What better way to develop your skateboard photography than through the advice and insights from seven of the industries leading photographers. Each of the videos below focuses on the techniques of well known skateboard photographer, all of which are eager to share their stories and some of their personal favorite works with viewers. Have a look:
Humphries looks at skateboarding as an art form and the way he is able to portray that in his photography is part of what makes him such an influential professional. He has a unique ability to freeze the skaters mid-action as they display all the grace of a ballet dancer and the grit of an extreme athlete. Much of Humphries work is in black and white, a medium he has worked with since the earliest part of career.
Being an actual skater yourself helps you understand where other skaters are coming from when they are considering trying new tricks. Joe Brook uses this advantage as way to sense when a skater needs to pushed into trying and when it’s best to accept his hesitation as wise. Building that sometimes unspoken rapport with people you photograph regularly is a great way of ensuring your place as a respectful photographer in the world of skating.
For Acosta, a professional skate photographer of over 10 years, it’s all about documenting a moment in time. His work often brings him on great adventures while he and the skaters he works with go to great lengths to find a location which has never been skated. Sometimes this mean hiking steep ledges and rocky shorelines and sometimes this means a sleepless 36-hour skating voyage into the desert surrounding Las Vegas. Being able to capture those unique moments gives Acosta the drive to keep voyaging and most importantly, to keep creating.
San Francisco transplant, Mike Blabac, insists on his career being based on dumb luck, but as you thumb your way through his incredible portfolio you can see that his sheer talent also has a lot to do with it. By seeking to work with the very skateboarders that he respects and admires, Blabac is easily able to let the passion he holds for the sport be ever present in his photographs.
Grant Brittain is credited as being one of the pioneers of modern skateboard photography. He was fortunate enough to have played a role in early skate culture by working at a skatepark where he discovered his passion for photography. Even after all those years, Brittain is still trying to forge a path by challenging himself to take inventive photographs.
Jody’s advice to aspiring skateboard photographers is based on how his own career was started and that is by being proactive in the journey to make it. For some people, like Jody, that might mean moving to a location where there are plenty of good skaters to photograph. For others, it might mean tapping into existing skate communities for opportunity to present itself.
Telling the stories of the all different types of skaters–the pros, the stars, the amateurs, the youth–and being part of the culture as a whole is all part of Transplant Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Michael Burnett’s, job description, but it’s also what makes the photographer’s work so outstanding. Burnett loves what he does and is always ready to go the extra mile, however absurd the conditions, to be able to photograph skateboarding’s rarest moments. He’s a firm believe that close-up shots have more visual impact because they allow viewers to get right into the action, to feel like they are there.
“When you can see the skaters face, that’s really important.”
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