Unlike shooting a still of some flowers or newlyweds, skateboarding is about motion and the difference between a classic or a fail can be a fraction of a second. There’s more to skate photography than just getting the trick to look right in a frame. What separates the masters and legends of skate photography from the snap-happy bystanders who happened to catch some moments of greatness? It’s a mix of the technical knowledge, intuition, innovation, and true spirit of skating that you can’t convey to anyone who hasn’t bombed a hill or spent hours perfecting one single trick.
As skateboarding continues to charge into the digital age of hyper-documentation, the value of a still image can’t be diminished. Hundreds clicked away, helping to forge everything we know about skate photography, but here’s a list of pre-digital analog ambassadors who shaped our vision of skating.Click to start the list