We had some issues with Ricky in the beginning of his internship. He didn't like the office seltzer water and complained that we didn't have a Yoohoo sponsorship instead. He persevered though and we kept him onboard because he's got one hell of an eye and takes an awesome photo. He's super dedicated and an extremely hard worker. I might have exaggerated a lot with my intro. He's actually a really good guy, super talented and there's no doubt in my mind he'll go on to do amazing things with his camera – as long as he's got his Yoohoo.—Andrew Bablo
How old are you and where are you from?
21 and I’m from South Windsor, Connecticut.
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I’ve been shooting skating for about four to five years now. Honestly, what got me into it was shooting my friends on a really really old smartphone, well trying to at least. I soon realized that I wanted to go further with photography so I got my first DSLR which was a D3100.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
Theory skateshop in Massachusetts had this indoor park and in the park they had a photo of Nate Greenwood blown up on one of the walls, it was shot by Bill Colburn. The photo was was a 360 flip down the UMass 10 set. The photo alone literally made me only want to shoot skateboarding. I don’t know what it was about it, but I remember clearly being like, “Whoa that’s what I want to do,” and ever since, I have been doing just that.
What's the best and worst advice you've been given on photography?
Best advice that I’ve been is to make sure I try every possible angle I can and to never get caught up on one angle. When beginning photography I found myself stagnant in one spot shooting the same photo over and over. As time went on and I got that advice, I learned to use the world to my advantage with foreground and learned to move up, lay down or go hide in a bush. Anything to get that perfect shot that I was happy with.
Worst advice that I’ve been given was to stop shooting skateboarding because it wouldn’t “get me anywhere.” It’s not about trying to get somewhere when it comes to shooting skating. It’s about doing what you want to with you’re life and having fun while doing so.
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
My personal favorite photo is this photo of Trevor Bradbury truck-bashing this window sill at this DIY spot in Boston. We went to this spot as a warm up spot because we were waiting to meet up with Kevin Phelps in Lowell, so we stopped here. I literally met Trevor at this spot and saw him trying this insane trick and I had to ask him to shoot it. He was totally cool with me shooting it, I set up my flashes and found a good angle and caught the make.
What's the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
There’re certain things about shooting in the Northeast that can be the biggest pains in the ass. One of them being snow, Dakota Hunt came up to Connecticut to stay with me for a week from Florida and he literally choose one of the coldest weeks here of that month. He was super hyped to skate the Springfield courthouse in Massachusetts, so I brought him there and the landing was covered in snow. He was so determined to get a trick that we scraped up as much snow and ice—mostly ice as we could and he ended up with the sketchiest and most narrow landing. He pulled this feeble pop in really quick and it was super impressive.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
Hmm, some advice I would give is to set goals for yourself. Weekly, monthly and yearly goals so that way you’re always busy and always improving. They don’t even have to be crazy goals, maybe just like “shoot at least three good skate photos this weekend.” Little things like that go a long way.
Do you prefer digital or film?
I primarily shoot digital but I wouldn’t say I prefer it over film. Film is for sure a big factor in making me into the photographer I am today. Shooting film taught me to take my time when composing my digital photos.
What's in your camera bag?
10.5mm fisheye lens
Sigma EF 610 Speedlight
Sunpak 622 Super Pro system flash
Alien Bees B1600
Bunch of battery packs
Crazy amount of cords