Proof Sheet: Saeed Rahbaran

The first time I ‘met’ Saeed was about 7 years ago--I was out skating with some friends and I got a phone call from a number I didn’t know. The dude on the other end was convinced he had found a hell of a deal on a camera from some sketchy website and I spent the better part of an hour talking him out of it. He came out to LA from Las Vegas a few weeks later and we’ve been homies ever since. Saeed is always pushing himself to improve--always nerding out over all kinds of different photography for inspiration, always researching the latest equipment and always talking about photography to find new ways to take pictures. On the other end of the spectrum--Saeed’s home town of Las Vegas has bequeathed him with a special skill--he’s fully capable of partying most people under the table, and might be trying to set a record for most consecutive nights on the town. He’s making the move back out to California soon and I’m getting scared for my life, but at least there’ll be good stories.--Sam Muller

Vincent Alvarez, ollie.

How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I've been shooting skateboarding for a little over seven years now. I had two pretty serious skate injuries back to back; broken leg at age 15 and a pretty bad concussion at 16. That's when I decided to buy camera to bring while street skating with all my friends. Plus my parents were not that hyped on knowing that I was out skating and possibly could get injured again, so having a camera was a great excuse to be out in the streets.

Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
Not necessarily because I have always been into skate photography even before I picked up a camera. I would bug my parents to drop me off at local bookstores in Virginia as a kid just to look at skateboarding magazines. At the time I had no clue how it was done or who these photographers were; but when I think back on it I was super into the work of Mike O'Meally, Scott Pommier, Atiba Jefferson, Oliver Barton, and Brian Gaberman.

What's the best and worst advice you've been given on photography?
The best advice I've been given is to just have fun and enjoy what you are doing. The worst advice I've been given is, "It’s all about the gear you’re using.”

Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
From this batch of photographs I'd have to say the Zach Wagner one is my personal favorite. This was shot in 2007 while visiting LA during my senior year spring break.

Zack Wagner, frontside hurricane.

What's the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
The photograph of Ted Schmitz is probably the most interesting. He would come out to Vegas to visit his parents and was always down to go shoot photos with me. This day Ted, my buddy Reid, and I went to this ditch and Ted did the longest noseblunt-slide I have ever seen in just a few tries. Ted had no intention on filming it either, just wanted to shoot it. Reid filmed it with his phone and it can be found somewhere on Youtube.

Ted Schmitz, noseblunt-slide.

What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
Shoot as often as you can, be creative, and don't be afraid pick at other photographer's brains.

Do you prefer digital or film?
I shoot all digital now; I sure do miss my Hasselblad 501cm though!

What's in your camera bag?
Nikon d800
Nikon 24-70mm
Nikon 16mm Fisheye
Fuji x100s
Paul C Buff Einstein flashes x2
Nikon sb-28 x2
Pocketwizards x3

Your photography website if you have one:


Self portrait.