What Camera Do you use the most?
Now a days I mainly just use two cameras, for skateboarding my canon 7D, and for everything else my Canon A1. I’ve actually only been shooting digital for maybe 2 years, before that 100% film.
Do you have a preferred speed of film for shooting skating?
I almost always shoot 400 just cause it's so versatile. Sometimes in the summer I'll have a roll of 200 in there but usually nothing else.
Any favorite subjects to shoot?
My friends, we go out with a crew and see where the day takes us. The days can be super unpredictable, which is great.
What are your sources of creative inspiration?
I grew up reading skateboarder magazine and Jonathan Mehring was their staff photographer at the time, I’ve always admired his work be it skateboarding or not.
Jonathan's work puts heavy emphasis on the skater and their location, giving you the feeling that the entire world can be a skate spot. Which aspect in your photography has the highest priority: the subject, the action, or the location?
I try to focus on the location, some spots just don't translate well into photos. I always aim to do the spot justice, like the back tail image of Brandon Gironda into the bank, that spot has zero run up, is super crusty and has so much room for error. I composed it with the broken cement to the right to show how rough that spot really is.
Going to photograph, do you ever have a preconceived idea behind the aesthetic the pictures will take?
To do the spot and trick justice. These guys are out there for hours at a time before they finally land the trick. I just want to be able to have evidence that they did something noteworthy.
Have you ever missed the shot after hours of failed attempts at the trick?
I have definitely missed the shot, I rarely shoot multiple frames per attempt so timing is everything. Even after a few hours I might not have something worth keeping, but my friends are super talented and will give it a few more tried just for the photo even after they landed it.
How did you start taking pictures?
Growing up my Mom was always giving me cameras. From little point and shoot 35mm Kodak’s to mini 110’s. Learning to shoot on film really helped me develop whatever skill I might have today for sure.
Do you have any future projects in the works?
Right now just to keep shooting. My friends just wrapped up their fourth skate video titled “duzzed.” this past winter and are already onto the next, so there will me much more to come.
Favorite skate spot?
Any spot that my buddies can kill it at really.
Film or digital?
Such a touchy subject. For me when it comes down to it digital for skateboarding just because of the cost of film, and film for everything else.
RAW or in-camera processing?
I always shoot raw, it gives me so much room to work with in post. Skate spots can have terrible lighting, but you have to work with it cause they're not moving for you.
You can check out more of Mike's work here on his website.