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Monday, 11 December 2017 10:49

Photography tip 1: Don't wait, go do!

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Sometimes the best things in life happens spontaneously. 

Here I was, frustrated and nowhere to go on a Friday morning because a shoot I had booked got cancelled last minute. Generally these things happen and don't bother me, but this one was different as it was something I really wanted to try and there were a bunch of celebrities at the event and naturally that's always good for business...

I plunked in front of the computer and with a lot of effort typed in the Google search bar 'skate park Brackenfell' - as if that was a possibility... And low and behold there IS one in Brackenfell. I suddenly had energy again. You see, I have always wanted to take some awesome photos of skateboarding. When I was much younger (and had no idea about what cameras can do) I tried my hand at some skating shots and failed miserably. I was a skater in my youth and as a teenager my room was stacked with skating photos.

I was so excited that I immediately got all my gear ready, kissed the wife and left for the park, without even speaking to the owner of the establishment or even just getting some form of “okay”. When I stopped outside it dawned on me, what will I say to them? No one allows a photographer to just show up and take photos... I was pleasantly surprised. I was met by one of the kindest and gentlest 'dudes' (no better way to describe him) Tristan the owner of Push. He was just as stoked as I was to take on this mission. He is passionate about skating and it is truly contagious. He showed me around, introduced me to the skaters and even fetched his skateboard so that I can get some pics of him too (which was really helpful as it showed the other skaters that I am approachable). But not only that, he is a super awesome role model. He teaches skating to the kids and really wants more people to share in his passion.
The first session went so well. My main focus was just scoping out the best angles and watching the skaters to see which areas they favour most. I got some amazing shots and as I left, Tristan hinted that I must come back again. Well, it didn't fall on deaf ears. I was hooked. Just as much as landing that first kick flip. When you get that shot you want, suddenly you just want more and want better. I am a big fan of action that is sharp (all though I understand the value of a slower shutter speed to show movement, but a sharp photo just shouts to my heart). However, I had the opportunity to explore and experiment. And thus it lead to my second visit.

We had purchased some wireless triggers for our speed lights and so my second visit I wanted to try them out. I decided on a Thursday night. The skaters were intrigued by the flashes and that helped as more of them wanted to see what I'm getting up to. At the end, they were making suggestions to where to put the lights for that 'cool' shot, and that just confirmed to me that we were on the right track. It wasn't only me getting excited about the photos, but the skaters were digging it as well.

By the third visit I was approached like I was part of the skating family. Every skater wanted a photo of their best move. We could set up the lighting and plan our perfect angle. The skaters were getting excited and it was giving them purpose. Everyone wanted to land the next big trick.

It has been an incredible journey that started as just a solo mission. I was informed that the park will be closing end of November and couldn't resist taking some pics of the last skate competition. As I left the park with a very heavy heart I came to the realization, what Tristan and his family of skaters have achieved is so much more than just a place for skating. For some it might just be a good skating place, or a safe place where they could get their aggression and frustration out, for some it is was a temple, for others a place where they could share a passion, but for me it was a start. Thank you Tristan for the awesome shots and hopefully somewhere in the future we can sit and have a beer thinking about how awesome the Brackenfell skate park was and how it inspired a generation of skaters.

Main tip for aspiring photographers. First of all, if you want to do something, don't wait until you're asked or even worse wait until someone else get's the job. Jump in and do it. You can't be great at something you haven't done yet, but

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