Trey Villarreal

October 2022

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Rockport, a little coastal town in South Texas.

Assuming you started off skateboarding at what point did you move to photography and why?
After 21 years and counting, I can honestly say that I owe everything good in my life to skateboarding, and photography is no exception. In late 2012 Girl/ Chocolate released the visual spectacle Pretty Sweet. I was pumped on it to say the least and that sparked my interest in visuals. Months later around May of 2013 I picked up a used Canon 7D off craigslist with the intentions to record a skate video with my buddies. That never happened. Once I played around with the photo features on that new-to-me camera, I was hooked. I spent the next year completely obsessed with learning more than the day before. I didn’t sleep. I miss those days!

How did you get initially involved with Skateboarding?
I was about 12 and hanging out with a neighborhood friend on a perfect summer day! We were trying to figure out where to ride our bikes to next and he had suggested to his friends house. When we got there he was on his way out to go to his friends house to skate and we decided to join. I had never been to a skate sesh. When we arrived, this kid had a full mini park set up on his drive way. Quarters, pyramids, banks, flat bars and boxes! The feeling I had when I saw them ripping and having what looked like the best time of their lives was something I’ll never forget and haven’t to this day! Next stop was my grandparents house. My Uncle Donald was there visiting from Cali. I told him all about it and he could see how stoked I was so he said to hold on real quick while he went up into the attic. He came down with an (If I remember correctly) Alien Workshop set up and said here you go. It was on from there and my life was positively changed forever!

‘Don’t waste your money, you’ve already got it.’

Nick Holt - FrontCrook - Corpus Christi, TX
Nick Holt • Front Crook • Corpus Christi, TX

Is there one skateshot you wish you had taken?
There’s so many, but the first image that comes to mind is the Eric Koston Back Noseblunt on Hubba Hideout in San Fran shot by Mike Blabac! Koston was my inspiration when I was a youngster, heavy on “trying to make it” and this image is one that I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I first saw it. Everything about it makes me wanna go skate! A runner up would be Grant Brittain’s “Invert Photo!”

If you could do a photo session with any skater, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one but I’d have to go with late 90’s, early 2000’s Eric Koston because, in my opinion, that Koston changed Street Skateboarding for the better and I would’ve been so hyped to have captured a piece of that history!

Proudest moment as a photographer?
I’m self-taught like many of us. That being said, I once met and had a conversation with an award winning photographer/photography professor, and when I asked him if I should enroll in photography classes, he responded with, “Don’t waste your money, you’ve already got it.” I’ve always known, especially then, that I will forever have plenty of learning to do in photography but it felt great to hear an unbiased opinion in my favor.

‘Everything about it makes me wanna go skate!’

Erik Bekiarov -PopWallRideLogo Kingsville, TX
Erik Bekiarov • Pop Wall Ride • Kingsville, TX

What is the craziest shot you have taken so far?
There’s a few that come to mind but a dangerous one was hanging off a scetchy rock formation to get the “perfect” shot of Horseshoe Bend at sunset. I truly felt like I was going to fall off and tumble down the jagged wall of Navajo Sandstone to my death. Shot was worth it!

Most embarrassing?
So many moments come to mind but if I had to pick just one, I used a fisheye on my first couple of paid real estate photoshoots which is a professional no- no.

Is there any post-production you do? If so, how far do you go?
Let me start by saying, I specialize in not only skateboarding but multiple types of photography. So each is different but I feel that art is subjective and an image can be whatever you envision it to be. When I snap a photo, to me, it is incomplete. The process has just begun. The equally exciting next step is to see what I can bring to life through post. Sometimes it’s a simple tweak of a few sliders but other times…I’m lost in what I consider “my happy place.” Some great tunes or a rad podcast as white noise while I focus on the task at hand. A lot of times I don’t know if it’s been minutes or hours.

‘He’s seen skateboarding evolve through his lenses and it fascinates me so much!.’

Thomas Trevino CrookTVLogo - Corpus Christi, TX
Thomas Trevino • Crook • Corpus Christi, TX

What is on your wish list?
To be in a position to become a full time photographer within the next couple of years. I set that as a 5 year goal when I was 30 and it’s looking good. Also, I’d love to be paid to travel the world with my camera!

What do you do if you are not skating or taking pictures?
I’ve been in water treatment sales coming up on 13 years and it’s been good to me. That’s my day job but other than that, lots of time spent with my wife, family and friends. I love DIY projects, collecting EDC (Everyday Carry) items, I’m a huge movie buff and traveling when possible!

Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
Without question, Grant Brittain. He’s seen skateboarding evolve through his lenses and it fascinates me so much!

Mikey Whitehouse - BackSmithRainbowRail.2 -McAllen, TX
Mikey Whitehouse • Back Smith • McAllen, TX