Steve Sherman > Party Photos and Interview
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Primo Beer truck parked front and center, it was hard not to smile when entering the threshold of the Solana store. Steve was inside, talking with friends and sharing stories about his epic 24 x 24 inch prints standing proud on easels. The legendary photographer brought in the tools that launched his career. Old medium format cameras and a telephoto lens that resembled a rifle barrel sat on a table near his prints.
A good vibe was brewing, influenced by the Primo suds of course, and soon Steve started his slide show. He shared more story and the history behind his recognizable work.
Thank you Billabong, Primo and Steve for good times.
Interview via iPhone recording device by James Tull
J: How did you get hooked on photography?
S: When I was in junior high, at Earl Warren in Solana beach. Ed Lanfeers photo class, 7th grade. I took a photo class in black and white. I was skateboarding too at the same time for G&S. Thats how I started, in junior high.
What inspires your work?
A lot of it comes down to music, Rock And Roll. That imagery really stands out and thast what I try to bring when I shoot surfers. Basically music is my biggest muse, a huge influence in my work.
Did you look up to anyone in the photo world while you were growing up?
Grant Brittain, from the Skateboard Mag was my mentor, he kinda led me to my path, for sure. And he was here tonight.
Grants been a huge inspiration, and Craig Stecyk. I grew up in the skateboarding era, so skateboard photographers.
Favorite travel memories?
Going to Bali 2 years ago and surfing Desert Point with Oakley. We took a speed boat to Desert Point, and I got the wave of my life. That one stood out because I’d never been to Bali. That and going to Queensland Australia in 2002. I was there during a cyclone. I was staying at Burleigh Point. We got 2 days of Burleigh going balistic. Where you’re dragging your hand and you’re figuring out different things to do in the barrel. That was hands down, March of 2002. Best surf trip ever. Getting tubed.
What would you say to a fledgling photographer.
I do these talks at Brooks college, once or twice a year. And I always tell them the same thing. You have to find your own niche, and find your own look. If you’re going to be a photographer, you better be prepared to have. There’s so many photographers out there, you really have to find your own path. There was a point in my life where I decided that I just want to shoot lifestyle and portrait stuff around surfers. Theres a point where the light goes, ‘bing’ where you realize thst waht you gotta do. I tell them you have to be unique, and pursue your passion. Without that, its a tough road being a photographer. Especially during the digital age, anyone can pick up a camera and start shooting. I recommend being unique and trying something different.