Photos by Evan Mock
People don’t have a clue how to behave around cameras.
Even the most vanity-averse folks have a bit of a panic in front of one. That said, I think they’d be happy with Evan Mock capturing them through his lens. You’ve seen Evan’s work here on Monster Children before. It’s usually surfing and skateboarding rather than traditional photography, but turns out he’s pretty good at the latter, too. We dropped him a line to chat about some of his favourite recent snaps, and what got him into the whole photography caper in the first place. Here’s what he had to say:
Hey Evan! You still living it up in Hawaii?
Yeah, I’m in Hawaii right now. Surfing, skating, and enjoying family everywhere I go. Eating Hawaiian food. All the things in life everyone needs to experience. It’s been really fun over here, man. Good waves, and I’ve managed to stay pretty productive as well.
Right, so first off: your hair. It’s pink. You just did that so you could get the Frank Ocean Instagram shoutout, yeah?
Yeah, that’s such a crazy deal. So that all came about when I was with my friend, Tom Sachs. He was in Hawaii with my boss at Hurley, Pat Towersey, staying at the house across from the skatepark. He went to watch Pipe, and I went to the park and we met there later. Tom said, ‘Hey dude! That’s so rad, my friend Frank has the same hair right now. He’d love it if you said, “What up!” to him.’ He puts his phone in my face and I was like, ‘Uhhh, well…’ and whatever else it was I said in the video. Not knowing that it was Frank fucking Ocean he was talking about.
I wake the next morning to 15,000 new followers and Frank Ocean follows me and all these Frank Ocean fan accounts are blowing me the fuck up and it was a weird ordeal. And it’s still happening! It’s been days since that happened and I’m still getting traction. People are just going nuts. Tyler, The Creator sent me a DM. He slid into my DMs! It’s ridiculous. Such a random deal, and funny that that’s all that it takes. You can see how much influence those guys have once you share their spotlight a bit.
Preposterous. Alright, let’s talk photos. These are all really good and it was way too hard to pick out favourites. Did this all come from a more deliberate effort to take photos or was it more of a spontaneous, ‘I have a camera so might as well start snapping pics while I can’ deal?
It was always something that was a part of my upbringing. Growing up in Hawaii, I was always around photographers and creatives. Another huge point for me with taking photos was having friends pass away. Photos can be a priceless item. Even if it’s a blurry, faded whatever. That’s a big reason why I started taking photos, honestly.
You want to document what you do; and to be able to look back on it is epic. There are friends you may not have later photographed by you. So you still have them around. You can look at a photo and instantly know the spot, the date, and the memories attached. It’s a way to remember the times that you had with your friends. The good, the bad, everything.
What have you been mostly shooting with?
On film. I’ve wanted to get into digital but I don’t actually own a digital camera. So it’s mostly just point and shoot. I call it my party camera because I put it in my pocket, pull it out, slide the lens open and start shooting. A lot of photos that I like are the ones where you have just a split-second to get it right. Those cameras allow me to do that. They’re pretty much dummy proof. It’s easy to work with. It’s user-friendly! I like shooting with film, I like that anticipation of getting your rolls back and looking at them to see if you had any good ones. The whole process, honestly, is great.
What sort of stamps were you collecting in your passport here? It looks like you were all over the place.
I was on that Copenhagen Tour, for the Copenhagen Pro. Usually it’s reserved to Copenhagen, obviously, but last year they travelled across three cities, and that was insane. Copenhagen, to Amsterdam for a day, then to Berlin for three or four days. Then I had a ticket to London. I actually bought that before I even knew I was going to Copenhagen. That was because I had shown the Palace guys around Hawaii previously. I showed them a good time and the true side of Hawaii. They were stoked on it. After that, anyway, they said: ‘You have to come to England! Come to London, hang with us.’ So of course, yeah, it was a done deal.
So, I did the London thing and that was amazing. Then I went to Barcelona for a month with Chewy Cannon and met up with Kevin White and friends from LA. It was 20 of us together and we would party all night and skate all day and do it over again for a whole month straight. It was my first time to Barcelona too and that’s been on my hit list for a while. Barcelona is the best place; I can talk about it forever. I met the love of my life nine-thousand times there. The skating is beyond belief. The beer is cheap and the food is amazing. It’s just, why would I ever leave? It’s like why my dad moved to Hawaii, to the North Shore, in the 70s. It’s a dreamland for young people.
From Barcelona, I went to Paris for Fashion Week, then down to Hossegor for the contest. I met up with Dion, Jay Davies, Chippa and Brendon Gibbens. They said they were on, “Some tour right now, showing our movies… Do you want to come with us?” and of course I was! They were going to Rome and Amsterdam. So we went to Amsterdam for 24 hours. Then we went to Rome for two days. Did the Coliseum. Did all the tourist spots. But it was actually very interesting to see how many people showed up for a surf movie in the middle of Rome. I went back to Barcelona for ten days after that, and then to Japan. Surfed under Mount Fuji and hit a couple of surf towns. Then back to Tokyo and hung out with all the Palace guys when they were opening up their new store in Shibuya. We were all in the same hotel room, which is crazy because where everything started–us together in Hawaii–is sort of where we ended: us together in Tokyo.
And what are your plans for this year? Anything you’re shooting to do in particular?
Pretty much do what I‘ve been doing. Nothing specific other than working on skating and surfing more, and taking photos. With my Sorry brand I’ve been bouncing a lot of ideas off my mentors. I want to integrate photos with my art and clothing. It’s a learning process, but that’s what I want to be working on. Also, be a better person. Working on myself as a human while working on my people skills as well. Just being an elevated person. I’m fired up this year to make myself better and make other people better. It’s a work in progress.