Woman Crush Wednesday: An Interview with Andrea DoSouto
By: Riley Ryan-Wood
You’ve been photographing this specific community since you were 19—what changes have you been able to witness during this time?
Well, I guess 12 years in our time gives space to a lot of changes, especially on as young a culture as skateboarding. Also the world has changed a lot in the last 10 years. I started shooting in Europe, and I live in California now so that’s also a big difference. I will say the biggest change is now you have all these big corporate companies trying to invest in skating, making it more of a show—a competition in a way—and also making some people take skating as a job because now you can make good money out of it. It’s already been approved to be an official sport in the Olympic games—that’s a big difference from when I started photographing it. Some people think it is positive, some think it’s taking away the soul of it.
You obviously have a long history here and are intimately familiar with the community you photograph—do you consider yourself an outsider or an insider?
I think you can tell from my photos that I am not an outsider; I feel really attached to my subject. They are my family and friends, and I would choose to hang out with them even if I wasn’t a photographer. I’ve grown up on it. I take it as a culture and not as a sport, so I feel part of it.
Have you ever hopped on a board yourself?
I do. I cruise with it. I definitely don’t run with my camera following the guys, ha. I just never really started trying tricks and spending time trying to get good at it. I think because I grew up in Barcelona and we didn’t have parks, I felt too intimidated to do it on the street—instead I took a camera and started shooting.
You’ve said in interviews that you generally shoot with a digital camera, but the majority of your skating photographs are black and white, quite reminiscent of street photography. Can you talk about the thought process behind this choice?
I studied photojournalism. Street photography was all I liked about photography. My favorite photographers are people like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Marta Cooper, Mary Ellen Mark…so that’s my references. I’m not a big fan of color, I normally say that if color doesn’t add something amazing to the photo then it’s just noise, so I get rid of it.
I shoot on digital with skating because when it comes to action shots I need certain traits of modern digital cameras. I need reading glasses, so I struggle with manual focus, and more than anything I’m scared of missing that key moment. Even though I shoot in RAW, I leave my preview on B&W so I don’t get distracted, and I can focus on the composition. I still use analog too, but for more under-control situations, like portraits or landscapes.
the WCW Questionnaire
1. How would you describe your creative process in one word? Passion.
2. If you could teach one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be? On respect.
3. What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you? La Haine, from Mathieu Kassovitz is hands down my favorite movie, but What Happened, Miss Simone? is the last movie I saw that deeply inspired me.
4. What is the most played song in your iTunes Library? Como el agua, Camaron de la Isla & Paco de Lucia.
5. How do you take your coffee? I never had a coffee in my life, hahaha! Black Tea with Coconut/Almond milk is my go to.
Images © Andrea Dosouto