This is the second part of our 5000 Words series from Mike Blabac. Our DC collaboration became more of a dream come true each week that we drew closer to the release. Having Josh Kalis visit us to release his DC x Slam City Skates Kalis Lite Slim was confirmed further down the line. Having Mike Blabac join him and the exhibition which ensued made it even more of a celebration! It was a pleasure having Mike in town and we are stoked that he has managed to take some time out of his schedule to contribute a three part 5000 Words feature for us. Enjoy his second selection...
Photography was always fascinating to me growing up. I studied fashion / portrait photographer's work before I stepped foot on a skateboard. Portraits have always been so much fun for me, especially of skaters. Skateboarders have more style, character, energy, etc than most people will ever have. These are 10 of my favorite skate portraits.
1. If you love skateboarding, and do not like Wes Kremer - you are absolutely tripping! Wes is amazing on and off a board. This is one of my favorite portraits of Wes giving him daps just after shooting a sequence in Nashville, Tn back in 2013.
2. Slayer was at the DC Shoes Super Ramp in Downtown SD. They were playing a show at 4th and B, (a concert venue in San Diego) just after their album "God Hates Us All" was released. They hung out for a while to marvel at Danny skate this massive ramp. We shot a roll of portraits at the end of the session, and this is one of them.
3. Lance Mountain was one of my favorite skaters growing up not because he was better than everyone, but because of his sense of humor, and that he always appeared to have fun skating. I randomly called Lance to shoot a portrait for fun in 2013. We discussed shooting portrait just standing in the bottom of his pool. Little did I know that he thought I meant a pool filled with water while holding his board. Needless to say his interpretation of what he thought I was saying was far better than what I actually meant. He had a complete, and outfit, etc already picked out upon showing up at his house. I can't be any more hyped that I can call someone like Lance to create something like this. Thank you Lance!
4. Mike Carroll and I were shooting a photo at Lockwood. I left my bag with all the Menace dudes since there was no safer place to keep it! I had a few frames left on the roll, and snapped this photo before putting my camera away. I completely forgot about it until 11 years later while coming across it while editing photos for my book in 2009.
5. I spent most of my summers at Love Park in the late 90's / early 2000's to shoot with Kalis and Stevie for DC. This photo was at the end of one of those days. Everyone was hanging out on the high ledge (Stevie Sw Fs Noseslide), and I asked them to snap a portrait in front of the sign. I'm so thankful for the time I spent at one of the most iconic skate plazas back then.
6. The Sk8mafia crew is pretty amazing. We shot this portrait to be the opener for Wes Kremer's Transworld interview in 2012. I love the No Trespassing Sign, and the light bouncing off of the buildings. Jake Brown holding up cash is pretty tight too!... Ha!
7. AVE skated his balls off filming for the DC Video. All the countless filming trips, battles, defeats are all summed up in the celebration of this photograph. This was hours before the LA premier in June, 2003.
8. Watching people discover skateboarding for the first time is often magical. The two kids were no different. This is shortly after they both took their first run on Greg Hunt and my filming boards while on a trip in Miami, 2002.
9. Rodney is an extremely intense individual. This photograph is from the first time I met him in 2015. I was assigned to shoot portraits of him for ESPN. This was him intently describing a book he was reading on gravity during the middle of shooting.
10. Stevie Williams and I shot a lot of portraits over the years. This portrait is the last frame on the roll of film from his first DC Shoe Ad portrait.
These selections could be the best we have had yet! It's super interesting hearing some of the stories behind these images. We hope you enjoyed the second instalment. We will be releasing the third and final part of Mike's 5000 Words series on Monday. Keep them peeled for that. You can shop for DC HERE