SB101: How to Become a Skateboard Photographer

In our world today, there is plenty of saturation. It seems that everybody wants a piece of the cultural pie. The way by which you stand out is through differentiation. Find something that interests people that not many people are doing and go forth tenfold! Why not become a skateboard photographer?

The motion of a skateboard can be difficult to keep up with. Maintaining control of the camera can be even harder. But where there is a will, there is a way. The hardest step is always getting started.


Necessities for skateboard photography

To become a skateboard photographer, you will need a few things. First things first, you’re going to want a camera.

Make sure that you invest the proper funds and allotment of resources to secure this pivotal tool. It will define your work. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is WeBlewItAtSomePoint_Screengrab-1024x637.jpeg
Man attemps trick mid-air – will he land? Who knows but I bet he got back up and tried again (via Vanyaland)

Here a few basic photography tips

  • Always seek highest iso quality
  • Adjust presets based upon lighting
  • Ensure correct white balance
  • Pre adjust the frames per second

Once the camera is in possession, you should always keep some other items on your person to be a successful skateboard photographer.


More tools for skateboard photographers

Always bring along a skate tool and pliers for your subjects. This is a symbiotic relationship and if there is no skateboard, there is no photograph.

Also, this will allow your subject to adjust their settings and prepare for the shoot. Some tools you might need are pliers, a “skate tool,” a box cutter, and a multi-tool.

kids film
A rambunctious & rebellious group of teens traverse through NYC (via Cary Woods/ ‘Kids’ movie)

Additionally, use wax. A rail that is dry as the Sahara is not conducive to successful skateboarding photography. Rub the wax upon ledges or flat bars to smooth the surface and allow for greater yield and range of imagery.


Pack extra/keep spare parts

Stay hydrated and promote yourself, fool!

skateboard photography
Man grinds his gears away in search of that gnarly trick (via Xtreme Sports)

Also, keep spare parts and shoelaces. This includes extra wheels, gears, screws, and first-aid. Therefore, you can be on the spot no matter what happens. Everyone knows skateboarding is a game of uncertainty.


Finally, keep an external hard drive & charger

Always back up your work and make sure it is possible to continue working.

With this collection of items, you are sure to impress your subject and build strong rapport. Having these things shows that you are prepared, knowledgeable and willing to do what it takes. 

skateboard photography
Find what drives you, torments you, and bullwhips you, and then go for it!

Above all else, network your tail off! Talk to anyone and everyone within the skateboarding subculture and be genuine. I can only give you so much game until it is time for you to go ten does down and dive into it. So what are you waiting for? Get to snappin’!

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