Tag Archives: Nick Jones

RideBMX “One Moment in BMX” Video

Late last year Ride went to their contributors with the idea of shooting photos at a specific time to showcase just how much BMX is going on around the world at any given time. November 23rd at 1pm PST was go time and teams of riders, photographers and filmers from California to Spain all converged on that One Moment to collectively create something special. The article came out awesome and this video does well to show the anticipation, the build up and the payoff of one extraordinary moment in BMX.

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Nick Jones “From New Jersey to Arizona” Gallery

smallfry by nick jones

Your favorite photographer Nick Jones has a photo gallery up from his past couple excursions out west. Peep that here.

Through The Lens: Inside BMX Media

I’m not really sure who the intended audience of this mini “documentary” actually is, but it gives you a little behind the scenes look at what its like to be a BMX photographer/filmer. Despite being severely cringeworthy at several points, there are a few bits of good information sprinkled throughout. If you’re an aspiring lensman, check out the video and read below for a little friendly advice of my own.

I’ve only been in the game for a few years now and some could make the argument that I’m no more qualified to offer advice on this subject than the people in this video, but I couldn’t just have you guys ingesting a bunch of vague pointers. In my years of paying dues and finally getting my foot and my camera bag in the door of the BMX industry, this is the best advice I could give you if you’re looking to do the same.

-Do it for the right reasons.
I feel like I read this in every interview with any BMX photographer ever, but if you’re trying to make a million dollars from shooting/filming BMX, go to the nearest pawn shop and sell all your shit because its not going to happen. Shooting BMX should be, above all else, a labor of love. You should love this shit so much to begin with that getting paid for it shouldn’t matter until you can do what you do with one arm tied behind your back and security breathing down your neck. If you get no genuine thrill from pedaling miles on end while lugging a 50lb camera bag, you’re in the wrong business, friend.

-Know your craft.
This goes beyond reading your camera’s manual cover to cover and knowing what every function does. This is about shooting so many photos or filming so many clips that you can see what its going to look like before you even pull the camera out. This is about closing the gap between what your photos/footage looks like and what you want your stuff to look like. Not by going out and buying a bunch of expensive gear, but by knowing how to squeeze every ounce of capability out of the tools and the light you’re given. Some of the best advice I’ve ever come across is, don’t practice til you get it right, practice til you can’t get it wrong.

-Its not about gear.
As much as you think having a VX1k, 1Dx and Einsteins or a Panasonic with the whale eye will miraculously make your shit look like Jeff Z or Navaz’s, you’re sadly mistaken. Unless you’ve got tens of thousands of dollars to run through B&H like Supermarket Sweep, you should be more worried about doing what you can with what you have instead of worrying about what you could do with what you don’t. Always try to keep in mind that there’s someone out there doing better with less.

-Be your own worst critic, not your number one fan.
No one likes a dude who’s feeling himself to the max. And its even worse when their photos/filming aren’t quite up to par. If you somehow think you’ve arrived or are more worried about your Instagram followers than continually improving the quality of your work, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice and you probably look like a douchebag. Don’t buy into your friends telling you you’re the shit, you gotta see the things that you could’ve done better. Its easy to let a hundred likes go to your head, but if you think that shit matters in real life, I honestly feel bad for you.

-Network, network, network.
Social media has made it easier than ever to meet and communicate with riders from your town all the way up to your favorite pros. In most industries, networking is a bunch of shaking hands and trading business cards, but in BMX it can be anything as simple as saying “whats up, let’s shoot sometime” on Instagram to just sharing a blunt at the skatepark. But be cautious of your hunger level when it comes to stuff like this though, most people can spot a weirdo from a mile away. Which brings us to our next topic…

-Don’t be a weirdo.
In the modern BMX climate, you might be surprised how far being a normal, level-headed person could take you. You could shoot the best photos ever, film the crispiest clips, but if you’re a pain in the ass, next to no one is going to want to deal with you. Don’t be the guy poaching photos/clips of people you don’t know at the skatepark. Don’t be the guy bugging your one and only local pro to shoot on every social network every day. Just try not to be “that guy”.

-Do good work and things will happen.
Same as when it comes to riding, the longer you’re out there doing you and making it look good, people will eventually notice. There’s no better feeling than being the go-to guy for riders or companies, but the only way to get there is to be consistently dialed and reliable. As soon as you start wondering why you’re not getting the recognition you deserve or why people aren’t fucking with you, your mind is in the wrong place and you should stop and re-evaluate why you’re doing what you’re doing. You shouldn’t have to speak for your work, your work should speak for you.

Long Lens Video Shot Contest Reminder

Just a friendly reminder that you have a couple more weeks to get your entries in for the Long Lens Shot Contest. This entry comes from our own Nick Jones with a smooth panning zoom out and a nice Dutch tilt zoom-to-the-sky ending. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a ridiculous trick as well.

Introducing Nick Jones and Chris Mortenson

nick and chris

Today I’m pleased to (officially) welcome to the Push It A Stop collective Nick Jones (Central Jersey) and Chris Mortenson (Los Angeles). Both of them have been putting in work behind the lens for a number of years which has afforded them both a tremendous knowledge of the photographic process and a keen eye. Combine that with a driven passion to collaborate and share, these two will are more than qualified to be working in the TCU family.

 

 

Portrait_1000Nick Jones

I first met Nick in person at a Mullaly skatepark jam a couple years ago. He had been emailing me for a few months, asking questions about camera gear and flash durations. I could tell he was dedicated because he was shooting with flashes on stands during a jam. Ask any photographer- that’s a risk you’re only willing to take if you really want some great photos. Through the years Nick has proved his worth by getting published in DIG and landing galleries on RideBMX, ESPN and WeAreOrangeJuice amongst others. At just 19 years old, Nick has already established himself in the industry and, thanks to his friendly nature and willingness to work, will only be expanding his client list from here on out.

nj2Stephon Fung, November 2013

nj3Lou Kubar, September 2012

nj1David Pendleton, March 2013

 

 

chrisChris Mortenson

To be completely honest- I don’t know Chris that well. We have only corresponded through email. What I do know is that he is extremely motivated and involved with multiple creative projects. He has a ton of very clean work on his website, but I’m pretty sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg that is his portfolio. I had him include his own bio so that I wouldn’t mix up facts.

Christopher Mortenson is a Los Angeles based photographer with a background deep rooted in New Mexico, where he grew up riding and shooting. He graduated from New Mexico State University in 2011 with a BFA in photography and made the move to LA in 2012 for a full-time photo gig with Quintin Co. Chris’s extensive interests in photography go way beyond shooting action, exposing him to a lot of different aspects of photography. But he still hits the streets with some of LA’s finest on the regular.

cm2Raul Ruiz, 2013

cm3Jackson Ratima, 2013

cm1The BBQ, 2012

 

You can expect to see original content from these two on a regular basis. Follow their day-to-day at @nickjonesphoto and @cmortenson. Follow @pushitastop to see the best riding photos that Instagram has to offer.

Shooter: Nick Jones

Check out my shooter interview over on DIG. Real stoked on this! Photos are from all over New Jersey and PA.