Friday, 7 May 2010

Sam King

It took me absolutely ages to finally edit this interview, but hey! I'm pretty damn busy girl. For more photos from Sam's portfolio, visit his website

Although still only in 6th grade, Sam has already managed to attract the attention of BMX community through creating striking sun drenched, California-feel photographs of his fellow BMX riders. One wouldn’t guess they were taken in London borough of Guildford. Sam can’t wait to get out of school and make living from behind his camera lenses. With a professional attitude he takes in his work, it seems that the sixth grade is holding one very talented young man from pursuing some serious career.

GB: Hey Sam, are you London born and raised?
SK: Well, pretty close. I’m from Guildford, which is in Surrey. It can be pretty boring there at times but I get by.
GB: What do you do in your free time? From looking at your pictures I can see you have a nice cycle park over there.
SK: Yeah, there’s an old beaten up skatepark about ten minutes ride from my house, which is pretty fun, We have a good little scene down there, but most of the times we travel to some of the other local parks like Horsham and Crawley. And apart from riding it’s just college work and taking photos.
GB: Sounds like good life to me, really.
SK: I try to have fun when I can.

GB: I remember when BMX was the only bike you would ever saw on the streeet, shame it’s now just a part of really small scene...
SK: Yeah, its dying otu a fair bit in some areas, like my local BMX scene has got a lot smaller the past two years I’ve really been involved in it but then, in some areas the scene is getting bigger...but overall, it’s definitely getting smaller.
GB: How did you get into BMX?
SK: I don’t even remember, to be honest. I used to ride MTB and do a bit of trails and street on it, then I moved house and ended up selling my MTB. Then when I turned 16 I got a proper BMX and used to just ride on my own. Then I went down the skatepark just to see what it was like and got talking to one of the riders who was my age down there and he saw I had a camera so I used to just go there and take photos, even thought they weren’t very good at the time. That kind of got me involved with the locals a bit more. Then I started going down there and became a local myself and started to progress with my riding and photography and here I am now. It’s strange how I got into both at the same time, but riding always gave me an excuse to get the camera out and vice versa.
GB: Have you tried both in the same time? That would be interesting!
SK: Not yet, haha. I did a bit of filming over the summer, which involved me riding and filming at the same time, even though I was only just rolling along the floor it was a bit daunting for fear of dropping the camera and I came close a couple of times!
GB: Thrilling. I looked at your portfolio, its kind of mixture of personal and sport photography, what is the direction you wanna take?
SK: I don’t really know, now I do a big mix of pretty much everything lifestyle. I’d love to still get a lot of my pictures published in the BMX magazines, but I can kind of see myself moving more towards fashion side of photography. Although the stuff in the studio can get a bit boring and samey, I love what you see in the magazines with the weird clothes and strange locations, that’s my kinda pictures!
GB: Well, most of the fashion photographers didn’t start shooting kids in the skate parks, so you have what is called “the competitive advantage”.
SK: Haha, I’d like to think so, BMX has taught me a lot about lightning and composition and such.
GB: So who are the photographers you look up to?
SK: There is far too many to name, to be honest, but the one I’ve always loved since I saw his work and the one that instantly comes to my mind is Brooks Reynolds. I love the sense of loneliness in his photos and I think my photos are starting to take that sort of direction too. His lighting is on point too.

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