in the future, I gleaned the following helpful hints for solid reporting.

For starters, if you stick a camera in someone’s face and yell something like, “It’s the last day of the season! Yeehaw!”, they generally respond in a favorable manner.
Especially, when you compliment their particular alpine panache. (Guy skiing in a yellow polo shirt and golf shorts, I’m talking to you). And if you want to actually record what someone is saying, it helps to remove your gloves, as a few of the Flip’s buttons are harder to press than initially thought. (Sorry, Mr. Lift Op. Your words were truly bro-rific.)

Most importantly, on a personal level, I learned that I have no business applying to be a Warren Miller cameraman. But hey, there’s always next season.

Note: Special thanks to my friend Chris for putting up with my shoddy camera work.

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