Skateboard Photography Techniques and Insights from Seven Top Shooters

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Ever wondered how to capture those cool, “extreme” looking skateboard, snowboard bmx bike, etc. shots?  Here are some tips and insights from seven top skateboard shooters that can be applied to any extreme sport, or even not so extreme sports – like your kids jumping into the pool or on a trampoline.  — Enjoy!

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1.  Jon Humphries

(Video at Top) – Humphries has a unique ability to freeze the skaters mid-action as they display all the grace of a ballet dancer and the grit of an extreme athlete.  Much of Humphries work is in black and white, a medium he has worked with since the earliest part of career.

“Skateboarding to me is still an artform. I know it sounds silly and cliche, but it is… and hopefully there is that niche of skaters that can appreciate that.” —Jon Humphries

2.  Joe Brook

As an actual skater himself, Brook can understand where other skaters are coming from when they are considering trying new tricks.  He can also sense when a skater needs to be pushed into going for it, or when it’s wise to back off a bit. He believes that building an unspoken rapport with people you photograph regularly is a great way of ensuring your place as a respectful photographer in the world of skating.

“I closed my eyes because I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die—right now.'” —Joe Brook

3. Anthony Acosta

As a professional skate photographer of over 10 years, Acosta strives to document a singular moment in time and he and the skaters he shoots go to great lengths to find a location which has never been skated. Being able to capture those unique moments gives Acosta the drive to keep voyaging and most importantly, to keep creating.

“I feel like the dude at the Sports Illustrated with the 400mm lens is just sort of capturing and documenting. Where being a skate photographer, you’re in the pack.” —Anthony Acosta


4. Mike Blabac

Mike Blabac insists his career is based on dumb luck, but as you thumb your way through his incredible portfolio, it’s easy to see that there’s an abundance of talent in the works as well.  Mike has a great sense of awe, not only for the sport, but for the skaters which he shoots, and that sense of awe and passion is present in each and every shot.

“I remember driving around the corner and seeing the quarter pipe and being like, ‘Wow.’ Cause it was bigger than a house. I remember rolling up to that and just laughing.” — Mike Blabac


5. Grant Brittain

Brittain is one of the pioneers of modern skateboard photography, and in his early years, he played a role in early skate culture as he was working at a skatepark while discovering his passion for photography. Though he’s now a veteran of skate photography, Brittain continues to challenge himself to take new and innovative photographs.

“Anybody can shoot a skate photo, but does it do justice to skateboarding?” —Grant Brittain


6. Jody Morris

Jody believes that in order to make it as a skate photographer, you need to take an active role. For example, moving to a location where there are plenty of good skaters to shoot or seeking out and tapping into the thriving skate communities that already exist in your area.

“I like to put skateboarding where it wasn’t meant to be just to see what would happen.” —Jody Morris


7. Michael Burnett

Transplant Magazine’s Editor-at-Large, Michael Burnett strives to tell the stories of all the skaters who take part in the culture, from the pros and stars to the amateurs and kids who are just starting out.  Burnett has a passion for his craft and is  is always ready to do whatever it takes to capture skateboarding’s rarest moments – no matter how ridiculous the circumstance. He’s a firm believer in using close-up shots to draw viewers right into the action – to make them feel like they are actually there.

“I love the confidence of a man leaving the house for the day with no shirt.” — Michael Burnett




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