We all looked up to each other

What made you take up skate photography?

Well skateboarding died out after 1965, but in 1972 there was a rebirth because of the invention of the urethane wheels and skateboarding got popular again. I was working in a print shop with a guy named Sam Bass in Reno, Nevada who liked skateboarding and he also got me interested in photography.

I picked up a camera and started shooting everything except skateboarding. Sam and I started skating together a lot and, with Skateboarder Magazine coming back out, Sam and I studied the pictures and we decided why not try and take skate pictures? I was really determined to get some of my photos published, so I started flooding Skateboarder magazine with my shots and eventually, in 1977, I finally got published with skaters from Reno.

As one of the guys who was shooting the 70′s rebirth of skating, you couldn’t have had the work of many photographers to influence your style? Who were they and how did their work inspire you?

Well I have to say in skate photography I guess I would give most of the early credit to Warren Bolster, since he was the editor of Skateboarder at that time. I looked at his work to get an idea of what they were looking for in a skate shot but really no one person at first influenced me more that my own passion to be a staff photographer for Skateboarder Magazine. Once I got there I really looked up to Craig Fineman, Jim Goodrich, Jim Cassimus and Glen E. Freidman for inspiration to be a better photographer.

I think we all looked up to each other for new ideas and really enjoyed checking out each others work. It was a great class of photographers to be part of back then.

You have been credited with being the early pioneer of multiple flash skate photography – something of an industry standard approach nowadays?

Well thanks for recognizing that, but I do have to give Jim Goodrich a part of that credit too. He was shooting with multiple flash using colored light around that time too. However, I did start shooting with a single flash back in 1976 at Flow Motion Skatepark in Reno Nevada. I wanted to catch the beautiful colored clouds at sunset and mountains in the background.

I flooded the magazine with those shots and months later Warren Bolster took my idea and started to use it in his photos that he published in Skateboarder later.


"Steve Caballero, frontside handplant @ Winchester Skatepark used in Skateboarder's Action Now March 1981. This is my all time favourite skate shot."

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