Where are you currently living?

Houston, Texas

Age and how long have you been involved with photography?

52, I’ve been taking pics since the 70’s. I lost my archives of those classic moments somewhere along the trail. I started Embassy Skateboards with John TEX Gibson in 2009, so that gave me a reason to go buy a new Canon and get busy.

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

I shoot with Canon!!

Favourite photography accessory other than your camera?

Other than my flashes I like having the extra power packs available AND having credentials to the deck always helps.

Skater: Neal Hendrix

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

I use the 17.5 Fish Eye when shooting on the deck, and various tele-photo lens’s when I need, but I prefer the Fish Eye all day.

What makes a skate photograph original and unique: basically what is your idea of a good photo?

Placement is key, no ass shots, get the facial expression, get shots from different angles like from below the coping, get in the danger zone. Set up the camera in the death box. When doing a session with the skater, set up the shot. The pic of Chris Miller at Upland by Grant, with the camera on the extention pole was rad very UNIQUE, the shadow, the trick, CLASSIC STUFF!! I have a pic of Bucky from Bowl-a-Rama 2011 where I position myself on the scaffolding above the crowd. I was inspired by Grant’s pic!!

Name the first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

Seeing Glen Friedman and all the classic Z-Boys documentation was what kept us in tune with the scene. So he comes to mind first. Without Friedman, Goodrich, MOFO, Rhino, Grant, Chris Ortiz, Swank. They’re all an inspiration to me. The new social media culture we currently live in, I notice lots of rad photographers. FACEBOOK has given an opportunity to lots of us. I’m REALLY a fan of MRZ (Ray Zimmerman). He has the SICKEST shit out there!!

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about skateboard photography?

Get in the spot for the shot. Working a sequence with a skater, always have FUN doing it. I get the privilege to shoot with some of the raddest vert and bowl skaters in the world. They make it easy. If it’s a ZOO like at Pro-Tec Pool Party, it can get pretty gnarly and intense. I try to stay out of the way!!

Any references you may have (past and present photogrpahy work) and/or your relation to skateboarding

World Cup Skateboarding, I’ve been published in JUICE, Thrasher, Concrete Wave, I took the pic of Tony Hawk that’s in the “Pop Culture” section of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. I find my pic’s all over the web, from poacher’s!!

My first skateboard was in 1976, Z-Flex with Soft Red wheels. I can remember John Gibson going to Cali for the Hester Series and the Gold Cup when I was in 7th grade. That’s where it all started, And there’s no ending in sight. “RIDE WITH PRIDE”

Contact Info:

Lee Leal

Ben Johnson - Coastal Carnage
Skater: Ben Johnson – Coastal Carnage

Ben Johnson
Skater: Ben Johnson – Marseille

Bucky Lasek
Skater: Bucky Lasek – Bondi Beach

Steve Caballerowidth=
Skater: Steve Caballero – Bondi Beach

Skater: Christian Hosoi

Skater: Lester Kasai – Marseille

Mike McGill_2011
Skater: Mike McGill

Skater: Nio Pecanha – France

Skater: Nyjah Huston – Maloof Money Cup

Skater: Bryan Pennington – Houston

Tony_80's ALL DAY_2011
Skater: Tony Hawk

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