Hometown: Paris, France
July 9 Location: Ventura County-ish
Skaters shot on July 9: Dashawn Jordan, Mikey Taylor, Paul Rodriguez, Tyler Peterson, Justin Damer, Moose (briefly)
As the unique photographic eye of SOVRN, the Los Angeles skate brand, Alex Souêtre's work is typically striking. When he set out to tackle One Day In Skateboarding, he brought the SOVRN team (and friends) to the Ventura County area to explore a familiar landscape. But somehow Alex—doing what he does—managed to capture little moments that made the spots seem totally new.
The Skateboard Mag 153 - Contents
Camera Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III Super Takumar 55mm Super Takumar 135mm Canon EF 40mm
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a photographer.
I have been shooting photos recreationally for about six years and professionally for three years when I started doing commercial work in Paris in 2013. I then got into skate photography when I moved to Los Angeles in 2014. Although it is my main focus, I also shoot people and like to capture candid happenings around me. I have carried that approach over into my skate photography style. I am now staff photographer for SOVRN in Los Angeles.
What was your plan for July 9, 2016?
We didn't have a set plan to begin with but instead wanted to treat that day like any other. We decided to all meet at Mikey's in the morning and then explore the general area until sundown, to finally end the day on a mini ramp BBQ sesh.
Would you consider July 9 to be a pretty typical day in skateboarding for you?
Yes, it felt very usual, with perhaps the exception of not getting kicked out once, which is unusual. I suppose knowing that our coverage of the day was going to contribute to One Day In Skateboarding made it special, almost like a one-off project.
Explain your approach to shooting that day?
Knowing the nature of One Day In Skateboarding, I knew I had to focus a lot on those candid moments in between tricks; which in hindsight didn't really differ from my usual way of capturing a day in skateboarding. Although there is something special about the challenge of capturing tricks, I have always been very drawn to the "in between”—the interactions, the environment, the architecture and the urban happenings. When skateboarders are in the streets, they're "at home" and that sentiment of ownership and comfort is as real as it gets.
Who was your July 9 MVP?
Honestly, Mikey's daughters. I met them for the first time that morning and they're adorable. It put a smile on my face right off the bat.
What is your favorite image that you shot that day?
I would say this one [at the front of the gallery]. Although this isn't a skateboarding photo, it captured a very real moment: a simple interaction. I think I am also personally drawn to it because it is one of those that wasn't meant to be shot. I was shooting the opposite way, trying to get a photo of Moose's reflection in the building, skating a ledge. I turned around for a second and saw Mikey, P-Rod, and Dashawn resuming a conversation and instantly shot the photo. I don't know, there isn't anything special about it but because I didn't plan on getting this shot, it felt more spontaneous to me. And I like their eye [expressions].
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans, and where can we see more of your work?
There are a lot of things in the works for SOVRN and I have actually been working on video, photo, and design projects on the side as well. You can find more stuff on my Instagram and website (when I update it).
Preview One Day in Skateboarding 2016 with over 100 pages of quality photos in The Skateboard Mag issue 153. Video Doc. coming soon.