Hometown: Menlo Park, California
Currently Reside: San Francisco, California
July 9 Location: San Jose, California
Skaters shot on July 9: Caswell Berry, Ben Raemers, Danny Nguyen, Jose Rojo, Peter Raffin, Dave Rosenberg, Xavier Walker, Austin Gardner, Mike Salzberg, Ricky Espinoza, Chris Patton, Bryan Lopez, Dillon Constantine, Shaun Baptista, Lui Elliott, Zack Wallin
Camera Gear Used: Nikon D810, Fuji X100S
10:59 a.m. Fuck Electric Boards.
Lui Elliot, Los Gatos, CA
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a photographer.
I’ve been shooting photos since I was in seventh grade. My middle school had a photography class with a darkroom and I was hooked right then and there. I got heavily into video over the next few years. I was fortunate enough to work for 411VM, Think, and then finally enjoi. I jumped back into photography around 2005 and really started to take it seriously. Soon enough I started to get my photos published and a few years later I left enjoi to shoot all freelance. During that time I was able to shoot with so many different people for almost every brand and magazine. It was really rad. A few years later LRG gave me a staff position to handle all their photo and video projects, so a lot of my work has been based around those guys. After six years with LRG I am back to being all freelance again.
What was your plan for July 9, 2016?
I’ve obviously skated with the San Jose dudes for a long time. It’s always a rad time with a lot of homies. I wanted to shoot a few people skating one spot at the same time. I didn’t realize how difficult this was going to be until the day of. Even the task of finding spots that could work for this was difficult. The guarantees we had were an old spot called “The Wave” and then Louie’s ramp in the evening. Caswell Berry and Chris Patton made a flatbar to drill into the wave so we could get a few people skating at one time. That was the loose plan, and then skate whatever came up in between.
Would you consider July 9 to be a pretty typical day in skateboarding for you?
I’d say it was generally typical. We all just met up and went skating. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Explain your approach to shooting that day.
Have fun. If it’s a day in skateboarding then it’s just how we always roll. I tried to shoot more than usual and everyone was a little extra motivated to get as much stuff in one day as possible. But besides that it was just like any other day.
Who was your July 9 MVP?
Probably Caswell Berry. He came up with the idea to skate the wave. He and Chris spent the morning making the flat bar. And he was the last one still skating.
What is your favorite image that you shot that day and why?
Its tough. I’d say either Ben’s ollie or the triples with Ben, Caswell, and Jose. Ben’s ollie was super gnarly. We weren’t even really sure what that was. It was just some weird shitty path of cement someone poured on a dirt bank. I really didn’t think you could skate it. But Ben was committed. With the triples photo it was just such a hard photo to shoot, mainly because all four of us had to work on timing. Getting everyone to be at the right spot at the right time without running into each other was pretty hard. The dudes killed it though and stuck through it even though it got frustrating after awhile.
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans, and where can we see more of your work?
I got a few things in the works with some of my favorites, Karl Watson being one of them. I’ve also been working on stuff with my friend Benny Gold for his clothing brand. I’ll have updates of all that on my Instagram and you can always check my website for some of my favorite projects to date as well as a print store if interested in buying any prints.
4:24 p.m. Ben Raemers, ollie. Sunnyvale, CA
Preview One Day in Skateboarding 2016 with over 100 pages of quality photos in The Skateboard Mag issue 153. Video Doc. coming soon.