Brian Gaberman „A life in Transition“ Interview

So how was it to see almost the whole Nyjah Part live?
Nyjah is so good and I’ve been watching him skate since he´s eleven. I´m not that suprised anymore by anything he does. I get more excited when Levi lands a good kickflip then if Nyjah does something like that. Just because I know Nyjah´s gonna do it. There´s no question.

He never freaks out?
I´ve never seen him getting angry. And I’ve never been with him when he didn´t get the trick he was trying to get. Heeflip front feeble down a handrail, crooked grind a huge rail you know, 5-0 another huge 21stair rail, he lands it, every time. Even if he takes the worst slam ever. He gets up and he does it again. He just doesn´t give up. So there´s no point to get angry.

The only thing I want to say is, just make a really interesting photo. Even if you take the skater out.

So in general, beside of all that trips and stuff, are you fully involved into the skateboarding world?
I’m trying not to be. I mean I read all the magazines. I get them and I look at them, but theres not that much that´s exciting me in there these days. Only when somebody does something that really stands out. I think that if I pay too much attention, I start to question out everything that I do. I like to be in this bubble, not paying attention too much, because than I feel like I have a perspective that really comes from me.

What do you think has changed in skateboard photography in general? Like when you started to work for magazines there were still a lot of hand printed photos and stuff
It was much better. I mean, there have been a lot of changes. There was some amazing stuff, Atiba did some amazing stuff. Experimenting around was just the best. I just want to see people trying stuff.

How about the printed image, does it still mean a lot to you?
Yeah, I love things that you can hold in your hand. I know there´s a place for online photos and I don´t have a problem with that, because anything you do that gets the photos in front of people´s eyes is a good thing, I think. But I just wanna hold something in my hands. I will always prefer that. Are you gonna have a memory of seeing something on a computer screen? I don´t think so. You need to touch things.

How did the book came along in the end?
Johnny from Element said I should make a book and I was like no, I don´t wanna make a book. They asked me again a year later and I said no, I don´t wanna make a book. Who needs a skateboard book? That´s just how I felt. Cause I´ve seen a few and I just didn´t care. I just didn’t want to make one of those. But then Thomas Campbell told me that I would be an idiot if I don’t make a book when somebody else want to pay for it. He told me that this is a great opportunity and that if have to do it. Just do it, it´s a good experience, even if you don´t like the experience, he said. Going through it is really good for you. He was right. He´s always right.

Is he involved in the book?
Yes, he helped me so much. We started with like 400 photos. 400 of my favorites and then he helped me editing it down. He was like, no, try to put this photo next to this one. And then I was like, nah I don´t think so, but when I looked at it I was like, damn, he´s right again.

Tell us a bit about your personal work. Is there a lot of similarity to what we see here, or is it completely different
It feels the same, but it´s completely different. It´s just simple, my family. Pictures that I want to look at in 30 years, when i´m old.

What kind of advice would you give to a young skateboard photographer?
Most kids don´t have access to famous skateboarders, like some sponsored big name or so. So it´s really hard to get into the magazine if you´re not taking the picture of Andrew Reynolds or whoever. The only thing I want to say is, just make a really interesting photo. Even if you take the skater out. Make a photo that is good, without a skateboard in it. Because if that’s interesting, maybe an editor will check it, even if it´s a picture of your friend that nobody knows. That´s the only chance to get your foot in the door. Just take the chance and experiment. That´s all I ever say to the kids.

Thanks for taking the time Brian!



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