This month I hit the two-year mark as a freelance photographer after almost five years straight of working for a magazine full-time, as a salaried photographer/assistant editor and it’s been one hell of a ride so far. I seem to always have this discussion with people and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s varying opinions on the subject of freelance vs. the daily grind. This very column is one of the best parts of working for myself and has been since TTL number one. Now for those of you out there working a 9-5 I have nothing against that lifestyle. If it’s paying the bills and helping you maintain your current situation then I say go for it. There is something about creating that I am addicted to. Whether it’s shooting a photograph, or writing a 4,000-word story I seem to have the need to constantly be working and moving forward. I decided to take a little bit of time and reflect on the differences between the two, and the ups and downs of both since I feel at this point I have seen from both perspectives.
When it came time to get the third edition of “Creative Minds” done I had no problems picking the next artist to feature and that happens to be Nick Sawyers. It was a name that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with but after realizing all of the stuff that he has done in the BMX world I quickly realized that I had already been into his work without even realizing who he was. It’s not every day that the BMX world is graced with talented artists so when it happens it’s rad to see them get the opportunities to create and showcase their skills within the BMX community. Nick is a jack-of-all-trades, can work in a multitude of mediums, and has a sense of humor that shines through in almost every piece he creates. Take a few minutes and get to know someone who is down to put in the work and do what it takes to become successful as a creative, regardless of the trials and tribulations that come right along with that.
This week’s column comes in the form of the second edition of “Fact Check” featuring Raul Ruiz. I have known Raul for years now and have been riding with him since 2007 so it’s always a good time when we catch up and kick it. We met up in Highland Park, California, caught a sesh at his local park, talked some shit, shot some photos and this is the result. There have only been a few recurring features that I’ve done for the column but one like this is always a nice break from the regular interview process. I like being able to provide riders with a place to be creative and be themselves. It’s been my goal from day one to use this column as a place to interview riders, get creative, and share my passion for photography. It’s amazing to have an outlet that lets me have full creative control and it’s always an honor to be able to select each rider that I want to work with. No outside influence ever effects any decisions that I make for the column and that’s the way it will stay until it’s over. On that note, enjoy the second-edition of “Fact Check.”
When I tell people about what I do as a photographer I also run down the list of freelance projects that I currently work on and one of them happens to be this very column. I tell people that I write a weekly photo-based column and that the next time it comes out it will be number (whatever it happens to be next) and they always seem to be shocked by the number of weeks that I have done this. I know for a fact I am kind of shocked as well. It’s one of those things where it doesn’t really hit me until I start the next week and fill in the “check back next Wednesday for the next column” section at the bottom of every TTL and realize how many weeks it’s been. If you have followed the column from the beginning you know that one thing’s for sure and that is you never know what to expect. I have done my best to keep things interesting and keep them fresh so that people have a reason, or at least curious enough to check out what the subject matter is week after week.
We just wanted to let everyone know that the new Through The Lens shirts are instock and ready to ship. They are screen printed by hand in Florida by fellow BMX riders. They are printed on American Apparel combed cotton for a unique, soft feel. They are available in small, medium, large and extra large for only $17.50 and every dollar made will go towards supporting The Union and our contributors. If you are interested in grabbing one (the first run has pretty limited quantities) then hit up the WEB STORE and make it happen. Thank you as always for your support! – Jeremy Pavia
Instagram contest: We also are running a contest to give away one of the shirts. All you need to do to be entered is to take a screen-shot of a photo from your favorite column from the past 92 weeks and briefly explain why. Also make sure to follow The Union on Instagram (@BMXunion and hashtag #TTLgiveaway while you are at it. The winner will be picked at random and will be announced at the end of next week’s TTL.
There has always been something intriguing to me about getting some behind the scenes details on a photo. I don’t know what it is about it but I just get stoked on seeing exactly how someone shot a specific photo and get a little insight into the process. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that every photographer shoots a little differently, which in turn makes each story unique in its own way. I can remember studying photos in magazines and borderline obsessing about the way that they were shot and honestly over the years not much has changed. I still find myself getting lost in photos to this day with the same level of curiosity that I had when I first started shooting. With that said, enjoy round six of WYDK.
Kevin Kiraly is one of the few pro riders out there these days that are pushing BMX in a positive direction and actually offering something unique as a rider. His technical skills on a bike come from years and years of dedication to what he does. He is one of the pickiest riders I know when it comes to spots, filming, and shooting photos but when you realize it’s because he wants to make everything look perfect it all makes sense. Kevin is a visual rider and knows what tricks should look like when they are done the right way so it’s all about finding the best trick for that specific spot which obviously could take a while. Kevin actually put out a part and won The Hunt video contest last week and came down to the premiere to celebrate and hang out so it was a perfect opportunity to catch up and find out what he’s been up to and what he has going on for the rest of this year. Enjoy.