There are a lot of excellent skateboarding publications out there at the moment - the big boys aside - you've got Vague, Richard Hart's Push Periodical, Casey Foley's Ducktales, to name just a handful. Matt Price's Golden Hour is certainly in this same mould - a project born from a love of skateboarding and backed up by great photography. We caught up with Matt to find out about his photography background and his plans for this new project.
Which came first for you, skateboarding or photography?
Skateboarding, 100%. I only picked up a camera because I was obsessed with skating and wanted to stay as close to it as I could forever. I was (and still am) a fat kid who was the worst at skating in my crew and I knew I was gonna have to figure out some scam to get involved with the skate industry, haha. Luckily for me it was a camera.
Who’s photography, skateboarding or otherwise, inspires you?
Oh man. Early on in photography it was John Humphries, Brian Gaberman, Atiba, Dave Swift, Grant Brittain, Ollie Barton and Scott Pommier. For the last 5 years or so it’s been Spike Jonze (skate photos and everything else), Jake Darwen, Thomas Campbell and Wig Worland. I just found out about Wig a couple years ago and am so late to the party, but he was pretty incredible! As for skating I really like anyone these days who brings me any feeling beyond the tricks. Dane Brady, Nora Vasconcellos and Kader get me pretty stoked on skating these days.
Do you have an all time favorite skate photo?
I probably used to, but I’d like to think I grew out of such ridiculous statements, because it’s not possible, haha! There’s no way I could pick one and with the internet now I have seen more skate photos in the last 3 years than in the previous 15 combined. My all time favourite all around photo however, is a William Eggleston picture called Untitled (Glass In Airplane). Look it up if you don’t know it. It’s been my phone back ground for like 8 years running.
"I’m less concerned with what’s actually happening in the photo and more stoked if that photo can convey the energy of skateboarding"
What in your mind makes a good skate shot?
Energy! I’m kind of sick of skate photos for the sake of journalism. There’s too many tricks and everyone can do everything now, so I’m less concerned with what’s actually happening in the photo and more stoked if that photo can convey the energy of skateboarding, which can be really hard to do.
Have you always planned to do your own magazine, or was this a recent decision?
I think I’ve always dreamed of having one, but it took me a while to realise that I didn’t want one in the way that they already exist. It took doing this to figure out what I wanted my version of magazine to be and I’m really excited about what ended up being the final product.
Were you inspired at all by mags like Richard Hart’s Push Periodical? I ask because you both seem to want to communicate something specific, even if not tangible, about your experience of skateboarding
I really love Richard Hart’s photography and I love what he does with Push, but for me I think my inspiration came less from skate mags and more from fashion, art and photography quarterly mags I was looking at. If anything, Push inspired me to do my thing because it showed that even though a few other people are telling these types of stories really well there is still room for something like what I wanted to make.
What’s the meaning behind the name, Golden Hour?
I mean, it’s kind of corny, but it just comes from my favourite part of the day being that dusk time and always having shot my favourite shit during that time. Whether shooting photos or doing anything else, I just think it’s cool that things look the same for the majority of the day and then for a small fraction of the day everything can look totally different. I also had a photo show called Golden Hour in 2013 and my good friend Andrew McCarthy did the logo and all the branding for it and I always liked it a lot. Andrew partnered with me on this project and came on as the art director so it seemed fitting that we should build on what we already started and were happy with.
"issue 2 is going to be 60 pages about Freddy Gall and the 4 years I spent travelling with him when I worked for Ipath"
What format do you shoot on for the magazine?
For this issue I shot both 35mm film and digital. Canon 5D mk2, Sony A7, Canon Eos 1 (35mm) and a Ricoh FF-90 Super were my lot for the last 2 years. Also I shot one photo on my iPhone... Fuck a format!
It must be equally exciting and scary having full creative control?
Yes it is terrifying. I don’t ever fully trust myself, and that’s why it was so important to have Drew by my side art directing. I have a massive amount of respect for his work and I trust his eye better than my own. I had hit a wall before he came in and he was able to help edit the final photo pick and tell the visual story in a way I could not have done with out him. It’s easier to have creative control when you have great people to work with. You just say yes to the cool shit they make, haha.
I’m guessing this is a labour of love and not something you’ll be expecting a financial return on?
I wish I was enough of a businessman to give you a cold, bottom line driven answer, but the truth is that I just wanted to do it regardless of what the outcome would be. Converse coming in and supporting the printing of the book helped a ton in at least knowing I wouldn’t lose as much money if the whole thing flopped and I appreciate the fuck out of them for that.
Is there a format for the magazine, you’ve focused on a few select guys for Issue 1, will this be a running theme?
So the only running theme for Golden Hour will be telling one single story per issue. Kind of the same way most photo books do it. I plan on it being just a personal project to start, but I have some dreams of involving other photographers and artists in the future. I also want to incorporate a retrospective element to some of the issues so they may bounce around through time and space. Sometimes it may be a specific crew, sometimes a single skateboarder, and in the future, maybe even a photographer aside from myself. Just to drop a little hint, issue 2 is going to be 60 pages about Freddy Gall and the 4 years I spent travelling with him when I worked for Ipath. I have some insane shit that was way too raw to run anywhere before and I think Fred is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met and I’ve always wanted to see a book about him, so this is a start I guess.
Do you have a favourite shot from the magazine?
Probably the photo of Dane’s One Foot where he is actually kicking the lens. If you look at his shoe you can see a little circle where he’s making contact with the filter on my fisheye, shout out to Tadashi Filters for helping us get that one. That pretty much embodies they way I feel about skate photos these days.
"skating on someone’s house with Emile climbing up their fire escape ladder while they’re home was a little unnerving"
Any of the shots involve any particularly sleuth-like behaviour, challenging or interesting situations?
Any time shooting with Dane and Emile is an interesting situation... At 31 I don’t trespass quite like I used to, skating on someone’s house with Emile climbing up their fire escape ladder while they’re home was a little unnerving for me. But that’s just the way they do it and if I want to be involved I have to suck it up and pretend I’m not a pussy. Aside from that it’s all pretty organic, I sneak out on my lunch break or meet up after work and just hit spots until something happens. Not a lot of actual plans are made.
People in Europe will be familiar with Dane Brady & Nick Boserio, but can you tell us a bit about Nick Rios & Emile Laurent?
Yes! I am huge fans of both of them. Emile grew up with Dane in Portland and he’s just a charger. He skates the exact way I wish I would if I wasn’t a baby. He lands on everything all the time and it’s so fun to watch. I think he is skating for Polar now which is cool. Nick moved to Portland from Orange County and is the kind of dude I forget is 10 years younger than me. He skates in a very thoughtful way that I really appreciate and he takes influence from really great places. He’s really talented as well. Nick is riding for Russ Pope’s company, Transportation Unit and Converse too. I’m happy to see those guys getting helped out. People need to see them both a lot more.
Do you have any advice for people who may be wanting to start their own magazine?
Do it! It’s not hard, it’s just a lot of little things that you need to organise. Whether it’s 16 pages or 100, just lay it out and print it. I printed everything at this great spot called Short Run Printing LTD in Phoenix Arizona and they make small runs of printed media super easy and affordable. I assume there are also other places like Short Run that you can find but I want to see more printed skateboarding, so I am giving you my secret weapon so I can hopefully see more skate mags!
I hit up my photographer friend Rich West to see if he had any questions - and he'd like to know why you don't follow him on Instagram?
You know, I wanted to go to his profile and give a full critique of his work here and explain very technically why I am not following, but my internet on this aeroplane just went out so I will just tell Rich that he probably needs to make more memes.
Lastly, and most importantly, how can people get their hands on a copy? Will you be setting up European distribution?
Ha! Well since I waited so long to answer these questions we are currently sold out. However, some issues will be available through Palomino, Polar’s web store, Cowtown Skateboards website and in Gym Standard in San Diego. I’m currently figuring our international distribution and if I will do a second edition of issue 1, so please hit me up if anyone reading this would be interested in carrying it.
Follow Golden Hour on Instagram.