Welcome to this week’s Comacan Questions, thank you for taking the time to check them out. This week were speaking with a photographer who we just credited with one of the great shots from our last interview (with Andrew Yates). We first saw some of this photographer’s work popping up online, shared by The Local Skateshop in some ads, then we were lucky enough to enjoy a skate with him this past summer. Since then, we have seen some of his work end up in some familiar magazines, which you will see talked about below. We often like to pick the brains of people to see why they do what they do and what exactly it means to them, that’s exactly what we did this week. Without any further delay were stoked to share this week’s interview with Damien Gordon.
What inspired you to get into photography?
My parents always made art accessible to me as a kid, so I was able to go down a lot of different creative avenues. As much as I appreciated all art forms, nothing really stuck with me until I was introduced to skateboarding. We had a lot of skate videos on VHS growing up; I was always stoked on those. When high school came around, we started making these ridiculous videos of us skating; my homie had a Canon T3i and when I saw that, something really clicked in my head… I got my first job soon after and bought the same one. Haven’t stopped shooting since.
What do you like most about photographing skateboarding?
What I like most about shooting skateboarding is how it forces you to adapt. Sometimes an idea doesn’t materialize the way you thought it would, so you gotta move on the fly. It’s about making the trick look as big and rad as possible. The ultimate goal for me, is the homies reaction to the photo, that’s when you know you nailed it.
What is a unique challenge for you when shooting?
Composition and lighting are always the fundamental challenges… those two things need to come together or else the photo has no impact. Making a good photo happen is harder than it looks and it’s easy to slip up. I’ve gone into a shoot with high hopes on an idea and gotten my ass rightfully handed to me… it’s part of the experience! (Hahaha). You’re never gonna stop learning in this industry no matter how experienced you are.
Where can people view the photos you take?
My online portfolio can be found at damiengordon.photos
Do you skateboard yourself?
Yes I do, don’t ask for clips (hahaha).
What do you use to shoot your videos and photos?
Everything I’ve shot in the last few years has been on a pair of Canon 7D mk1’s; as old as they are, you don’t need anything above 18 megapixels (for 90% of public demand). The 7D is an absolute tank; after years of use, 2 skate/filming trips last year and a handful of mag publications (Thrasher and SBC), mine are still going strong. Recently I’ve been interested in old digicams from the early 2000’s, namely the Canon PowerShot G2; I have 5 of them… They have a certain charm which is yet to be appreciated.
What does skateboarding mean to you?
Skating to me is about unlocking and combining your abilities physically and mentally. You are in control of your skill level; progressing takes a lot out of you… that is what defines you as a skater. There’s a lot to be said about the community, but at the end of the day it’s about you as an individual; when people recognize what you can do, that’s the best feeling. Bottom line is: no one can do it for you. That is skateboarding.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Skateboarding has given me so many opportunities in my life; the community is so widespread and unique on many levels. Through skating, I’ve met a ton of incredible and talented individuals. At 21 years old I have been lucky enough to share a spot in Thrasher, SBC, King and some local zines with many of them. It’s a dream come true honestly. I’d like to thank Beaz Crew, and homies from out-of-town for their endless support; those guys and gals helped me get to where I am in my career today and It’s mind blowing to think about where I’d be without them. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. Thank you!