If you know skateboarding, you know the work of photographer J Grant Brittain.
The legendary photographer got his start shooting friends at Del Mar skatepark in Southern California at the tail-end of the 70s (even carrying a 12-year-old Tony Hawk out of the bowl when he knocked his teeth out), not knowing that the images he was making at the time would go on to represent a whole era of skateboarding. In a new video from Mac Premo, Brittain answers 20 questions about how his hobby became a full-time occupation, the art of split-second timing, and the early days at Del Mar.
‘You didn’t have plans, you were just shooting and trying to get a good photo,’ he says about the early days at the skatepark. ‘I didn’t look at it as history in the future… we thought skating was going to die.’
When Premo asks whether he sees himself as a historian, the ever-humble Brittain responds: ‘I think mainly I’m a witness. I’m not the skater, and I’ve always thought that the skater was the most important person, of course, in skateboarding. I’m just a photographer, I had a camera.’
Hit play on the full video above, and then check out Monster Children‘s chat with the veteran skate photographer here.