Kevin does a lot of the legwork for Fiend as well as shooting most of their photos. I had only met him a couple times before conducting this interview and I had no idea that he was so experienced and informed. Needless to say, a lot of important topics are touched and Kevin brought an insightful twist to everything mentioned. He talks about what it’s like to shoot with riders like Garrett Reynolds and what dealing with energy drink companies entails. As a veteran of the industry we commiserate over the decline of print but as active lensmen we discuss the best ways of dealing with this universal shift from paper to pixels. We discuss how (or if) someone could live off of shooting BMX photos alone. Thanks to him, a lot of us may be much more inclined to post our photos directly to Instagram… maybe.
The SoundCloud player is embedded below. Click here to listen on iTunes.
0:24 – Introduction and Kevin’s backstory
12:20 – The formation of Fiend in San Diego
15:28 – Thoughts on San Diego (vs. Los Angeles)
16:42 – Day-to-day operations, website, shooting a roll per week
20:04 – Video work / shooting weddings
20:48 – Valuing both photo and video
22:01 – Putting a price on photographs
23:20 – Thrasher Magazine’s segue into web
26:27 – “Why is everybody doing the same thing?”
27:36 – Can we survive as BMX photographers?
30:08 – “You can’t just do one thing as a photographer anymore”
32:52 – We check out Kevin’s backpack
41:39 – Full-frame vs. crop sensor
44:12 – Ty is outed as an exceptional photographer
45:53 – What film do you load up in your Bronica? (and the pains of shooting film)
48:24 – Shouts to skate photogs Ben Clemens and Brian Gaberman
50:30 – Sleeping in the field
51:52 – When riders pull it first try
53:20 – Two strobes is all you need
55:05 – Old school strobe sequences
57:04 – Shooting a bar crank bar and making sure Red Bull includes both barspins
1:00:01 – Having to shoot vs. wanting to shoot
1:01:26 – Kevin’s digital workflow
1:04:52 – Shouts to Josh McElwee
1:05:16 – “Whatever you take, you better be willing to put back into it”
1:07:12 – You can’t put extra pressure on the rider
1:07:38 – Shooting barspins
1:09:49 – Weekends
1:11:30 – Kevin confesses to having applied to be a Lyft driver
1:12:49 – The longevity of a photograph and Instagram
1:15:30 – Separating between inspiration and imitation
1:16:03 – Instagram is about convenience
1:19:48 – Shouts to Alex Donnachie and Fred Murray
1:20:59 – “What’s the oldest photo you’re sitting on?”
Ben Basford by Gaz Docker
Tag pushitastop on your best shots (shot with a phone, only!)
Nick Rosetti by Nick Elison
Tag or @ pushitastop on your best shots (phone photos only please).
@nickybzski by @ryanniranonta
Hashtag or @ pushitastop on your favorite BMX photos (shot with a phone).
Chad Phaire has caught the eye of the BMX scene with his pegless suaveness contrasted against the gritty four-pegged norm in NYC. He’s been steadily gaining more notoriety through his edits for Cult and for being an all-around motivated and appreciative individual. One thing about Chad that most people might not know, and I did not know until recently, is that he’s got quite the photographic eye. A lot of people have it- the instinctual attraction to the elements of art- but don’t have access to the proper mediums (or the gumption) to translate those inclinations into artwork. Thanks to the rapidly evolving world of technology, anyone who owns a cell phone can now shoot photographs of a decent quality (most cell phones these days have more megapixels than my first digital camera, purchased a decade ago) and have at their fingertips multiple outlets to display and share said photographs (I use the term “photographs” loosely). Out of all image-sharing apps available today, Instagram is undeniably the most popular (with 130 million users and 45 million uploads daily).
Chad’s work first caught my eye a few months ago when he asked how I cropped my Insta images. I told him the app I used and wondered to myself what business he has cropping images- it’s not something the average Instagram user does. I was very surprised to see him uploading some spectacular photos from around the city- stuff that would look amazing printed huge and hung on a wall. Unfortunately, the five or eight megapixel cameras included in most cell phones shouldn’t be printed larger than 8×10″ (shouldn’t, not can’t). Since following Chad over a year ago, I’ve watched his photographic eye and iPhone 5 yield him some remarkable photos and glowing feedback from his followers. About a month ago I was pleased to see Chad with a 35mm SLR camera slung around his shoulder. We got to talking about photography and Instagram, and this is what he had to say.
“I got into photography 6 months ago. Right around the time the Iphone5 came out. I just upgraded from the IP4 and couldn’t ignore the camera power the IP5 had. I started to take notice in a friend of mine who I follow on Instagram Ralphy Ramos. His vision and sense of detail and use of color is amazing. The reason I was drawn to Ralphy Ramos’ work is because his photos looks like its shot with a $5,000 camera but surprisingly everything he shoots is with a iPhone. I always new the camera on a iPhone was decent but had now idea it could take as good as a photo as a DSLR. Me and Ralphy got closer over the past few months and he taught me how to use different apps to clean up the photos I post to Instagram. I never had any prior knowledge of photography but I always knew what I like when it comes to photos. Honestly the only photographers I know of is my all time favorite 13thwitness, of course Ralphy Ramos, Karston Tannis aka Skinny and you Scott Marceau. It wasn’t until I started to go to Edwin Delarosa‘s print shows that really open up my eyes to photographs. I know Ed uses many cameras not just a iPhone but his vision got me into shooting more then just depth of field and buildings. I have to say Edwin opened my eyes and inspired me to shoot differently then what people are use to seeing coming from New York.”
I’d like to take a minute to share with you some of my favorite selections from @chadphaire.