I guess I have to talk nice about this guy Joe Monteleone aka “Joe Face.” Joe Face is quite a character. I met Joe through James Buchmann a few years ago. It pretty much ruined my life. He told me he wanted to quit his day job and start working in the skateboarding industry. I told him to do it already and stop talking about it. If you want to follow your dreams—go ahead, drop in. Somehow he was able to make it happened through his dedication and determination to leave his mediocre job at Geico. Now he’s shooting and filming skateboarding on a regular basis. Since he’s out West now I keep tabs on him with Instagram. Looks like someone is adjusting well to his new lifestyle Joe Face has been fortunate to have taken photos of PJ Ladd, Pat Rumney, Anthony Durao, Dennis Busenitz, Daewon Song, Ishod Wair, Chris Colborun, and Gino Iannucci. Good job my friend.—Ray Mate
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I’ve been filming skateboarding for as long as I’ve been skating, which is about 15 years now, but my ex girlfriend got me a DSLR for Christmas about four years ago to film HD. I started messing with it and taking photos then, but I started to take it a bit more serious and try and learn maybe about two years ago though.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
My favorite photographer has always been Blabac. I don’t think the dude takes a bad photo. But I remember being really hyped on the photo he shot (a DC ad) of Kalis three-flipping the bump to can at LOVE. That one always stood out to me a lot. I also loved Ben Colen’s photo of Gino switch flipping off a bump over a sign. It was a cover for Skateboarder in like ’04. That one really got me stoked too.
What’s the best and worst advice you’ve been given on photography?
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten any bad advice because I never really learned anything about shooting photos from anyone but my friends who have been through all the shitty advice and learned from it. I really learned technique and lighting from watching my friends and harassing them with questions. So thanks to Sam Muller, Ricky Montalbano, Saeed Rahbaran, Memento, and Kyle Camarillo for answering my annoying questions and letting me pick your brains.
Best advice I ever got, and it sounds cliché, but you’ll take a thousand shitty photos to get one good one, and to remember that when you take a bad one. Keep shooting.
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
My favorite one is probably the one of Jack doing the switch front crook at Ft. Miley.
What’s the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
Antonio Durao‘s switch flip over Blubba is a pretty interesting one. I had picked him up from his house that day and drove to Manhattan to skate a contest. He skated the contest for like four hours, in 95 degree heat, and as I thought we were done, he told me he wanted to try to switch flip Blubba. We went there and he put it down in 20 minutes, I filmed it and shot it at the same time. That was a good day.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
Ask other photographers questions, pick their brains, people always know something you don’t and you can never stop learning. Techniques, tips, tricks and life hacks go a long way. Also you have to be in the right location to shoot skateboarding. You’re not going to get anywhere shooting Johhny Skatepark in Nowheresville, North Dakota.
Do you prefer digital or film?
Film looks better, digital is more practical. I shoot digital.
What’s in your camera bag?
Canon 7D, Lumix GH2, and a Sony HVX
Your photography website if you have one:
Check out the gallery below for some of JoeFace’s choice shots: