Interview and editorial photos by Chris Mortenson. All other photos credited to Vince Perraud.
I’ve been a fan of Vince’s work for quite sometime now. His photographs are more than just pictures of people doing tricks. He is capturing the culture that surrounds BMX in one of the purest ways I’ve seen in. Be it using natural light or throwing a small strobe in the mix, his photographs capture what it feels like to be out riding with your friends and enjoying all the adventures that riding bikes can bring. When I found out that he was coming through Los Angeles for the Couch Riding trip I set up a time to link up on a roof in Hollywood and watch him make some pictures with flatlander Matthias Dandois. After hanging out with Vince I can say he is one of the most humblest of people I’ve met and I can’t wait to see what he creates in the future.
For the people who might not know you, can you please just give a little introduction?
Yo What’s up! I’m Vince Perraud I come from France and I take picture for something like 9 years now, a bunch of BMX… and I never meet up Jean De Crepe aha.
You have a pretty big collection of cameras in your bag, could you talk a little bit about this and how you came to have such diversity?
Ah yes I have a bunch of cameras because all of them have a specificity and it’s fun to use!! OK I have to admit all of them are half fucked so I need all of this to shoot! It depends on what subject I’m shooting. It’s just cool to vary from fucking digital.
What is your favorite camera to shoot with and why?
Depends on the mood but I would say the good old Bronica SQ! It’s medium format so the 120 film gives a good result, nice depth of field and you can synch at 1/500…and it’s cheap too!!
When out shooting do you have any special process you go through while making images, or do you let things happen organically?
I would say improvisation but now I try to work on it, like check the location, best time to shoot with the good light etc…
Do you find inspiration in photography outside of BMX, and if so, do you find it easy to adapt that inspiration into BMX photography?
Yeah I try to check all sort of photography, like music, architecture, fashion… and mix it because to make nice pics for any subject you have to work on the composition, light etc… But bmx is really free and there are so many aspects to the culture, I don’t necessarily think about it, but bmx (same as skate) photography is really creative!!
I’ve noticed in your newer work, you are shooting with a lot of natural light vs. strobes. Can you just talk a little bit about the shift and how it has affected your shooting style.
Ah yeah I shoot more natural cause my flashes are fucked!! You have to make choices also when you travel by plane, it’s really annoying to be limited on stuff you can bring with you overseas, so recently I was less into flashes and I tried to work more with ambient… and it takes less time to set up so you don’t piss of the riders. You ready already! It’s better for lifestyle too!
Who are some of your favorite photographers outside of BMX?
I have a bunch of various inspiration but the ones that are always sick are: Foster Huntington, Scott Pommier, Chris Burkard, Kenneth Cappello, Brian Gabermann, Eric Antoine, Michel Sedan, Jérôme Tanon, Kristina Fender, Fred Mortagne, Mike Piscitelli… in no particular order.. My favorite at the moment is Purienne.
Do you have any personal projects you are working on?
Good question! I would say going to vacation with my girl…
Do you think it is necessary to study photography to understand how to create good images?
Hum not sure, most of the dudes I know never study photo… but it’s a good advantage to know the sport well when you snap bikes for example…
How do you think the ease of image sharing has effected photography within BMX?
I don’t know, everything is going faster and faster. It can bring more ideas or creativity but I feel like it’s too much nowadays…too much shit and the good stuff are flooded in middle of crap… it’s also harder to stand out…
When was it that you felt like you really hit your stride and found your vision as a photographer?
I’m still searching ahah.
Do you have any advice for the up and coming shooters of the world?
Go out with you friends and snap instead of chilling in front of the laptop! ;)
Photography below by Vince Perraud.