Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 Tips That Will Take Your Skateboard Photography to the Next Level!

#1 – Go to a local skate-park with the intentions of shooting.  While your there don’t just shoot random people, scope out some of the best skaters and ask them if they are interested in shooting.  Be sure and tell them you’re a great photographer and will e-mail them copies of the shots.   Ask them what their best tricks are and have them demonstrate.  These are usually what you want to be shooting!


#2 – Get creative with your angles.  Get low or bring a ladder and go high, shoot through bushes on the side, climb a tree next to the skate park, stage other people in the shot.  Anything that makes the shot more exciting! 


#3 – Go wide and go zoomed.  Most skate shots are taken with fisheyes and ultra wide-angles.  Many are also taken with a zoom.  The vast majority of published skate shots are taken from opposite ends of the spectrum.


#4 – Shoot with flashes.  Strobes make a huge difference and will make your shots look more professional.  Often times, tricks look best when shot from below the athlete.  Fill flash can light up the athlete and will show their expression.  Expression is key.


#5 – Skaters in general have very short attention spans.  I’m not saying this to be mean, it’s just what I’ve experienced.  Set up the lights and compose the shot with a few test shots to make sure everything is right.  That way, the athlete won’t have to do a tough trick multiple times, and will be stoked when you nail the shot first try.

#6 – If your camera has a fast burst, use it for cool sequences.  This is a type of shot I often forget but one that when done correctly get’s published.

#7 – Always be on the lookout for the little details.  Skaters have unique style making for great photos.  Try and capture them when they are not skating as well.  Environmental lifestyles make for incredible images.  Watch for every detail.  Sometimes it looks cool to get just the board flipping and the athlete’s feet.


#8 - If a shot isn’t working and you can’t seem to make it look good no matter what you try, ask the athlete if there is another feature he can trick on/off.  Some features won’t shoot well and are not worth wasting your time on.

#9 – Go pick up a copy of TransWorld Skate, Concrete Wave, Thrasher, or Skateboarder magazine.  Reading through these and looking at the photos they run will show you what tricks are considered the gnarliest and the most likely to get published.


#10 – Once you feel your getting the hang of it, ask the athlete if they know any cool street spots.  If they don’t skate street, ask them if they have any friends that do and would be down to shoot.  Unique street locations are a thousand times more likely to get published in magazines.  Park is just too easy to shoot.



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