A good photograph is about composition, lighting, content, and access. But a great photograph tells a story. The truth is that not all pictures tell a thousand words, but … they should.
It’s becoming somewhat of an annual tradition for me to go to the May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles and document the march for immigration reform. From an outsider’s perspective, I think many assume these demonstrations express an anti-American sentiment, but it couldn’t be further from reality. As one of our best-selling t-shirts of all time expressed, “Dissent is not disloyalty.” There is nothing more American than the right to be heard.
When we were granted the opportunity to interview Mike Vallely for a The Hundreds Chronicle, I near lost it. There are only so many heroes I’ve yet to meet, let alone still be enthused by. Mike V is a skateboarding iconoclast, but as rough as his exterior is, he is actually intelligent, well-spoken, and beyond focused. I tried to summarize that dichotomy with this 1 shot.
By far one of our favorite stories of the year comes courtesy of Josh Seher. On an early evening in Tokyo, this buffalo plaid monstrosity accosted Ben Hundreds on the street, expressing his undying love for both The Hundreds and Japanese women. It only got better once we e-researched the kid and discovered the complicated, disturbing, and outright bewildering universe of Josh Seher. (Has anyone translated the backwards part of his video yet?)
And this was one of our least favorite stories of the year. The Hundreds’ team rider Owen aka Flowin’ Owen aka Mike Franklin suffered a devastating motorcycle accident when a truck T-boned him in an intersection. Owen flew 50 feet, and woke up to a world of surgeries, horrific handicaps, and the doctor’s premonition that he may never skate again. Ben and I paid Owen a visit at his home on a weekday afternoon. It was painful to see him tied to that chair, watching the world go by from his garage… we all knew what a travesty it was.
But this story has a happy ending. We’re proud to say that Owen is back! Not only walking, but skateboarding once again.
Then again, haven’t we learned by now that nothing is impossible for Owen?
It seems like every year is Dave Choe’s year. But this one was asterisked by his solo show at the Lazarides Gallery in Beverly Hills back in April. Dave is an artist, a rockstar, a luminary, and a good friend. Such a complicated individual, one of the most tormented but enlightened people that I know. With everything going on around him, somehow I caught him being still, enshrouded in the moment.
You know how the entire world hangs on the balance of soccer (I mean “football”), especially when it comes to World Cup. And when we were in Germany this Summer, we were onhand to witness their Semi-Finals game against Spain. Down on the Torstrasse, where all the cool stores, and even cooler clientele gather, the sidewalks were gridlocked with anxious countrymen, praying for a win. Alas, Germany failed to seal the deal, but the Germans carried on, as did the night.
Scotty Caan is an L.A. figurehead and a virtuoso, whether it’s acting, photography, skateboarding, or even rap (anyone remember?). I photographed him outside of Swingers after lunch one afternoon, with the intent of cementing his classic, old-school Hollywood appeal. Meanwhile the paparazzi circled us like vultures — You’d never guess by how nonplussed and collected he remained, as effortless as his hair. Scotty’s a good guy, and his film Mercy was one of my favorites of 2010. He also happens to star in the biggest show on TV right now, Hawaii 5-0.