PDN Photo of the Day

Olympic Ski Monkey

Olympic Ski Monkey

© Joshua Paul

SKI Magazine sent Joshua Paul to shoot an assignment at the ski resort Krasnaya Polyana in the Caucasus Mountains  when it was mentioned as a prospective site for the 2014 Olympic Games. What he found was a desolate mountain lacking a village, snow, skiers or a proper chair lift. He explained, “As I wandered around day after day, the assignment became more and more difficult. The town was very poor and undeveloped, no one would agree to let me take a portrait, and I couldn’t find a place to eat, drink, or show what else this place had to offer. On the last day, after barely shooting 20 rolls of 120 film, a giant man walked over holding a vintage Russian version of a Speed Graphic camera and a little monkey on his shoulder. He asked, “Photo?” I asked back, “Photo?” The little monkey quickly jumped off his back, turned to me and I shot this frame. This single image saved my otherwise disastrous shoot, and helped win SKI Magazine, Time Inc.’s Magazine of the year.

Posted in:



, , ,





  1. Joshua,
    Hard work, not giving up, and most importantly, keeping a good sense of humor rewards you with this awesomely funny and touching photo. Good luck, I hope you have a smoother time of it next assignment!

  2. Thank you for posting your responses!
    This was absolutely a lesson in not giving up, and having the imagination to tell a story in a completely different way.
    The Monkey is looking directly into my camera! I shot exactly one frame like this, before he ran off. I shot about one roll, with him on my assistant’s head, then with a Russian couple. It was completely ridiculous!

    I have an Animals Portfolio on my website under “Portraits.” http://www.joshuapaul.com
    Thank you again!

Top of Page