By Tobin Yelland
When did you first discover photography?
In San Francisco, working with you and Dennis McGrath. At first it was kind of a money thing. I thought if I took skateboard photos I could make some money, but then I just got totally obsessed with taking pictures and forgot about the job aspect.
What was the best thing about photography when you started?
It was just like capturing certain moments. That decisive moment that Henri Cartier Bresson wrote about. He created the concept of the decisive moment. I kind of like that touch, because I like people and I like photographing people. I’d meet strange people, and my friends really wouldn’t believe me. Then I started photographing them, and I found out I could capture those moments forever, and I found a new kind of truth about myself.
What are some magazines that you’ve gotten your photographs in?
TransWorld, Slap, The Fader, Time magazine, The New York Post, and Mass Appeal.
What do you think about when you’re set to take a photograph?
I don’t think before I take the picture. It happens after I take a series of pictures. I’m not looking for one great picture, I’m looking for a series of great pictures. I have photos that I haven’t developed in years. Taking pictures is kind of like an investment to me, but it’s got nothing to do with money. I’m just taking pictures and waiting for them to grow. It’s more like farming-I’m planting these seeds, taking pictures, and waiting for these beautiful vegetables to grow.
What’s your connection with skateboarding?
I’ve been skateboarding for fifteen years, and when I first started, I was shunned a great deal by the people I grew up around in Long Island, New York. I also had a really messed up family life-I ran away constantly and would meet my friends in New York. They made me want to skate because they were so good. They made sure I got as good as them by pushing me, cheering me on, and teasing me and stuff. We were all maniacs.
What cameras did you use to take these pictures?
A Lieca M6, a Cannon EOS, an Olympus XA, and a Nikon EM.
Anything else you want to add?
Yeah, surf fishing with Ryan Hickey-you haven’t fished until you’ve fished with Ryan “The Gun” Hickey, buster.
“I’m someone who’s always for the black sheep. I like people who’re on the edge.”-Gary Van De Griek