Grant Brittain – portrait by Damon Way
I am really happy to announce that no one less than Grant Brittain has joined the United Skateboard Photography Project and he will be featured in the printed 300 page hardback book! Yes THE Grant Brittain everybody. It goes without saying that I’m stoked and honoured to be able to do this short Q&A with him today before we put together the 8 to 10 page interview for the book. Enjoy the interview and of course the photographs which are already part of skateboard history themselves and the reason for many upcoming skateboard photographers to do what they love.
Hi Grant. First off, it’s great that you can take the time to be involved with the United Skateboard Photography Project, thanks! You have been around for quite some time in skateboarding so you have seen a lot of things happen. What has been the biggest change in skateboarding you have seen over the years and do you feel skateboarding itself is changing for the good?
Probably just the popularity of skateboarding through video and the internet is the most profound change. How fast everything involving skateboarding gets out there. In the 80s there was a lag between the time someone did some groundbreaking move and when the skate world finally saw it in a magazine, that made it special and enduring. Overall, skating is just skateboarding and skaters are just skaters. The enormous amount of the skate content on the internet sometimes seems overwhelming and something has to be really great to stand out in a giant sea of tricks. More is not always better.
Who inspired you to become a photographer and what makes skateboarding so special for you?
I was working and skating at the Del Mar Skate Ranch in 1978 and I would see the skate photogs come in and shoot the pros and then see their photos in the mag a bit later and for some reason that really appealed to me. I knew I loved skateboarding and I was taking art in college and once I started shooting skating in 1979 and then taking my negs into the darkroom, I was hooked and my course was set. I could not not take photos after that first year. I studied the 70s skate photog’s photos in the magazines and learned to shoot by observing those photos. The skate photographers I was looking at were James Cassimus, Craig Stecyk, Jim Goodrich, Ted Terrebonne, Glen Friedman and Warren Bolster, they were the kings back then.
Animal Chin handplants