Ben Saheb wins for Dream Job contest at Big Sky

Steamboat Springs cinematographer Ben Saheb at the 2019 SBT GRVL cycling race.
Noah Wetzel/courtesy

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Ben Saheb was at the end of a monthlong backpacking trip through Europe, in the middle of Vatican City, when he got the notification on his phone. The Steamboat Springs photographer-filmmaker-video editor knew he should stay in the moment, appreciating the sights and sounds of the 538-year-old Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo himself — but he also knew that this email was a huge deal.

Saheb peeked at his phone and read the words: he’d won the Dream Job competition.

As a child, Saheb dreamed of growing up to become another Warren Miller, creating spectacular, beautiful ski films that leave his audience with their mouths agape, inspired to go get into nature.

In dozens of pieces of his work, Saheb has done exactly that. In his decade spent in Steamboat, he’s photographed skiers with cat ski company Steamboat Powdercats for several seasons; he’s done cinematography for SBT GRVL, Tour de Steamboat and Winter Carnival, as well as work with Big Agnes, Hala and Moots Cycles.

He’s also worked on filming indoor events, including Steamboat Dance Theatre and Dancing with the Stars, and created a video about Friends of the Yampa’s Yampa Is Wild mural; he’s filmed pieces about the plastic bag ban and local housing to help educate the community. He works with local real estate firms and nonprofits and also sets aside time to do fun, inspiring passion projects, purely for the enjoyment of the craft.

Being hired for the Dream Job position will take Saheb’s work to the next level. For the week of Jan. 13, Saheb will head up to Big Sky, Montana, with Frisco’s Celia Miller, and in a whirlwind week of work, create content about the mountains, people and places of the area.

The two are hired alongside 10 others for this year’s Dream Job contest; the other teams of two will be documenting life in Aspen; Jackson Hole; Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta; Chamonix, France; and Niseko, Japan. The dozen new hires were chosen from more than 1,500 applicants for the contest’s second year.

Saheb has passed through Big Sky before, but never spent time or skied there.

“I’ve heard amazing things about Big Sky,” Saheb said. “The mountains there are so different.”

Another significant reason for his choosing Big Sky was in considering the amount of fossil fuel the trip would require.

“I picked the closest resort to us that I hadn’t experienced before,” said Saheb, who studied sustainability at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs photographer-filmmaker Ben Saheb captures an image of a skier midair. (courtesy of Ben Saheb)
Courtesy photo

“I’m excited to work for a ski resort,” Saheb said. “I’ve tried to do that before here for the past 10 years and never had an opportunity. This is my time to do that, and it’s an honor.”

The week will be an all-expense paid VIP experience, and each will receive $2,000; flights on United Airlines; gear from Stio, Black Crows, Giro and GoPro; custom forecasts from OpenSnow; and the opportunity to save our snow with Protect Our Winters.

Even with all the bells and whistles, Saheb notes that the experience will be more of a contracted job and less of a free trip.

“We as filmmakers get to go in and produce some really cool content,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Steamboat Springs adventure cinematographer Ben Saheb is one of 12 winners of the 2020 Dream Job contest, which saw more than 1,500 applicants.
photo by Noah Wetzel

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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