The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Behind the Scenes Skateboarding Photography

Get stoked! Shoot SK8 !   

If you’re waiting for sick airs, backsides, caballerials, carves, fakies, FS 549, goffy foot, grinds, crooked grinds, 50-50 grinds, smith grinds, two grinds, kickflips,hellflips,McTwists, Mongo-foot, Nollies, No Comply 180, Noseslide, pops, boardslides, regular foot, tailslides, pop shove-its, top guns, varial kick flips, varial heel flips, 360 flips, Ollie norths, laser flips, hards flips, inwards heel flips …. yadah. yadah, yadah … i don’t give any guarantees …’Nuff said …Grind!

My teen memory is so fresh just like yesterday. Shooting a skateboard event is definitely not for the faint-hearted, un-initiated photographer … Well this is my sort of getting shock and awe right smack in the face for the first time!

Let me initiate you. 
I arrived just as when everyone at the venue was in prep mode like kinda starting to set-up your brand new skateboard. 

CASUALLY BLEND IN. Come in wearing your ordinary street/skate tees, jeans, regular sneakers and your favorite skate thug-cap. Don’t ever dress up like a media reporter else you get more eyeballs following your every move.
 ALWAYS BE READY to take ACTION scenes 
that UNEXPECTEDLY come your way…

Skateboard rails … open-air cum closed gym …all not yet set-up.

POINTS OF INTEREST (hint) Beginning … click! … Click! Middle …

Note: End photo shots will be during the contest proper …
when the skaters use this thingamajig.  
BEHIND THE SCENES– underscored… means you have to be KEEN on keeping tabs UNIQUE human interest photo subjects. 
Looks can be deceiving. 
Who knows this little girl might be a better skater 
than all of the boys. 
Drill this, you are behind the scenes doing CANDID photo shots
If you have prime lens use ’em. 
juxtaposition/fill-in the frame composition shots..Google! 
Use the stage and take WIDE VANTAGE level shots. 
Documenting in one go what is happening at the venue. 
Bring prime wide angle lens 11mm – 18mm. 
Oops, I used a crop sensor DSLR camera.
Full-frame DSLR / mirrorless plus wide angle lens–> the better! 
If you like to risk 
say, your Leica getting bricked, 
it’s your choice … 
so the event’s venue 
is an open air basketball court 
beside the road … 
Well it’s in the wide shot already … 
but it was just a little bit info … 
Add the stage peeps + roadside view…
include a passing car up …
The stage was set-up with a rock cum death metal concert gear … again, take vantage candid pre-concert scene shots… 
Went up the cement stairway…
Be aware of the different peeps …roles … 
Don’t get carried by side scenes …
Here’s the DJ!
SK8boarder prep-ing … 
Click candid!
Next …
Sk8boarders just sitting in pairs .. click!
Sk8boarders just warming their a_s_s in one row  .. click!
Now, get a shot of the stage on the basketball/gym floor …. 
Emphasize what’s on the concert stage …click!
Sk8boarder hammering away ! click! …
Sk8boarders footloose ! click! ….
Get upclose shots … don’t be a push-over … 
The Sk8board ramp assembly/set-up …Beginning!
Frame ’em well… Middle shot! …
Again, venue goings on … gym wide shot
SK8 ….Colors, colors … 

SK8board ramp…final shot… 
Remember a beginning-middle-end of a photo subject storyline.

Connect products…like an energy drink SK8ters drink 
…adds spice to story …. 

Play with available ambient lights and shadows. 

Next stop … Sk8 competition proper …ACTION/SPORTS photography 

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