Gator

“I am consumed by photography”

Do you enjoy the many logistical headaches of shooting street (ie. finding spots, jumping fences, avoiding security, working fast, etc)?

When I turned 50, I made a deal with myself and stopped shooting street skating for the most part. Just got to where I hated going out on the weekend, shooting bails and getting kicked out by security, cops or well meaning citizens and coming back empty handed.

We have a whole troop of young, great photogs who love that shit, let them go crazy. I will go if it’s a non-bust situation, I want to take my time and be creative. Fun is key.

When you’re not snapping skaters, what else interests you photographically?

I am consumed by photography, I love anything to do with it. I shoot portraiture, landscapes, street documentary, abstracts, everything, It is my passion and my life’s work. I feel so lucky to have found it.

The aesthetic of skate photography has changed so much over the years, when you consider what’s ‘de-rigueur’ now (ie. rails, stairs and ledges), and what was cool in the early days (pools, parks and ramps).

I’ve got a theory that, when you trace the timeline of skate photography, the subject (the skater) that used to fill the frame, has shrunken over time, and now the composition is more about the environment and the technicality of the trick. Any thoughts on that?

It’s true that once skating left the backyards and out into the streets, a whole new big world opened up to the photographers and it has become how skating relates to the real world and also its impact on the non-skating world.

Do you think that the symbiotic relationship between skater and photographer has changed much over the years?

Back in the day there were less photogs shooting less skaters, there were only 30 pros, now there are hundreds of pros.

We few could shoot almost everyone back then and know them personally. Nowadays everyone has their posse of skaters to shoot and some photogs can be protective of their guy.

It has gotten harder over the years what with busy schedules and agents and more magazines and the internet to hook up, but times change and you go with it.

How do you go about establishing and developing this ‘bond’ between artist and subject?

If you don’t know the skater, it’s easy, they know you will get the goods.

If they don’t know you personally, hopefully they know your reputation and know that you won’t blow it, we’re both professionals.

[Opposite: Gator]

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