Corey Greengage came up in a special era for Seattle skateboarding. As a kid he fanned out on Manik Skateboards and Vics Market crew, idolizing Seattle legends like Cory Kennedy and Jordan Sanchez. All of those folks helped put Seattle on the map in skateboarding. As a full-grown photographer, Corey ended up shooting with his idols, and has continued to train his lens on the current skaters that exemplify Seattle’s unique approach to skateboarding. We’re stoked to have him out there documenting it all.—Tony Croghan (Owner, 35th North)
How old are you and where do you live currently and where are you from?
I’m 22 years old, born and raised and currently living in Seattle, Washington.
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I’ve been shooting skating for three years now. I think just growing up skating and watching videos and looking at magazines got me into it. My aunt gave me her old 35mm SLR so I started taking that out skating all the time and was hooked pretty quick. I still use that same camera and love it, but after about a year I didn’t want to be limited so I got a DSLR and lights and everything. So I’ve been shooting with a legit setup for almost two years.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific photo, but Andy Froberg was a big inspiration. He shot the sickest photos of all the local dudes I grew up watching like Jordan Sanchez and Cory Kennedy. His stuff is super proper and always gets me hyped. A few others would be Oliver Barton, Mike Blabac, Dave Chami, Ben Colen, Andrew Peters, Jake Darwen, Zander Taketomo, Alex Papke, Jake Wickersham, and Sam Cole.
What's the best and worst advice you've been given on photography?
The best advice you will get from all photographers is just keep shooting. And to always have your gear with you. The bad advice I just tune out, but one time I showed someone this photo I had shot of my friend grinding this big kink rail and they said I should have taken it at the last kink at the bottom of the rail. I thought that was funny.
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
What's the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
Not a crazy story but just one of those random times where everything worked out. After driving past this ledge for years, me and my friend finally lacquered and waxed it up real good one morning. Dane met up first spot of the day and got the wallie layback boardslide pretty quick. The spot is pretty hard, you have to ollie up a curb then ride up a sign onto the bank which is crusty and the other side of the ledge is a freeway entrance, so you also have to watch for cars. He landed it super smooth though and I was hyped his yellow shirt matched the pillars.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
I’m still up and coming myself, but I’d pass along what others have told me. First of all just keep shooting. Throw your gear in your car whenever you leave the house no matter what ’cause you never know when you’ll need it. Don’t leave it in your car overnight though, always keep it close to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you see an opportunity for a photo, try your best to make it happen, and always respect the skater. Don’t be afraid to ask other photographers questions, it can be super helpful. You can also learn from every photo you take, how it could be better or something you could have done differently.
Best thing about shooting in your hometown:
Seattle is super sick, there’re a lot of crusty and unique spots that haven’t been seen in videos a million times. It’s cloudy a majority of the time which makes the lighting easy to work with, you don’t have to work around crazy shadows or anything. But at the same time it rains a lot and traffic can be pretty bad.
Do you prefer digital or film?
I love both. I’d say I shoot both equally. I still use the first 35mm camera that my aunt gave me. I have a point and shoot in my bag as well. If the stars align and the natural lighting is good and I know the skater can do the trick pretty consistently, I will shoot film. The two lifestyle shots I included are both film. But the go to for my skate photos is digital, it’s too convenient not to. When the skater is doing a hard trick, you want to make sure it looks as sick as possible and you can make those adjustments easier shooting digital. Nothing compares to getting a roll of film back though.
What's in your camera bag?
Nikon 16mm fisheye
3x Pocket Wizard plus X
Nikon sb28 Speedlight
Alien Bee b800
Olympus Stylus Epic
Then I also have sync cables, extra batteries, shoelaces, wax, skate tool, hopefully everything anyone might need. Gotta keep a rubbrick and lacquer in the car too. And a broom.