For last year’s One Day In Skateboarding, Jacob Messex aimed to skate and shoot for the full 24-hour period. Even that issue’s cover (#134), shot by Messex at the crack of midnight, showed that his Downtown Los Angeles crew was raring to go from minute zero.
This year’s ODIS was no different for Jacob. He spent the day with the Illegal Civilization crew, just skating and reviving that nostalgia of after-school fun with the bros. The vibe followed them as they headed to famous LA filming locations and popular local schoolyards, and Jacob tracked the crew’s progress with a series of relaxed lifestyle shots that are the epitome of LA skate life.
All in all, July 9 was pretty typical for Jacob. “It was all jokes and laughs the whole day through,” he says. “Just a normal day of having fun and skating around LA.” Besides setting up at midnight, of course.
The Skateboard Mag 153 - Contents
Camera Gear Used: Canon 5d III, Leica M.
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a photographer.
I’ve been shooting photos since 2012 when I first picked up a camera. I was filming my friends with a vx1000 and wanted to shoot stills too. Primarily, I was interested in shooting film photos, because it was something new to me.
I was born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles skateboarding, I really like it here because I always feel at home and there’s always something I can do, shoot, or skate, 24/7. I love shooting photos in Downtown LA, because of the environment and people you interact with, and photographically it is very interesting.
I’ve been a staff photographer for The Skateboard Mag for a couple years now, and I work for HUF shooting their skate team and also handle a lot of lifestyle shots for them. Besides that, I just graduated college—Art Center College of Design in Pasadena—so I’ve been assisting a lot of high production shoots. It’s pretty sick! One of the main photographers I assist, Brian Highbee, skates probably better than me. [laughs]
What was your plan for July 9, 2016?
Well, like last year’s ODIS, I wanted to skate an almost full 24 hours, which includes setting up and being ready for the first shot at midnight or 12:01 (legally, I’m not to sure how it works). [laughs] And now that they tore down the 6th street bridge I wanted to include that, because its very historical to Los Angeles’s film history. So we set up next to the torn-down bridge with Erick and Trevor and skated the shut down “on-ramp” where the bridge used to be. The next day I wanted to circle back with Mikey Alfred, who really helped me early on, and his crew “Illegal Civ.” We met up at Lincoln Park and just skated what everyone wanted to skate all day long!
Would you consider July 9 to be a pretty typical day in skateboarding for you?
Besides setting up at midnight, yes it was just a normal day of having fun and skating around LA.
Explain your approach to shooting that day.
Shooting action is the same thing and it’s relatively “cookie cutter,” but since we got the hook up with Leica, I really focused on shooting the lifestyle of that day. I was literally constantly shooting portraits of everyone and trying to capture what it’s like skating with a crew of dudes like them!
Was there anything different this year compared with when you shot One Day In Skateboarding the first time?
Nope. Honestly, it was just pretty normal day of skate with the dudes I usually skate with.
What’s it like shooting with the IC posse?
Very fun! [laughs] Everyone is always doing something funny or crazy, it’s fun to do shit like that because sometimes I’m used to just driving spot-to-spot. With IC it’s like you’re in a movie doing crazy shit at every spot!
What was it like using that Leica camera?
That camera is insane, especially with the Summilux 35mm [lens]. That thing is a beauty. Stoked to have joined the “family”; I just recently purchased an M6. That glass is just too good!
Who was your July 9 MVP?
It’s hard to say because at literally every spot someone was trying something, but the ender of the day was Nakel’s pop shove. Wow, the trick is so sick.
What is your favorite image that you shot that day and why?
My favorite photo of the day is a portrait of Nakel Smith after we had just got kicked out of the school in Highland Park. I like his body language and what he’s wearing.
Nakel Smith - One Day in Skateboarding 7/9/16, Los Angeles CA. | Photo: Messex
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans, and where can we see more of your work?
I’m working on my annual book “FILMUS” #4. It’s a analog film book and I also host a show at Kingswell Skateshop in Los Feliz every year to go along with it. Besides that, I am testing for a couple future projects but nothing to juice up in this post!
Thanks again Joey for the time to talk and for having me be a part of the 2nd ODIS! Stoked on this year’s cover and still can’t believe I shot last year’s! [Laughs]
Preview One Day in Skateboarding 2016 with over 100 pages of quality photos in The Skateboard Mag issue 153. Video Doc. coming soon.