Wednesday, July 30, 2008

America, That Way ->
(An Interview with Eric Staniford)

I don't remember the first time I met Eric, so I can't really go into a lengthy introduction about the first time I met him, but I can tell you this - If there is an important skateboarding event, he's probably there shooting photos. In addition to shooting photos for various skate related publications and ventures, he's done excellent work for local media outlets such as Entertaining U newspaper. (Here, he's pictured on the cover) I also hear he's great at drawing maps. But more importantly, he takes really great photos, and for this reason, I thought I would share them with you. For more info on Eric and his photos, don't forget to check out the link to his website on the right-hand side of the page.

America That Way

First off, how did you get started with photography? Was it an interest in skateboarding that made you decide to start taking photos?

Well, my Dad had and old camera he found one day when I was really little, and I really liked it even then. I’ve always been into Art. But it was after I started skateboarding, my friend Ilia handed me a little point and shoot so I could snap a photo of him doing an ollie over a trash can. That planted the photo seed. It was when I saw a documentary on Glen E. Friedman, and Gordan Parks that I really got hooked. I was like, "I want to do THAT".

As far as photography is concerned, what kind of work you are you doing now?

Still shooting skate Photos, but I have been shooting bands and some fashion work too. I’m still working on my art photos as well. My girl and I shoot weddings when ever we can to help pay some bills.

Fink Wall Ride over flower
Matt Fink, Wallride Over a Flower

Joe Marrara, Back Tail

Name your favorite piece of photo equipment/gear you are using right now.

I hate to say it but My Digital. I got a Nikon D2h and it’s so much fun. Instant results and I can test stuff out before I shoot film, as well as Sequences. Digital helps a lot.

Tell me about the longest distance you have traveled for the sake of photography - are there any specific and noteworthy experiences here?

I’ve been up to ATL on a sketchy road trip and down to Miami on another one. Sleeping on hotel room floors with no blankets and my dreads as my pillow. I’ve gone to South Carolina to skate some back yard bowls. Not a lot of traveling as of yet but I’m hoping to go to Peru or Barcelona here soon.

Drew Doyle

How about your favorite photos of your own - Do you have any that you are particularly proud of, or happy to look at?

The Mike Murphy Inward heel from the Humidity box is still one of my favorites. The Alva Front air used in the Vans ad, Just because it’s of the legend and it got run all over the world. P-nut’s ball jam, too. My “America That Way” It was shown in The Salvador Dali Museum back in 2000.

Mike Murphy, Inward Heel as mentioned above.

Do you have any specific plans for the future, in regards to your website, or events you plan on attending or working on?

Right now I’m trying to figure out if I’m getting my masters degree or not. My girl is looking into some grassroots organizations, and relocation is possible. A lot is in the air.

As far as my site goes: I’m constantly trying to add to it. I’ve got SO much more I want to put up there. I’ve got a lot of art, and photos I need to update. And I’m going to have a Blog and links to other sites that I do work for.

camron sample

Do you have any advice for those getting into photography right now? It seems like the hot thing right now among skateboarders, and I'm sure lots of kids would like to have a better idea on where to start.

Do it because you love it. You have to give to it a thousand times more than can get out of it. So it’s a hard labor of love. If you can’t do it for fun, you need to just skate. If you do love to shoot: Read as much as you can about photography and look at a lot of it. Not just skateboard photos but all kinds: Art, journalism, portraits, anything you can learn from.

Rob Aaron Drop in
Rob Aaron

"The Ally"

Lastly, are there any noteworthy people you would like to mention - as in, favorite photographers, publications, or general 'shout outs'?

Favorite photographers: Glen E. Friedman, Gordan Parks, Les Krims, Cartier Bresson, Shannon McCollum, Ryan Gee, Pete Thomson, Grant Brittan, Joe Brooke
Publications: Automatic Mag. Focus Mag, Slap Mag.
Shout outs: My folks, Amy, Ilia, Nicky Nicks, and Ryan Clements at SPoT. Marty at Kona, Duddy at Crown, Murphy, P-Nut, Graver, Peterson, Barnyard, Philip, James, Tony Alva for hooking it up, Fink, Sean Collins, Tommy Hurtz, Dom, Logan, Kiwi, David, and hundreds of others for helping me along the way. There’s no way I could name everyone here.

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