Davy Van Laere
Madars Apse - Flying Witch - Ventspils - Latvia - July 2014
If I have to pick just one favorite shot I took in 2014, I guess I'll have to go for this one of Madars Apse flying like a witch! I like it because it's not your typical everyday skateboard photo. It kinda reflects Madars' personality. At the end of the day he knows not to always take this skateboarding too seriously! Always a pleasure to shoot photos with this amazing soul!
Steeve Ramy, varial flip, Lyon.
This is a picture I shot with Steeve Ramy, earlier this year, during spring time. One of the most important things to do, when you are a photographer, is to stay curious. I am saying this because, this picture is a good example. This is at a skate spot in Lyon where I've been thousands of times over the last 15 years. The structure in the foreground is a water fountain. At that time it wasn't running. I shot it many times in the past, shooting portraits of people and things like this, but never involving any skateboarding action. I think that, sub-consciously, that photogenic fountain had nothing more to offer to me, but for some reason I still felt attracted to it. So thankfully, I stayed curious about it. That time, I looked at it again, from many different angles, circling around it, climbing on it and ended up realising that I never saw the possibility of shooting a skate trick through it, using those shapes to create a frame around the skateboarder. That angle only allowed to shoot a trick on flat ground, but I was still excited to shoot something. I knew it could create a strong image, photogenic, and visually interesting. We tried few different tricks until deciding this was going to be the best looking one. I then found another possibility and we shot another skate flick, a wallie on the building, with a complete different perspective. With photography, I really like the fact that you can come up with something totally new and interesting, in places where you might think that everything has been done already, where you already reached the full potential, or that there's apparently no interest at all to shoot anything. Curiosity can really be one of your most important friends in photography, and life in general. Next times I'll go back to that fountain, I'm sure I'll find another idea, or maybe in 15 years! But yeah, I'll keep looking!!!
Gustav Tonnensen, switch ollie, Barcelona, 2014.
Flo Mirtain, Manchester City Etihad Stadium, September 2014
This was shot on the 'Where's Cliche?' UK tour. Flo smashed every spot with his usual steeze and kept smiling through every demo and signing. A consummate professional!
I told the guys we'd probably get about 5 minutes at this spot before security gave us das boot, so Flo did this ridiculously popped half cab flip in about 5 tries. Turns out no one was bothered and we chilled in the sun for a further 20 minutes before leaving undisturbed!
Chris Jones, hippy jump in Athens.
The only way Chris' board would fit under the fence was if he snapped the tail off, so he did!
Oski, backside noseblunt, Utrecht.
As any skater would acknowledge, a sculpture with trannies or even banks, is a dream come true and you want nothing but to skate it. This one in Utrecht is no exception. It’s been there for as long as I can remember and everyone always wanted to skate it. Yes wanted, but few ever did. This thing is as sketchy as they come, narrow on one side and literally has no flat at the bottom. But even with all these factors it would just about skatable if it didn’t rock back and forth making you feel like it could could break at any second. Even standing on it is terrifying. It seems as if (in fact it probably is) only held by two bolts between the thin pieces of metal.
One of the first to ever really skate it was Steve Olson, not the OG aka Alex Olson’s father, but the Shorty’s one. I think he did a few tricks including a blunt to fakie. We couldn’t believe it! Many years have passed since then but few ever stepped up to the plate, most memorable perhaps David De Martelleur who pivoted to fakie and a few years back Grant Taylor did a frontside noseblunt. So last april I took Oski there, as I have done with quite a few rippers before him over time. Before I'd even parked the car Oski was already on the sculpture rolling back and forth. He immediately proceeded to switch blunt it with ease, before backside noseblunting it not once, but twice. It was one of those magic moments I was fortunate to witness with my own eyes. Ah and the next month they took away the sculpture, something about remodelling the plaza it had been sitting on for years. Who knows if it'll ever pop up again somewhere, but til' then, this was the last trick to be done on it and it ended up on the cover of Kingpin. Not bad at all I would say. Oski, you’re the man, keep killing it!
Erik J Pettersson, bs flip, Shanghai. March 2014.
Erik is one the most naturally talented skaters I've ever met. Such a cool dude too.
This photo was shot on a Sweet tour in China. I like a clean and simple photo. It's even better if it's a simple trick and if the skater is isolated in an empty zone.
I guess you can't go wrong with Erik when it comes to style and tricks.
Oh and don't get fooled by how easy he makes it look, this tiny little steep bank is fucking impossible to skate like he does...
David Stenström and Javier Mendizabal, backside ollies, Estoril, Portugal.
This photo was shot on a Cons trip to Lisbon in March 2014. David Stenström and Javier Mendizabal, together in perfect harmony. Estoril, Portugal.
As you may know the photos you see in magazines are only rarely shots of the landed attempt ! I was part of the safety crew until he got close and went up quickly to take a photo, but he kept trying for a long while, and since this was in january or february, I can't actually remember, the light got shit pretty quickly and I had to set up flashes. He happened to land the trick as I was on the side messing with light-stands and settings. I can still remember how everyone followed the grind in silence and then exploded as soon as he landed it. Footage from the safety crew point of view can be found on the @blobysblobys instagram account.
I love this one. Possibly because I can still feel the same painful despair Dani felt when he battled with this trick.
I am getting tired of hearing people say "this is real skateboarding". For me there is no one way that is realer than another, simply because skateboarding unites us all. It unites us by making us choose a different life based on doing what we enjoy, which is skating and everything that comes with it (travelling, friends from all over the world, overcoming ones fears, etc.). It unites us because although we all have our preferences, each and every one of us enjoys life and the good things that skateboarding brings us. Skateboarding being "real" doesn't come down to landing a certain trick or in doing it in a certain way.
Noro Jose knows this and demonstrates it here with his very best trick.
Vincent Coupeau, frontside wallride, Paris.
This is in the Chinese district of Paris. Like most of the pictures I shot, I had to film the trick at the same time. I feel really lucky on this one because the couple in the foreground were there when Vincent landed the trick, so they are on the footage as well (as you can see in our THE SCENE