Podcast: Energy-Based! Skate Photography, with Matt Price01/14/2021
On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, photographer Matt Price describes skate photography as the “perfect blend between studio and sports photography” and, from our engaging conversation, this idea will be made clear. Price knows of what he speaks—in addition to an acclaimed freelance career, he has been a staff photographer and editor for The Skateboard Mag and is currently Brand Director at CCS Skateshop and creates the magazine, Golden Hours Skateboarding.
Price has lost more than one lens to the rigors of his craft, and we talk with him about getting close to skateboarders with a fish-eye lens, as well as other shooting and lighting techniques. We also discuss how he fell in love with skating and, at a very young age, began to submit his work to forums and, ultimately, to editors. He admits to taking his lumps from online critics for his early work, but his passion for skating and desire to improve his photo craft provided the courage and commitment to keep going and, eventually, his “energy-based” photo style caught the eye of editors and brands who sent him around the world to cover the skate scene.
We discuss many topics in this easygoing conversation, from skating techniques to the business of skateboard photography to the differences between the various skate publications. We also get into the relationship between skater and photographer and how such a niche photo style has grown to influence a range of disciplines. Finally, we talk about gear choices and what has worked for Price. Starting with a Canon Rebel that he purchased with money his grandmother helped him secure, Price has worked with Hasselblad and Sony systems, but is currently back where he started, shooting with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L lens.
Guest: Matt Price
Photographs © Matt Price
Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
This was a very interesting podcast. As someone who has worked in sports photography for a number of years as well as done a lot of skateboarding photos (even up to the point of working for Nitro Circus's "Nitro World Games" in 2017 that was hosted at the University of Utah's football stadium in Salt Lake City) I think that the episode was good and explained a lot of interesting things about Matt's process, but it felt like something was left out. There wasn't a lot of talk about technique or how he actually scouts for location, as a photographer or as the creative director. There was also really no talk about issues that there are within skate photography, from locations to businesses and police. A lot of Matt's work shows public/street scenes, not at skate parks, but nothing was said about legal issues, as a lot of businesses still don't like having skateboarders on their property, and sometimes will press legal action or call the cops when skateboarders are there. I think that it did give a good over view about his work, but sugar coated it in a way that left out a lot of important things that people/listeners who might be wanting to get into this style of photography should know.
Thanks for the comments Chris, those are good points you raise, and definitely makes me want to bring back Matt or another skate photographer to dig in a little deeper. Thanks for listening...