Brian Caissie – Professional Skateboarding Photographer

Paul Machnau

Active caught up with Photographer Brian Caissie and asked him a few questions about what the life of a Professional Skateboarding Photographer is like. If you get a chance check out Brian's website as well: Enjoy!

Active: Brian, where are you from and how did you get started as a skateboard photographer?

Brian Caissie: I'm from Halifax Nova Scotia, the East Coast of Canada. I've been skating and into videos and magazines since I was a kid. I was never really that good though. I was always drawing and doing art so when I got injured I would always just end up capturing my friends with cameras. It was easy and fun because they were really good. I started filming first then leaned more into photography, I still do both though. There's a time and place for each.

What equipment do you use?

My equipment varies a lot. When the shot needs it I like to have the right machine to capture it just right , you know? I have a nikon digi, hasselblad X-Pan, Hasselblad medium format kit, and a 4×5 rail camera. And the normal flashes and other stuff to weigh me down on the road.

What has been your best moment as a professional skateboard photographer?
My best moment? Whoa, that's a deep one considering that's all I do in life. I always have my camera with me. I'd have to say any over seas trips with good friends. Argentina was great. Also I had a great time on the Flip tour this year. Just meeting Tom Penny and hanging out with those guys was great.
Who is your favorite skateboarder to shoot and why?

There are so many right now, but anyone who is just happy to be skating and full of ideas. I enjoy shooting with Chris Haslam a lot, he's always got cool spots and different tricks on his mind. Magnus Hanson and the Decenzo brothers I shoot with the most. They can skate for ten hours a day and they never complain about the lack of spots, they just skate.

Who is your least favorite skateboarder to shoot and why?
Anyone who whines a lot.
Too Live Crew? Were you really at the concert? Tell us Brian!
Yea that was really weird. I heard they were playing in Vancouver at a strip bar so I called their agent and got a photo pass. They showed up in a beat up old motor home and they played all their popular songs. It was soo cool, the crowed was screaming and super excited.

Who inspires you as a photographer?
I like photographers that when I see a photo I can tell who shot it. Just something a little different in the way they handle things. For skating I like Gaberman, Mike Omeally and Bartok are great! I look at a lot of fashion photographers too, they are the best! Patrick Demarchelier, David Lachapelle, Rankin, Platon, Norman Jean Roy, Robert Maxwell, David Bailey, there's too many to name. Art shouldn't be rushed.

Besides skateboarding what else do you like to shoot and why?
I take a lot of photos of my girlfriend. We always have a great time together, and she's a model so she's always up for trying new things. I take a lot of travel photos while on assignments, but lately I've been working with my 4×5 camera exploring focusing and where the eye looks and what it believes.

Besides skateboarding, what else do you like to do with your time?
I read a lot of books on photographers I admire. I also draw and make scrapbooks of my trips. I really enjoy that a lot. Instead of all the photos being unorganized I have a personal venue of my memories. I like showing people that were on the trips too, good times, good memories.

Last Words? What would you like all the future skateboarders and photographers learn from Mr. Brian Caissie?

“Every human endeavor, however singular it seems, involves the whole human race” Jean-Paul Sartre.


i love ur skate baording cuzz i sakte board all the time and i have marks and everytrhing from skate boarding u should come down to new brunswick its kinda fun but there alot of people that like to be taped while there skating i would love it if you came down plzzzzz and thnk you come down to moncton <3 xoxoxo

Hey im 17 years old and looking for a good professional photographer for skateboarding. Im trying to get out of local sponsers and hit something good, my email is [email protected] if you know of any good photographers or ways to reach them just email me. thanks

I’m using you in a paper I’m writing for my photography class. :) Your photography is amazing, and it’s extremely inspiring to me.

Good skate shots are really impressive. They take a good understanding of whats being done and how to make it look best. Do you skate? It looks like you do; those who don’t, don’t use the basics: getting low, as close as you can & I don’t know other little things we think about and usually won’t. Oh and it’s not but, needless to say you have impressive skills with the timing and compositon.

i did you for an assignment and you were everything for my answers 😛
i love your photography and filming.

wow, these photos are magnificent!
he uses such great techniques, such as usage of lines, shadows, ect

Action shoots are very difficult to take, and your timing is perfect.. Your photographing is perfect. Keep up the great work.