‘I just love documenting this community of art on a skateboard.’
Tell us something about DR that no one knows.
We’ve got everything over here! You get bored? You just get out of the city and almost everywhere you might go it is paradise. The northeast coast for me is amazing. Samaná got everything to me like beaches, waterfalls, mountains and even virgin beaches. The people there are just amazing.
How would you describe the skateboard community in DR to a foreigner?
It’s not the biggest. Even though we don’t have the biggest support over here, the community of skaters is just a family and that makes it huge for me.
What is the local skate scene most proud of?
What we achieved with our own hands. We have been trying to get support from the government to get a skatepark, but we got nothing. So, we started building our own stuff.
Who is the godfather of the DR skate community and why?
Although I started skating at 12 years old, the scene is older than that. When you ask that question, my mind keeps going back to the same two people, Pitó and Lenin Oitiz. The moment skate scene started to decay a little bit, they kept pushing to make more competition. Pitó started building more obstacles at skateparks which got the community involved again.
‘So, I won a contest, and I got the first GoPro.’
Can you tell us something about yourself?
I just love documenting this community of art on a skateboard. Skating has taught me so much in life, like standing up and trying again until you achieve your goal. Skating was not an option for me initially. I was 12 years old and diagnosed with diabetics. So, falling with the risk of breaking bones, bruises and injuries were not an option for me but I still wanted to skate and I will never regret that decision.
Assuming you started off skateboarding at what point did you move to photography and why?
I’m a true believer that skate is a huge form of expression, which connects it to art. While I was skating with my friend Rafa, we had no one to film us. So, I won a contest, and I got the first GoPro. My first video camera. After that, Rafa and I went out every day filming and just having a lot of fun. Since that, I started reading and watching videos about photography and cinematography and was just fascinated by the videos and pictures I was seeing on the internet. This made me start reading deeply about both subjects and try to sharpen my eye to get something real and good about the skate scene here in DR.
Proudest moment as a photographer?
Building my first camera and making a skate flick with it. That was a big challenge for me but once I saw the results, I was in love.
Are you able to make an income with your photography?
I have, but it isn’t exactly what I get money to eat from. This is still one of the main goals while spreading in the cinematography world.
‘Building my first camera and making a skate flick with it.’
What else do you do if not shooting?
I work on the cinematography industry as an AC and it’s something I love. l enjoy my job as my ‘office’ changes every day and the challenges I face throughout the day. I also love designing pieces for cameras or making my own film cameras.
What is on your wish list?
Finishing my photo book documenting the skate scene in DR. My main focus is to give this to the skateboarding community so we can grow and get a decent skatepark in the city, motivating our new talents and current skaters to develop other skills and feel more confident on spots we have over here in the streets. With this project my biggest desire is to give more exposure to this world. As skateboarding in this country can often be misunderstood as a kid’s game and there’s just so many people that don’t know but should know about it.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
Mark Carrasco. I grew up seeing him skating and for me as a kid, his style and pop was amazing. I also admire seeing his architecture designs and his visions.
‘The community of skaters is just a family and that makes it huge for me.’