Skate photographer/ Practitioner research

In preparation for my skating photoshoots I want to do some research into skate photography do think about what kind of style I want to go for and for technical skills

To start with I have been looking on the search on the Magnum photos website for skateboarding and actually the only image which actually drew my eye was this one by Constantine Manos:

USA. Venice Beach, California. 1997.

What I really love about the image is the colours and the contrast. Many of the other images on there were either black and white or quite dull, and what I really would like to capture in my images is the colour often found on skateparks, physically with the graffiti and with the energetically with the movement of all the people.

Using this article ’10 of the Most Influential Skate Photographers of All Time’ ( I have been able to research some more photographers which work I really like:

Atiba Jefferson

( image from Abitas website

(images found on Abita Jeffersons instagram)

Atiba Jeffersons skateboarding photography catches the subjects extremely sharply in focus with amazing motion in the caught in the tricks they are doing. I would love it if I am able to capture this in my subjects, and due to the fact I have never photographed anyone skateboarding need to give this a practice.

I also really love the yellow tones throughout the pictures and would love to try and incorporate this into my pictures as

The angles that Jeffersons has achieved through I assume being low down in comparison to the subject is something I would also like to practice as I feel it adds dramatic effect

J.Grant Brittain

(images from J.Grants website

One thing I really like in J.Grant Brittains images is how he has used lighting and shadows effectively. With the time of the year right now it may be difficult for me to be able to play with lighting and shadows in such a way but I can at least try and set shoots for sunny days.

Especially in the top two photos to the right in really like the strong blue from the sky so would love to try and chive this strong blue throughout my images.

Bryce Kanights

( From Bryce website

Again with this image I am very fond of the strong cream/yellow colours throughout the image.

I also really like the composition of having another skating in the image too as I feel it adds a sense of community… It has made me think about how I need to consider what I want my images to show. Do I want the images to only have one girl skater in each or do I want to try and get more than one girl in each photo?


I love the composition and use of lines in this image – the stairs, rail and skateboard and all move in different directions which creates angles which separate the image into dynamic shapes. When I am shooting I should try and look for how I can position myself and my camera in a way which creates interesting angles and compositions.


One practitioner I have worked with before and who I aspire to within skateboarding photography, if I were ever to go down the route of skateboarding photography professionally, is a lady called Charlotte Thomas. She started a brand called ‘Concrete Girls’ which began with a photography book which includes her photography of loads of girl skateboarders round the UK:

( image from charlottes website

Last year I met with Charlotte in Manchester to do a photography shoots with her:

At the time I was able to have a conversation with Charlotte about her practice and how she manages it all. It gave me great insight into being freelance and creating a book all by yourself. Noting how hard it is and how you have to be very organised, and prepare to be let down by people who you organise things with – not the most promising of conversations! however she did note how liberating and soul filling it is to do this stuff by yourself.

Having this experience with Charlotte and seeing her stuff has come in very useful now for this project. The more I am allowing myself to shoot other interests of mine which dont fit into my normal animal politics motive, the more I am interested in continuing this side of photography. Her work is very inspirational and has now motivated me to start doing more for the girl skating community that I am involved in through photography

**New update with Concrete Girls – 19th March – Writing retrospectively in old post**

A friend sent me an instagram post put up by Charlotte saying she wants some photographers to shoot for her. I thought this opportunity is perfect for me considering I have just shot my first lot of skating photographs which I am relatively pleased with. I messaged Charlotte via instagram:

Our correspondence through email confirmed that I will begin shooting for Concrete Girls. Although the roll isn’t paid, it will keep me shooting through summer and increase my portfolio and keep my experience working with clients/collaborating growing.

Charlotte Thomas <>Mar 24, 2019, 9:44 AM
to me

Hey Erin 
I hope you’re well?
So basically I’m looking for full time photography contributors for Concrete Girls. The position isn’t paid however you will get a piece of uniform ( hahah )
You can choose from Hat, Tee or Hipbag – you will get these on your second shoot as I need to get these made. 
Let me know item and sizes. 
To wear when shooting on Concrete Girls – Projects – if you can try wear this every time on a shoot that would be great. 
What I’m looking for is : 
1. lifestyle shots 2. skate photos 
of skater of your choice or a crew 
When working on the project : 
1. tag concrete girls during shoot – something like ” shooting for concrete girls”
2. send all final images of your choice to this email before sharing on instagram or social – basically so I can build a page on the website and blog featuring the day out with so and so before we start shouting – make sense? – just wanna launch things today – this will be always a Friday or Sunday as I work full time and can only work on concrete girls on weekends, 
3. all images belong to you, you own them however if you do get to use them for other things could you reference – shooting for Concrete Girls – just get the brand out there. 
4.I’m building a Contributers area on the website so you will have your own page and work showing – so you can shout about it or send people your page if your looking for a examples of your work and show your contribution 
Could you send me a portrait of your choice and we can write a small bio 
5. If possible and take a copy of your book to help promote this too – but not essential 
Remember be free and creative – use the Concrete Girls book as reference but I love your style and Im very excited and honoured to have you helping out. 
All your work will be credited under your name, instagram etc but I will always mention Concrete Girls Contributing Photographer – shooting for concrete girls here …… 
kinda thing 
I think that’s it for now 
if you are interested let me know 
Thanks and lots of love 
Charlotte xx

Here is my email correspondence with Charlotte, where she outlined what exactly she is looking for.

I can tell already through my experience in second year so far and especially through this module that I am much clearer and confident in asking what exactly clients want from me. Within this I have been able to get a very clear aster from Charlotte about what she wants from me, and I am excited to start out.

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