As you can see from the snaps below, Melbourne based photographer Wade Mclaughlin has developed a unique approach to skate photography. It feels like the skaters he shoots aren’t the sole subject of the photo, but a dynamic piece of a larger scene, underscoring the idea of skating as a part of life and a product of the various landscapes of the world. At least, that’s what we’re seeing…
Photography has allowed Wade shoot loads of top-tier skaters in some incredible places, and he has a high school initiative to thank for that. “When I was 14, my high school had a rad photography program with a darkroom & heaps of equipment so I had the opportunity to learn on analogue and continued shooting skateboarding, street photography and some music stuff after I graduated,” he says. “These days I’ve been exploring and enjoying almost any avenue of photography.”
As you would expect, chasing great snaps at crazy locations isn’t always smooth sailing; there’s a lot of variables that have to fall into place in order to capture the perfects shot. This difficulty is exacerbated when you’re shooting as a fish out of water – in a foreign where English-speaking locals can be hard to come across.
“I was in Japan shooting a Herstwood trip, it was a unique trip because we were pretty much doing things on our own accord as it wasn’t for a big company or anything,” he says. “We stayed on an Island for a few days with some nudist hippie legends amidst some insane scenery but there was absolutely nothing to skate, so we bought some concrete and spent one of the days building a couple of quarter pipes up against a big concrete barrier. In that time we had some scary monkey encounters, killer bees and heaps of nudity.”
“The next day we skated the spot for a couple of hours before three cop cars rock up (apparently they drove three hours) going ballistic in Japanese and asking for all of our passports and information. They made us destroy the spot and sign a pledge saying we’d come into the station when we got back to town to go over what we were doing. We didn’t, and just left the country, I hope I can go back.”
Wade absorbs a wide range of art, across various disciplines, that influence and encourage his photography. “I’m inspired by so many mediums outside of photography. Artists, writers, musicians, designers. Pretty much anyone with the ability to think outside of the box and bring an idea to life inspires me. The passion that skateboarders have inspires me, why would you abuse your body so hard to get a ‘trick’ on your stupid wooden toy. It’s the dumbest yet most beautiful thing ever.”
Check out a selection of Wade Mclaughlin’s finest shots below and head here to follow him on Instagram: