Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Connor Cornell: An Interview

I have to admit I didn't know too much about Connor before I went into this interview. I've seen his photos and made note of them, especially his work with the Penny Brand. Rad stuff. I'm glad I got some insight on Connor and what he's into. He's into what he does, and I'm into it too. I hope you're stoked on this interview, I was stoked to do it. 

Ok, first off, how old are you and how long have you been taking photos? 

I'm 18. I've been taking photos for a little over 2 years now. 

What was your inspiration for getting into photography?

Well I took a photography class junior year in high school, just to fill an elective class, and thought I'd like it. I started using Canon Rebel XSI. After a couple weeks in that class, I was pretty amazed by what you can do with an SLR, so I couldn’t wait to buy my own, and start shooting surfing and skating.

That's cool. So what kind of equipment do you use now? 

As of right now, I shoot with a Canon 7D. & the Lens setup is pretty basic: Rokinon 8mm fisheye, Canon 28-135mm, 50mm, & Sigma 135-400mm.

What's your favorite gear to use at the moment? 

I've been shooting doing a lot of mid-zoom lenses. So I have to say shooting with the 50mm is my favorite at the moment. It’s actually easily to film with. Gotta love the nifty fifty.

I know you do a lot of skate stuff, but tell me about the other stuff you like to shoot. I've seen a decent amount of your car stuff on the web. Have you always been into cars? How about surfing?

I started with the car shooting when my friend Alex Canni and I got into the sport drifting, and developed a website based on the media side of drifting in early 2012. It’s called, and it’s really insane and so amazingly fun to shoot and watch. I've been into cars, and the sport drifting for a little over two years now, and the sport is growing huge.

Ever since I was a kid I've been surfing, and I never really wanted to shoot surfing, because when there are good waves, I only want to be in water surfing. Haha. But the photo editor for VOID magazine, Logan Bowles, pretty much inspired me to start shooting surfing, because all of his work is amazing, and I wanted to try a shoot shots like that. Haven't had too many chances to shoot some good waves lately, but I intend to soon!

So I've seen you do a bunch of stuff with Penny skateboards, it got me wondering- is that a hookup or is that just a fanaticism of yours? What’s the raddest thing you’ve seen going down on a Penny?

A little of both. It begun with my friend Steven Pineiro. He just started shredding on this Penny, and doing tricks that were unthinkable on this plastic skateboard. So I filmed a short, little video of 20 min of skating one afternoon, and it ended up getting a lot of views and interest. So I sent it over to the guys at Penny skateboards on Facebook, they were pretty shocked with it, and we just started talking. Next thing you know Steven Pineiro, his sister Stephanie and I are on a plane to California to go on tour with the Penny crew. Skating ,traveling, and just having a blast with some Aussies. All expenses paid, too!
Skating with Steven and his brother Juan, you see so many sick tricks, but one that really stands out and is completely insane would have to be Steven’s finger flip in the combi bowl. Video isn't released yet, so wait for that!!

That's rad that you got sent on tour. Did you do much else besides shoot skateboarding when you were out there? 

When we weren’t doing park events, We got to go all around LA, and saw a lot of famous places, got to hangout on the beach, (west coast is way better),and just had fun skating around the city. 

Tell me about your favorite places to skate and surf, favorite places to shoot.

I've never surfed out of FL, so Jacksonville is my favorite. As fir skating, grew up skating treaty, in St. Auggi, and it never gets old to me. I love that park. Transition/park is my favorite to skate. Favorite Places to film? Well I guess I've had the most fun filming in California, because it’s just an amazing environment to me. And over there, there are just spots after spots to hit and film, most of the spots being really unique.

That's cool. I've been skating in St. Augustine a lot lately at the park by the lighthouse. So where do you live now? 

Yeah I've only been there once. Fun little park! I live in Orange Park currently, which is away from everything! I really want to move out the beaches area now that I'm graduated. So much to do and shoot of there.

Are you still going to school?

I graduated this past year from Fleming Island High.

You're right about Clay county, It's a sprawling wasteland. I grew up out there, but way back then, I never had the OP Park, or anything. We knew a BMXer with a BMX vert ramp that was almost impossible to skate. That was it. Things are better now though. Besides the Penny video, do you have any other kind of project going on? 

Yeah OP Park is about the only good thing about where I live, especially since it got totally rebuilt. I'm working on a full part of Steven for Penny and I have little side projects coming along, but other than that, nothing too serious right now.

Are there people you get inspiration from-like professional, or friend-wise?

I like to take inspiration from those who do professional work.

Well put. In closing, is there anyone you want to shout out to, or say thanks to, or tell us who to be on the lookout for?

Well, I really wanna thank my dad, for supporting me, and buying me my first camera. Thanks pops. Always there for me. Also shout out you for this interview! Also to the Pineiro's, and everything they have done for me, shout out to all the local homies, Aqua East, Void Magazine for running my first photo, and the guys over at Penny Skateboards!

Be sure to look out for the Pineiro brothers. They are on their way to the top. Real Talk.

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