Over the years, our long time friend and creative collaborator, Jon Humphries has captured some incredible moments on film. Asking someone to break down such a prolific career into five shots is a tall ask but Jon was up for a challenge. Here are five of his all time favorite photos with the story behind them. Stay tuned for our full length video interview with Jon Humphries coming soon.
This is one of my all time favorite skateboarders, Mark Gonzales. Not only was he a childhood hero, he is the Godfather of street skateboarding. Beyond that he is probably the most creative person I have ever been around in my life. Everything he does exudes creativity, from skateboarding, to art, to just plain walking down the street. Every second I got to be around Mark was so enjoyable and inspiring. I feel very blessed to have been able to shoot a bunch of photos of him for a couple years. I’ve been inspired by him to be a creative human. Childhood dream come true.
I shot this photo in San Francisco in a spot I love, Potrero Hill. SF just has so many cool locations, obviously, but the one thing I always notice when I’m there is the mess of power lines on every street. This was one of those skateboard photos that just came together somewhat organically. Right location, talented skateboarders, and some simple, yet stylish skateboarding. It’s magic when it all comes together, and I think that’s why I’ll always enjoy shooting skateboarding.
Who doesn’t love Polaroids? One of the best creations from man ever made. I had the luxury of coming up with this campaign idea (which rarely, if ever, happens), so I chose to make a Polaroid collage for each skateboarder to use as advertisements. It’s probably one of the most fun campaigns I’ve shot. I bought a ton of Polaroid boxes and shot as many as I wanted. Pretty much a dream from a photographer’s standpoint. On top of all that Brian Anderson is on my list of top five skateboarders to shoot with (and top five human beings). Brian is just the best person to shoot photos of. He’s he nicest, kindest guy in skateboarding, not to mention has one of the best styles in skateboarding.
My roots of action photography are in skateboarding but I have a secret love for all sports. In the last few years I have branched out to shoot all kinds of sports and training. It’s fun and challenging to try and bring what I’ve done in skateboarding to other sports. These soccer photos were a perfect fit for me, because the photo direction was to shoot all of it in the streets, just like skateboarding. The idea was to try to promote to American kids to organize their own soccer pick-up games in the streets, as is commonplace in other countries where this happens in every neighborhood. I like how this photo framed up the action with the fences of the tennis court, and I really liked it in black and white, just feels more like the streets.
Photos just happen, sometimes I’m good at seeing them and capturing them, and sometimes I just plain miss them. I saw this photo happening. The light was so amazing that day in Seattle. We were skateboarding at Red Square, which already has some cool architectural bits to it, when the sun just set in perfect on the square. I saw these cool shadows happening and finally someone (unknown skateboarder) skated exactly in the perfect spot to create this cool shadow. Mostly just luck but I actually saw this one happening. Photography really is 50 percent good luck, actually maybe the other 50 percent is as well. Ha.