Each of our senior photographers picked their favorite cover that they shot and shared the story behind it. Editor-in-chief Skin Phillips picked his favorite of the year out of them all and tells why. Enjoy this peek behind what goes into a TransWorld cover.
My favorite is Taylor Bingaman’s.
It’s cool because it’s at a skatepark in Sacramento that Taylor skates a lot, it’s also where I shot his Check Out less than a year before he got the cover. We went there four times to get this with Taylor experimenting with different setups to be able to get enough speed. One time we went there and he could only find three of his soft wheels in the trunk of his car. Months later he said the fourth one showed up jammed inside an old shoe. Sometimes when he was trying it he would bail out of the grind and just drop to flat, it was like watching someone being thrown off a roof.
I’m stoked when I shoot a cover cause it’s pretty hard to get in there with Mike, Oliver, and Seu shooting all this epic shit. We had the mag shipped out to us when we were in Denver on a trip, but someone had already texted Taylor a photo of the cover so the surprise was blown a little. I like how he said in an interview that his favorite thing about getting a cover was rolling joints on it, that’s f—kin’ classic.
Vincent Alvarez, Skate & Create
Shot in a warehouse near TWS.
It was a big gap and really smelly due to all the pyrotechics and smoke in the warehouse that had nowhere to go. It was dark, so the timing was crucial—getting the flames to pop in just the right time and place to highlight Vince as he blasted across that big gap and into the steep landing ramp.
The nicest thing about it being the cover, was that it was a surprise, as we didn’t find out until the winner was announced at TWS at the awards ceremony for S&C. I think Vince was pretty stoked but he’s so humble I think he just took it in stride. Kelly Bird might have been more stoked!
I think it’s one of my favorites, just 'cause it was so difficult photographically and the gap was really big in such a cramped, smoky, and hectic situation, but Vince made it look easy, which is what a good skater always does.
If I gotta pick my favorite cover I shot in 2010, it would be Daewon Song (noseblunt slide) because that’s the only cover I had this year—haha! I never turn my 35mm camera vertical unless I’m told to. I really don’t remember too much from that photoshoot, or even care, besides me getting to talk and hang out with Daewon. I miss him because we kind of broke up and I didn’t see him for years. Wait, I do recall some asshole trying to steal Daewon’s board or my camera stuff.
It was my first time going to the spot, but we knew each other well through our friend the VX1000. The rail lives in the middle of Beverly Hills, just down the road from Eddie Murphy's police station in Beverly Hills Cop. It felt like we would get kicked out immediately because there are plenty of expensive houses that look out onto the rail and it was really quiet in the neighborhood. It's pretty amazing that someone had the courage to cut the knobs off and I'd like to say thank you to whoever that person is. The building in the background plays recordings of predatory birds from Costa Rica when movement sensors are triggered by crows. It's cheaper, more effective and not as unsightly as putting spikes on every window ledge and wall. It's an avian audio skate stopper. Anyway, in this frame, Paul is listening to recordings of bald eagles attacking prey, so now you know what he really bumps in his iPod. Paul switch back noseblunt slid the rail in the most rude-boy fashion possible, and Heath Brinkley chose the VX1000 with a Century fisheye to film it with. You can check out the footage of this trick and another six minutes and ten seconds of carnage in Paul's video part Paul Rodriguez, Me, Myself and I under Plan B Skateboards on iTunes.
I’m going with the Vincent Alvarez Skate & Create cover. The way that fireball silhouettes is epic. Not an easy thing to do—some may say luck, but the more you practice, the luckier you’ll get. Vincent also had a great year, he’s an awesome kid with a great attitude, and a good shout for rookie of the year.