Brian is a photographer for one of the desert’s favorite skate shops, Epidemic.
Brian is the man behind many of the photos that are currently documenting the very much alive and in full effect, desert skate culture. Not that it ever died, it’s just Brian has a good grasp on what is going on right now in the skate scene.
Most recently, Epidemic revamped their website and launched their own line of clothing (way to go guys). The team headed out to New York and Ohio to shoot for their look book and invited Brian to come on board to hang with the Epidemic Skate crew and document the experience. Pretty sweet gig, right?
If you skate, you’ve probably seen this dude around. And if you haven’t, then you need to start looking.
So, without further ado.. I introduce to you, Brian Evans….
So… tell me a little bit about this Epidemicly Later’d trip to NY/Ohio. Why did you guys choose these cities opposed to cities in the Coachella Valley and/or LA? And was there/what was the vision behind it?
The trip was really just a chance to get out of California for a bit and enjoy other parts of the country. I think it was mostly a vacation with a little bit of work sprinkled in. As far as a vision I’m not really too sure. I got a call from Glen asking if I wanted to come along to shoot the photos and well when NY is the destination its hard to say no. I think he just wanted the new clothing line to be launched with a bang and what better way to do that than a trip to NY and Ohio.
Who went on this trip? And how were they chosen?
I think the group was chosen based on who could afford it and who had the time ha. It was me, Glen, Georgie (team rider), Tanner (team rider), Jeff (team rider), and Rey ( Epidemic employee). It ended up being the perfect group though, non stop laughs and never a dull moment.
Can you tell us what cities you traveled to? And the one city/part of the trip that was most interesting to you. And why?
We started in New York City and from there we went to Washington DC for a day and then drove all night to get to Ohio. We spent the majority of the Ohio portion of the trip in a town called Canton, but drove up to Akron a number of times to skate some spots in the city. I’d say the most interesting part was NY. There is never a dull moment in that city. Everywhere you go no matter what time it is that city is moving. It was pretty overwhelming, but a great experiece forsure.
New York & skateboarding. It’s one thing to skate & shoot in the wide open desert, how was it skating & shooting in such a condensed area?
It definately had its pros and cons. The biggest pro was that it seemed like around every corner was a spot and also cops don’t seen to give a shit about skateboarding. We were skating a spot at a police station and when a cop walked up all he said was “make sure you don’t hit the cars.” That would never happen in California. A major con was the lack of a car. Skating around a huge city with 40 pounds of camera equipment on your back gets old really fast.
From a photographer’s perspective, did you find yourself enjoying shooting in a busy city (NY) more than the peaceful small towns (Ohio, Coachella Valley)? And why?
That’s a really tough one. I loved shooting the craziness of the city forsure, but I think there is so much to photograph in NY that I was a bit overwhelmed. Everywhere I looked there was something to snap a shot of and I think that made me feel a little rushed at times. I’d have to say that some of my favorite photos from the trip came from our mini hikes through the woods of Ohio.
How do you see Epidemic’s line represented in your photos from NY/Ohio? What do these photos tell us about this new line and how are we to interpret them?
I guess people are free to interpret them how they want. Glen didn’t want a bunch of staged photos. He wanted the photos to be natural so thats what I shot.
What is your experience as an action sport photographer? How did you get into it? How long have you been doing it? Who have you shot?
My experience as an action sport photographer is primarily in skateboarding with a little surfing here and there. I was always out skating with my friends so it was a natural progression to start photographing them. I have always been interested in photography, but I didn’t start getting serious about it until my junior year of high school. The majority of my stuff is of the Epidemic team riders.
What do you shoot with when you are shooting action sports, such a skateboarding?
I’d say about 95% of my skateboarding photos are shot with a Canon 20D. As far as lenses go I stick to two, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye and a Canon 70-200mm. Lighting I use cheap Vivtar flashes triggered by Pocket Wizards. On a rare occasion I will shoot with my Mamiya RB67 medium format camera.
I understand that although you are being interviewed on my site for shooting an amazing set for Epidemic, you are not just limited to action sport photography and you are actually more focused on editorial photography and portraiture. This is interesting! Tell me a little about this. What is your background in this field? And why do you enjoy these styles so much?
My interest in portraiture is pretty recent, in fact I used to cringe at the thought of photographing people. I still get really freaked out when I’m about to work with someone I have never photographed before, but after a few snaps I loosen up. I really enjoy the idea of environmental portraiture. A lot of times I’ll pick up a magazine like Time and just look at the portraits. That’s the kind of stuff I would like to do. There are so many people in this world and they are all unique, I guess that’s what I enjoy most about portraits. You could use the exact same background and exact same lighting, but if you stick a different person in the frame its an entirely new and exciting photograph.
How do you pick your subjects? Or do they pick you?
It depends on what I’m shooting. For the most part I contact people to photograph, but every now and again someone will contact me. I have only recently started pursuing this avenue so I’m still trying to get my name out there.
Who has been your favorite person to photograph, and why?
As far as a formal session goes my favorite would have to be Jamelle Gray. She is a model from Orange County that I met through Model Mayhem. She was a blast to work with and I think the photos came out awesome. Other than that some of my favorite portraits came from a day at Venice Beach. I shot a few of the local sellers and I absolutely love the photographs.
What do you shoot with when shooting a portraiture?
I shoot a lot more film with portraiture. I’d say it’s probably 70% digital and 30% film. I love the look of film, but it gets really expensive to process. I also haven’t been using film for that long so I am still learning with it. If I am going to shoot with film I always shoot backups on my digital just in case something goes wrong with the film.
Do you have a photographer(s) that you admire and get inspired by?
Most definitely. For skateboarding, it would either be Atiba Jefferson or Matt Price. For portraiture there is probably a hundred, but I think the photographer that really got me siked on portraiture is Nigel Perry. He shoots a lot of black and white with really simple lighting, which is what I love.
What do you love most about the Coachella Valley? From a personal and a photographer’s perspective?
On the personal side I love the Valley because its my home and that’s where my family and friends are. I don’t have time to get out there very often so when I do I make sure I spend as much time as possible with those people. From a photographers perspective I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a desert landscape. If I had to choose one subject to photograph for the rest of my life it would be the desert.
How do you feel growing up in the Coachella Valley has influenced you as an artist/style?
I’m not really sure how to answer that. I have never really taken the time to analyze my “style,” I just shoot photos. I’m sure if I really took the time to think about it I could see how the desert has influenced my photography, but I prefer not to. I like it keep things simple.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m really just trying to get my name out in the editorial world. I’m also trying to put together a solid set of photos to submit to the La Quinta Arts Festival panel. I have been going to that show for a long time now and I would love to have my work in it.
What plans do you have for your future as a photographer?
I’d really like to make a name for myself in the editorial world. Traveling the world photographing interesting people sounds like a pretty awesome gig to me. I guess that’s really my only plan. I figure I’ll give that a whirl and if it doesn’t work out I’ll have to come up with a plan B.
Where are you located on the internet???
My photos can be found on my website www.brianevansphotographs.com or on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/43812969@N00/ . My flickr is updated all the time with new work.
I definately have to send a big thank you to my family and my girlfriend Jessica for being super supportive and always encouraging me to keep going. Also, a major thank you to the folks over at Epidemic, they have been a huge influence on me and a big help over the years.
to check out more of Brian’s work, please visit: