What got you into photography? I feel like I’ve always played around with cameras in one way or another, but what really got me to take photography seriously was a class in high school.
Was there a specific moment that you realized you wanted to do this for a living? I wouldn’t exactly say that I do this for a living. Photography is basically my second job. I’d say that my day job supports my photography and BMX habits.
Why do you primarily shoot action sports? My life basically revolves around BMX so it only seems natural. I also enjoy making portraits, photographing concerts, and exploring in nature.
What got you into shooting BMX? Growing up, my friends and I would almost always have a disposable camera with us and we’d shoot some photos during the session. Once I started taking that class in high school, I got a better film camera and started shooting more.
Who are some influential people that you have worked with in the BMX
world? Any stories you care to share? I’m very lucky to have a seriously talented group of friends that I ride with and photograph on a regular occasion. Shooting with guys like Eric “Zoolander” Miller, Tim Lyons, Mason Ritter, and Chris Doyle is always a treat.
What are your top 3 photos that you feel are your best work? I don’t know about “best work,” but I can give you a few favorites.
- Chris Doyle doing a Turndown Transfer at Rays MTB, in the old Transfer Land jump room. It isn’t my favorite because of the subject, location, or action. It is my favorite because between Myself shooting, Chris riding, and charitable donations from Geoff Kilian (@geoffkilian), Joe Doherty (@gromdad2000), and an anonymous donor, we were able to raise over $800 by auctioning off prints. That money went directly to Ray Petro’s recovery fund. Ray is the owner of Ray’s MTB in Cleveland, and he suffered a life changing crash while riding his mountain bike. Anyone reading this can still help Ray by donating at www.gofundme.com/RayPetro .
- A portrait of Mat Hoffman made at the FBM Ghetto King Of Vert Jam in Richmond, VA, Summer 2017. We traded portraits. Okay, maybe this is my favorite.
- Mason Ritter doing a hand plant in the full pipe at Pitcher Park just out side of Pittsburgh.
- Chris Doyle’s Fakie Barspin at Rays MTB in Cleveland. This one ran as a wallpaper on the Demolition site.
- Eric Miller Doing a Hop Bar in the bike lane on the Clemente Bridge, which connects down town Pittsburgh to the North Shore. This ran with an article for www.bikepgh.org .
What gear do you use to shoot? My daily go-to set up is currently a Canon 7D paired with either the Canon 70-200 f2.8 or, believe it or not, a very inexpensive Opteka 6.5mm fisheye lens that works well with my crop sensor camera bodies. I also use a few Canon Speedlite flashes or an old 600w White Lightning strobe, paired with some Pocket Wizards. I also very much enjoy making natural light, black and white photographs, mainly portraits, with my Mamiya 645AF medium format film camera. Craigslist can be a scary place, but sometimes you
strike camera gold.
Where are some of your favorite places your camera has taken you to? I’ve photographed in abandoned hospitals and swanky country clubs, the hood and fancy hotels, mountains and cities, but my favorite place that my camera takes me is anywhere the light is good and the session is heavy.
What is your plan for 2018? Ride, photograph, adventure with the lady and our pup, and keep moving forward.
Is there any advice you would like to say to the reader? The great baseball player and humanitarian, Roberto Clemente once said “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.”