“I have always been pretty adept at rambling into a keyboard. My girlfriend says ‘I’m a different person when I write’; maybe I am a different person when I shoot too? I hope so, cause I have a tendency to be a little bit aggressive.
I got into photography when I was 15, I was consistently trying to get out of doing any school work by choosing the less taxing subjects such as games or biology, I in-turn chose photography because I thought it would be easy, it was and it still is!
I guess I loved skateboarding before I loved photography; the first skate pictures I shot were of Sean Sheffey, Neil Hendrix and Buster Halterman. Buster bailed his board at me on the platform of a vert ramp in Shrewsbury, England and broke my big toe, it still makes a clicking sound when I walk today. Things soon progressed from my fumbling on the platform of vert ramps and somehow I found my self with a magazine to run. Document Skateboard magazine lasted for 10 years, I hope we made our point because we put everything we had into it.
Now I am a photojournalist for a lot of different people, I shoot what happens around my interest in skateboarding and I try and incorporate the two together, I guess I always have done. The photography of skateboarding shouldn’t be just to prove that a trick got done, it should be to show the crossroads between where skateboarding and the real world meet and how they react to each other. That’s what makes a good photograph, well to me at least.
I always get asked how to get into it and how to take a decent photo. My answer is always the same, photography is like shooting a gun into a crowd, pull the trigger enough and your bound to hit something, don’t get fooled by the expensive gear, the giant backpacks, the fisheye’s and radioed 4 flash light set-ups… A well-lit turd is still a turd!
Use your own eyes and the frame of the camera, put your heart through that lens and don’t forget there is also a world outside of skateboarding that could produce some interesting images for you.”
- Percy Dean