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: www.briancaissie.com 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.