Motivation and dedication can take a person far in life. Liam is a perfect example of both of these traits being used for the love of skateboarding. It doesn’t matter if it’s too hot, too cold, raining, a far drive, or any other obstacle that usually stops skaters, Liam is down for the mission. He’ll be the first one to load the van up and get everyone up to go skate for the day. That’s kind of dedication and motivation is rare and it’s awesome to know that not only does Liam take a great photo, you can always count on him to bring the hype.—Tim Savage
How old are you, where do you live currently, and where are you from?
23, currently in Long Beach California, from Portsmouth New Hampshire, an hour outside of Boston.
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I started shooting skating about a year after I started skating. My friend Duncan knew my mom had a camera and he told me I should bring it out and get some photos. I brought it out and just fell in love with capturing skating, and always trying to make a better photograph. I got a camera that Christmas and rarely go skating without a camera now.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
Before I even began shooting I’d just rip out pages of mags and nail them all over my room. Once I did begin, Mike Blabac, Ben Colen, Atiba Jefferson and Zander Taketomo were a few photographers I was inspired by. Right now I’ve been really hyped on Jake Darwen’s work.
What’s the best and worst advice you’ve been given on photography?
Best advice is an overarching theme of just striving for your best. I always try to make sure I’m not slacking and making sure I’m taking the best image I can possibly get when I point the camera.
The worst advice: Don’t shoot skateboarding.
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
I have too many favorites to have one be the most. But I remember when I took this photo of my homie Brian Reid at Eggs. He did a backside tailslide on a out-ledge there almost noone skates. He was wearing a red T-shirt and the sun was going down. I just remember this photo got me fired up to make more images like it.
What’s the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
Probably the Will Mazzari kickflip in the Badlands National park. It was during a cross country trip we did with three other homies from Boston to California. We drove twelve hours straight the day before from Minneapolis and arrived in the pitch black, unable to really see where we were. We drove into the starlit sky and pitched our tents. We all woke up in the middle of the campground surrounded by a natural landscape I’ve only imagined up to this point in my life. We packed up as all the prairie dogs began to wake up and come out of their homes to say what’s up. We took off and everyone quickly wanted to just bomb through the park as it was nicely paved and a nice bomb down. We Kinda just stumbled upon this flat part of the rock where part of the hill mellowed out. We got this photo and continued downward. A memorable moment from the trip that just unfolded without much of a plan.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
Just stick with it. Reach out and ask questions.
Best thing about shooting in your hometown:
Basically nothing good about shooting in my home town. It’s a small town and cops can be dickheads and take your board.They’re corrupt and love their high school football team. It’s illegal to skate anywhere in town. And they just demolished our DIY spot (Shitpark). Yeah, they’re not doing it right, they could just put together a nice small park, and watch how it would have a positive impact.
So basically if I wanna skate back home, I go to Boston. The best part about shooting there is you can kinda just meet up at Eggs and then skate into downtown. You don’t really have to deal with driving if you don’t want to. And if you do wanna drive, you can go pretty far in a day and all the spots look pretty nice on camera.
Do you prefer digital or film?
I primarily shoot skating on digital. But I love film too, and do some work with a Hasselblad. And If I owned one I would shoot 4×5 film too, I always have a great time shooting large format.
What’s in your camera bag?
Nikon Camera, Fisheye, Zoom Lens, 50mm lens, three flashes, always keep batteries, skate tool, two tripods.
Your photography website if you have one: liamannisphoto.com
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