I met Mikey 6 years ago when I first made my way to Encinitas, CA. I would always skate with his brother (Robbie), who is a great videographer. Mikey would always tag along on the skate missions, lugging around all his photo equipment, and shooting anything and everything he could. He has a huge passion for photography, loves learning everything he can about it, and is always trying to better his photos in every way, shape and form. Always asking me to critique his work, even though I’m not much of a photographer myself. He loves to shoot film, and spends time in the dark room. He loves it so much that he built his own dark room in his laundry room. It’s great to see all his hard work pay off with all the amazing photos he’s been putting out. He’s one of the most reliable people I have ever met, which means a lot now-a-days. Always willing to help out with whatever he can (just don’t’ ask him to help change a car tire). When Mikey’s not shooting photos, I can almost guarantee you’ll find him at the Pannikin coffee house, sippin’ on an iced coffee. It’s his second home. Oh yeah, and if you see him around, ask him to do 10 push-ups. It’s pretty entertaining to watch.—Sean Conover
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I have been shooting skating for about six years now. I got into it because when I was little, my brother and his friends would go skating and come back to our house to watch the footage. I always saw how much fun they had and wanted to be apart of it, so my brother and dad told me I should pick up a camera, I’ve been hooked ever since.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you?
When I first started to shoot skating I knew my friend Ryan (Lusteg), who I’ve known forever, was a skate photographer. I would always look at his photos as well as JT (Rhoades’) flickr almost every day. Their photos were definitely an inspiration for me.
What’s the best and worst advice you’ve been given on photography?
Best: Shoot everything
Worst: If I’ve been given that bad of advice I don’t remember because I probably ignored it.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photographers?
Be nice, be open to shooting anything, and have fun.
Do you prefer digital or film?
I love shooting film, I do it as much as possible. But I do shoot a lot of digital as well.
Do you ever use the darkroom?
Yeah I have one in my laundry room actually. I only do black and white, but want to try color eventually. It’s fun to be able to do what you would do in Photoshop, but in real life. And to try new ways of printing, like this one I did of Chris (Troy). I made a series of prints where I printed a portrait and covered their face, then printed a photo of them skating in that empty area.
What’s in your camera bag? Favorite piece of gear?
My favorite is probably my Hasselblad
Are there any advantages or disadvantages to growing up shooting in Encinitas/Carlsbad?
There’s not really any disadvantages to growing up shooting around here other than so many spots around here that have been killed, so it’s a little harder to find new spots to do something different. I would say if anything it’s an advantage, growing up here I have met some of my best friends and they happen to kill it on a skateboard. For instance, I hangout and skate with Logan (Taylor), Sean (Conover), Chris (Troy), and Kenny (Hoyle) everyday. So to have the privilege to skate and shoot with them only helps me learn because I get to shoot such a variety of things, and meet new people through them. Plus what’s better than going skating and having a good time with your friends?
Do you have any favorite photos you’ve shot and why?
This photo of my good friend Chris Henry working on his bike is probably one of my favorites that I’ve shot. He started a company called 69 ltd. hand making custom leather tool bags, sissy bars, and other rad things for bikes. I’ve always loved to watch and shoot him building things and working on his bike, so it’s awesome to see him killing it!
Have you had any work used recently or coming out?
Yeah, Brixton used the photo above of Chris on their website. Also a photo of Sean Conover doing a front shove on the contents page of the May issue of TransWorld. And as for things coming out I have a couple things. I shot a Gold wheels ad that’s in the works right now, and also a Check Out of Adam Taylor in an upcoming TransWorld.
You didn’t mention any of the web galleries or Online Sightings photos that you’ve shot during you time as a TWS intern. Do web photos not count or what?
(Laughs) They most definitely do! I have been lucky enough to have a photo in a couple of the recent Online Sightings for the TransWorld site, quite a few TWS park features, as well as shooting some events and contests like Damn Am, Redbull curb contest, and the Sacramento C.U.T. tour stop.
What do you plan to do next? Are you developing a portfolio or have plans to go to school for photography?
I guess my plan would be to just keep going skating as much as possible and see what happens from there! I am building a portfolio from photos adding up over time, always adding to it. As for school, unless there’s a class I think would be fun, or think I need to take, I’m not planning on going to school as of right now. But who knows, things change!
Where can people see more of your photos?
I guess my instagram, @mikeygould. For some reason I haven’t updated my flickr in years or even bothered to make a blog or anything along those lines. I probably should though.
Check out some of Mikey’s choice shots in the gallery below: