The way the sun hits the wall
Gilbert Crockett - Kickflip - Sunset Bv
The images that remain, in time, invisible, and the distance that grant singularity of innocent beauty and turns them into threads, that we have finally left behind the world of everyday life to surf the wave and pass beer. Something we learned is that the extension is not real, that the horizon is nothing other than the breadth of the mind and that's how we grew up... between Los Angeles and Córdoba we have cultivated the flower of American youth.
We read that you were born in Norwalk, CA, but your last name is 'Acosta', where does your roots come from?
Yes, I was born and raised about 10 miles south of Los Angeles. I am of Mexican/American descent. But I heard recently that my great great grandfather might have been from Russia, so maybe that changes things?
What was your first approach to skateboarding?
I first fell in love with the freedom skateboarding offered. When I was young my brother and I played a few different sports, basketball, football, baseball. I always hated that you had to practice in the afternoons after school and play the games on the weekend, once I found skateboarding and realized that you can do it whenever you felt like doing it, I was hooked.
Your part in Logic - issue 06 is tremendous, how was the experience of participating in this series of videos?
Logic was a video magazine that was done by my good friend Heath Brinkley. It was like an underground version of 411 that was showcasing guys that you never really saw much. It was rad to be able to have a part in issue 6 because that ended up having a ton of big names and became a really good issue. To this day, I get people from all over the world mentioning that part to me. I trip out because it felt so low-key and small at the time, but skaters really seemed to dig that video.
We know that skateboarding is a trigger towards the artistic universe. How was the transition from skateboarder to photographer?
The transition from being a full time skater to photographer was very natural and organic. I pretty much always brought my camera with me when I would go out skating and would learn on the whoever was willing to let me take their picture. I still shoot with old skate friends from back in the days from when I was just skating and I try to keep the vibes exactly the same. I don’t force anything and l like to let the skating happen naturally. I’ve been on both sides of the camera and understand the importance of keeping the vibes right to get the trick/photo. Now I have more responsibilities and deadlines, but I still try and enjoy the chill skate lifestyle while making sure the job gets done.
We believe that skateboarding is a tool to look at the world in a different way, how does this influence your life?
Skateboarding to me has been such in important learning tool in my life. Just the act of skateboarding alone has taught me tons of invaluable lessons. Patience, creativity, self control, persistence are just a few traits I’ve learned first hand. Skateboarding also shows you new ways to see things, like looking at spots and realizing you can skate certain things where normal people wouldn’t see it. You can also apply that same way of seeing things different than normal to lots of other areas of life.
What are your influences or referents?
I find influences and inspirations all over, not just photography or skateboarding. I try and keep my eyes always open to what's around and get inspired by my environment. Sometimes the way the sun is hitting a wall, or the way a person is sitting at a bus bench can have something I can feed of and try and bring that into my photography. Family around me is also a influence on me. It’s keeps me balanced and focused on what I need to do.
As for the technical part, we saw that you use both digital and analog cameras, what devices do you use and for what purposes?
I have a lot of different tools for different jobs, I have a few films cameras that I love. My first camera is a Hasselblad 501CM, I still use that and shoot personal stuff with it. I have a Leica M6 that I have been using for about 8 years now and love carrying it around with me shooting black and white film. Lately I’ve been rocking the Yashica T4 for point and shoot stuff, it has such a rad look to the photos. For Digital work stuff I use mostly Canon. I have a bunch of Canon lenses and stuff. I also have a Leica M10 digital that I’ve been using this year, its feels pretty close to the M6 but with instant gratification. :)
We saw on your website that you portrayed Dylan Rieder and the Olson family, among others, how is and was your relationship with them?
Dylan was a friend of mine since he was a young buck coming up in So Cal. We started skating/shooting back when he was riding for Quiksilver and Rasa Libre. He was always a genuine humble person that ripped at skating. He was also really easy to photograph and there was always something special about his skating. It was an honor to be able to watch him grow into the Dylan we know now and see how huge of an influence he had on the world.
Could we say that you work with your friends?
Yes I can definitely say I work with friends! That's what makes my job so amazing, I get to travel and work with my buddies. It’s almost crazy to call it work! Ha!
What is it like working for an exclusive medium like Skateboard mag?
I’ve worked for TheSkateBoardMag for like 13-14 years exclusively and it was the best! Just working for legends like Grant Brittain, Dave Swift and Atiba was unreal. They gave me a huge chance early in my career and I’m so grateful for that! I miss the mag so much, it's a bummer that it’s done.
Currently, what other media do you work for?
I’ve been a staff photographer for Vans for 10 years now and couldn’t be happier to work for such a brand. They are truly in it for the right reasons and love skateboarding as much as I do. And they make the best shoes hands down! Dream job!
How is a day in the life of Anthony Acosta?
Everyday is different for me and that's what I like. Right now it's Summer here and my two boys are out of school. So far it's been swim class in the morning for them, then come home and see who’s out skating and try and meet up and make some photos. I’ll usually try and get some skating in myself in the evening so I’ll either pick up my oldest son (Israel, 9) and go skate a skatepark with him until it gets dark or try and skate a street spot in downtown LA. I try and get home around 8 and hang with the wife and kids until bedtime. Then I try and knock out some computer work/ emails at the end of the day and stay caught up with work. With family and the type of job I have, it’s never boring around here, that's for sure.