‘The first time I got into Thrasher felt like all of the stars had aligned to make it happened.’
Q. Where are you from?
A. St. Louis, MO
Q. Can you describe the skate scene in St. Louis, MO for us?
A. St. Louis is a pretty spread out skate scene, but is still small in the same way. I grew up on the Illinois side of the St. Louis metropolitan area, but I would go into the city every weekend after I got my license. Everyone in the skate scene there is super warm hearted and welcome walks of life from all over with open arms. Everyone supports one another and truly love the craft that it is. Lots of the locals have built numerous DIYS around the city, and have even turned an old cathedral into a huge indoor skate sanctuary called Sk8 Liborius. It’s super rad!
Q. Assuming you started off skateboarding, at what point did you move to photography and why?
A. I started skating was I was 11 (I believe?) and got into filming first actually. Since I grew up with a small skate scene, no one really had a nice camera to film with, so I bought one. I’ve always had an interest in photography since my dad was a photographer in his 20s, so that side of things always interested me. Over time, I slowly started to try and take skate photos instead of filming, and it all grew from there!
Q. Is there one skateshot you wish you had taken?
A. Definitely. The one that I remember most though was actually recently when I was in Salt Lake City for the Street League Stop. After the contest qualifiers, they had a legends vert jam inside the nearby stadium. I didn’t bring my camera that day since I was running late to see the contest, but I definitely regretted not bringing it when we started to watch history be made on that vert ramp. It was still super rad to see in person though!
Q. Proudest moment as a photographer?
A. I’d say my proudest moment as a photographer has to have been getting a photo of mine published on a banner at a Zumiez in Times Square, New York. It was a photo I shot of Antwuan Dixon for Brooklyn Projects. The whole thing came as a huge surprise to me since I didn’t know that was where the photo was going to be displayed.
Q. This is big. I was expecting you’d say your first coverage in Thrasher. Being on Times Square though is huge.
A. My first time being in Thrasher was actually right before this and was definitely almost tied as being my biggest accomplishment/best feeling. The first time I got into Thrasher felt like all of the stars had aligned to make it happened. My good friend Brandon had just gotten sponsored by a board company called Techne Skateboards, and he had told me he wanted to go shoot a photo so that we could send it to his board sponsor and see if he would run it in Thrasher. Brandon and I went to the spot without even having a filmer and just tried to get the photo while he just filmed it on his phone. We were at the spot for a couple of hours and just as he was about to quit, he gave it one more try and rolled away. 8 months later, our photo was in Thrasher!
‘I’d say my proudest moment as a photographer has to have been getting a photo of mine published on a banner at a Zumiez in Times Square,New York.’
Q. Most embarrassing shot?
A. That’s a tough one! I honestly can’t think of any photos that I’ve been completely embarrassed about. There’s definitely been a few along the way that I was bummed on because of chopped body parts or not getting the best catch. I think all photos have their own aesthetic appeal though and that no photo should be embarrassing!
Q. Most embarrassing moment?
A. There is one embarrassing moment that sticks out to me the most that actually happened fairly recently. About 6 months ago I was on a trip to San Francisco with the Axion team, and it was actually one of my first times out shooting with them in the first place. We started off by hitting a spot in Santa Barbara on our drive up and went to check out this 3 block at the local college. When we got there, everyone was already starting to throw down tricks, so I started to frantically set up my lights. Well, I was moving so fast that I accidentally dropped one of my flashed and broke the head tube. I just remember my jaw dropping and being so bummed that I had just broken my flash that early into the trip. I made do with the other flash that I had and luckily had an abundance of natural light, so at least that made everything work out okay!
Q. What is on your wishlist?
A. My current biggest thing on my wishlist that I want to do is to travel to Europe on a skate trip. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of getting to go on a skate trip out there and to travel around to all the beautiful countries!
Q. Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
A. That’s another tough one! It’s a little cliche, but I would absolutely love to interview Rodney Mullen! Rodney inspired every aspect of my skateboarding as a kid. All I ever wanted to do as a kid was to learn as many flat ground tricks as he could and see what I could find past that. I would love to understand the mental processes that led him becoming such a pioneer in street skateboarding.
‘I think all photos have their own aesthetic appeal though and that no photo should be embarrassing!’