Last weekend, veteran pro rollerblader Jon Julio threw the Blading Cup Fundraiser with Lux Armor to raise funds to setup bleachers for this year's Blading Cup competition in November. A fair amount of the southern California scene was in attendance, so I brought along my polaroid to capture supporting faces. They ended up raising $1400, which puts them at 2/3 of the way to their goal.
ONE Magazine was kind enough to post my photos from the event earlier today. Take a look to see the faces that will make Blading Cup possible for another year!
I'll be posting up these photos on Flickr later tonight as well!
It's weird when you're minding your own business and scrolling around on Facebook, then see an editorial you shot years ago. It was one of my first 'assignments' from ONE Magazine after I was taken in as a contributor. I was still figuring things out. The gear was 3rd hand, the editing was cumbersome, and timing drove me crazy.
I had started blading with a new crowd then, which lead to the beginning of my video "Take Your Time". In many ways, this editorial marked a transition in my life. I was going from shooting for fun to turning this into a career. I didn't know it then.
And here I am, assisting and tech on a Nicole Richie shoot tomorrow and Kelly Osborne shoot next week. It's surreal to think the guy I was laying on the floor when I shot the photo above would become me.
A few months ago, I took on an internship as a digital tech and assistant, fulfilling a dream I've had for a few years now. It's cheesy when you say it like that though, but that's the truth. From what I've heard, assistants usually end up digital tech and that's how they go about becoming one. I've known going in this was the route I wanted to take.
An assistant friend of mine suggested it when I listed off my years troubleshooting gear, repairing macs for fun, and the amount of techie info he could probe me for. Looked into it and that's as far as it got in the time. Though I had no idea how to become a digital tech. Sent out emails to some photographers, answered Craigslist ads, had a few interviews, hit up friends in that field. Nada. There were scheduling conflicts with my then-job or they wanted all my time. I had to let things go fallow and focus on other things.
Then one day, by chance, I was on Craigslist looking up jobs and within that hour, Milk Studios had posted up an internship with their digital department. I couldn't believe it. I applied on a whim and said here's hoping. A few days later I received an email to come in and a week later I was hired! Couldn't believe my luck. Spent 4 months interning, asking endless questions, jotting down everything in my moleskin notebook, running gear out, putting together gear, testing workstations. I wouldn't say they teach you to be a digital tech, however if you note the gear and ask the right questions, you're on your way. You learn industry standards and habits to make your life easier later on. Suddenly all the gear you stared at while at Samy's Camera finally makes sense.
I said my farewells at Milk and off I went, free-floating again. The difference was knowing what to look for and as much as I hate to say it, having a top-tier studio in my resume didn't hurt. The interview replies came sooner at least. But they weren't what I was interested in. Then another chance Craigslist ad popped up from a fashion photographer who wanted someone with a PR / marketing background, tech smarts, and could assistant. That had my name all over it! His work was something I wanted to be a part of - cleanly lit, driven by intense visuals, and minor details which made the photo sing. I sent in a revised resume and 2 days later, I was hired! A couple weeks later, he gave me a test as a digital tech on a small shoot. It was nerve-wracking and phenomenal! I had finally achieved that daydream I had some years ago.
Mind you, it's an unpaid internship, but it feels great to finally do something you love. It's been a learning experience figuring things out, working with the photographer to address his concerns, trying different workflows, smoothing out winkles in his shoots, and working with top gear. It's even better knowing years of collective knowledge, tricks, tips, schooling, and hacking have finally come together into something I could do all day long (which is good when you consider how long shoots are when you consider pre and post shoot time).
I've gone on to rack up a number of high-profile shoots under this photog's wing, with 3 A-list shoots next month...something unimaginable 6 months ago. I'm curious where the next 6 months will take me....
Been a little busy lately between gigs and the latest ONE issue dropping last week, though I did sneak a photo onto TheBooted.com's Exposed page featuring USD AM skater, Steven Cortes. Been meaning to submit photos to them for quite some time now! This one seemed in line with the film-feel I get from their overall content.
Then there's Razors Skates (one of the biggest skate companies) which over the weekend picked up a photo of Becci Sotelo from her ONE Spotlight Interview of her doing a mute air over a quarter pip hip. It ran on Instagram and over the weekend scored a little over 900 likes. Not too shabby given rollerblading is a small sport!
I let out a sigh of relief yesterday as I popped onto Facebook to see ONE Magazine had finally dropped their latest digital issue online. I thumbed through the issue, read through the editor's note and B-lined straight to Becci Sotelo's article. I was approached by ONE to shot these back in February, realistically with only a couple days to meet up and shoot them. Still, I'm pleased with how the photos turned out!
It was a bit surprising to learn through the editor's note that this was ONE's first Spotlight feature of a woman since they started up back in 2006. Which, is a nice feeling to know I made that happen! Just makes me think there are a few more women I'd like to snap photos of!