Photographing my heroes and friends with the gravitas they deserve
Eddie Fiola, the “King of the Skateparks” debuted his new EF Proformer bike here at OSBMXR – I’m now the proud owner of one of these limited edition frames!
Every year I go to the Old School BMX Reunion at Woodward West in Southern California. It’s an invitation-only event put together by one of the luminaries of the BMX freestyle world, Steve Swope. There’s a minimum age for attending, as well, and that age increases by a year every year to keep a handle on the people who can attend. Woodward West is one of the premier training facilities for skateboarding, BMX and more. It’s also the penultimate summer camp for kids who want to learn and improve their skills on ramps.
The inimitable Jose Yanez, inventor of the backflip on a bike, still does ‘em at age 55!
I’ve known many of the people who go to OSBMXR for over two decades, most going back to my days working as a photographer/editor for BMX Plus! magazine and elsewhere in the industry. But before that I was a freestyle BMX rider, some of these guys were my heroes, guys of legend that I read about in the magazines. They’ve long since become my friends. Since I came to the OSBMXR to ride and shoot some photos, I brought some extra lighting gear and grabbed a few of my heroes and photographed them in a natural setting. Sort of an environmental portrait, with movie poster-style lighting.
DMC, one of the nicest guys you’ll meet, also has one of the greatest memories. And he still ROCKS!!
It was a blast, and nowhere near done. I may have to wait till next year to be able to photograph some of the others, might end up grabbing a few of them around SoCal as I can. As a personal project I’ve just started, it’s a blast and something I’m very drawn to. These guys have pushed the limits of what is possible on a BMX bike and paved the way for countless millions of kids worldwide to push it further. Certainly inspiration for me for riding, and for photographing them. I’m loving this!