I ran into Cameron skating in SF last year, we hung out a few times and he got busy shooting and skating with locals in the Bay area and LA.Once he was back home in Australia he sent me some of the images he’d captured and asked for some critique. His photos were good so there wasn’t too much for me to offer but I got as finnicky as I could about them and made a few suggestions. A short time later Cameron emailed me back a fresh set of photos and damn had he been busy! He not only made a lot of improvements but also threw one in there that I think is my favorite backlit single light skate photo (the backside lipslide on the handrail) made me quite jealous actually! It’s a Pirates’ life indeed.—Dave Chami
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
About three years now, which is surreal. I do wonder where the time’s gone. It began with filming the homies from when I was as young as 14. All in hopes of preserving some relevance amongst a quickly advancing group of individuals. I delved down that rabbit hole for a quick minute. That was until a friend of mine focused my video camera. I saved up once again and replaced it with a DSLR. From there I naturally transitioned into a past-time with way more street credit.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
Chami, and the way he uses every opportunity to keep things so creative. I swear every trick presents itself to him as a challenge to create something new, weird and beautiful. He’s got no standard, or go-to angle. Jake Darwen also provides a humbling serving of inspiration every time I see one of his images. One of the best skate photographers in the world. There must be something in that New Zealand water.
What’s the best and worst advice you’ve been given on photography?
Best: “Hey you know those expensive flashes you saved up and bought? Use them.”
Worst: An image should never be off axis (all praise the tilt).
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
I try not to. Every time I end up actually liking an image that I’ve created, I find myself reusing techniques from that photo the next few times I shoot. It’s easier that way to look for reasons to critique everything I do to keep me from feeling so washed up and complacent.
What’s the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
Maybe not the most exciting, but when Dylan told me of a drainage bank spot in the middle of the forest of course I was skeptical. Upon rocking up and having my expectations pleasantly disrupted, we got busy. As Dylan knocked out a few tricks I realized the angle that I really wanted to shoot from was obstructed by a 12-foot, still standing dead tree. For some ungodly reason we figured it was a good idea to cut that thing to the ground with nothing more than a hand saw. Thanks to the homie Alex for putting in a committed hour of solid sawing to make this image a reality.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
You know how you wonder if editors see your photos after countless ignored emails (or maybe its just me getting ignored)? Well they do see ’em. If you keep pestering those poor editors while taking into account any advice they may have for you, while always trying to refine your abilties and knowledge. The sky (aka minimum wage for maximum work) is your limit kids.
Do you prefer digital or film?
Oh come on, there’s no way I can answer that truthfully and impress the ladies.
How is shooting in Australia different than everywhere else in the world?
Well for one I’ve got my car, loaded with plenty of excuse remedies. If you mean Australia on it’s own merits though; I suppose most people don’t realize how much hairier the spots really are. A majority of what you see is probably equivalent to the sketchiness of a garden variety Portland street spot. It’s a country built by convicts, of course they built it rough.
What’s in your camera bag?
Heaps of junk I probably don’t need. I like options, and pretty things.