Introducing – Luke Thompson – Photographer
Luke Thompson is a pro photographer with a varied skill base and a burning passion to create outstanding images. He first entered the world of photography via skateboarding and he’s been hard at it for a number of years, but says it’s hard to pinpoint an exact start date. This Perth based photographer is really producing some very fine work in a number of genres. Luke’s photos can be found in numerous skate and lifestyle publications, such as The Skateboarders Journal, Soggybones (Senior Photographer) and Acclaim Magazine. Luke aspires to build strong relationships with other creative minds and is also keen to shoot larger scale projects – Justin Ward, Soggybones Magazine Editor.
Biggest Challenges as a Skate Photographer: It would be hard to say what is the biggest challenge exactly, but it would probably be just the unpredictability of it all. You never know who will come along and want to get involved in your shoot. Or if/when the skater will land their trick. The lighting could change. A skateboard could flick out and hit me or my gear. All the little things you can’t predict add up to make a big challenge. The biggest frustration is definitely a random hero. Someone who comes along and just can’t deal with people skateboarding and can only express it through anger. Could be a person walking by or even a security guard.
Other forms of photography work: Most of my work centres around fashion advertising and magazine editorial. But I do lots of portraiture, abstract and even the odd event.
You are certainly a talent, is it still difficult to make ends meet: These days I have a more steady income (finally) and I’m still really enjoying my work. It took a while to get there with some ups and downs on the way. Difficult is relative and everyday there is challenges but that’s what keeps it interesting.
Equipment: I use mostly Nikon gear. With a D3 as my main body, a bunch of Nikon lenses and speedlites. I have zooms because there are times when I need them but I much prefer working with primes when I can. I also have a couple of Elinchrom Quadras that are pretty awesome for lighting on location. I’ve always been on the search for that perfect small camera to take everywhere. I’ve been through Canon G9, Samsung nx10, Fuji X100 and I just ordered a panansonic GX1. Still looking for the perfect take everywhere camera.
Any advice for the new photographers wanting to travel the skate photography path: Well I guess the best advice I can give would be to have fun doing it firstly. Secondly take the time to learn the science behind it and then you’ll learn so much from just trial and error. Time on the ground is priceless. Get out there and make some mistakes, you’ll learn.
Is it hard to deal with the skate industry as a whole: Sometimes it is and then sometimes it isn’t. Most of the people involved share a lot of love for skateboarding and are great to deal with. But on the other hand that doesn’t mean they have a big budget or can afford to pay you how much that photograph is actually worth. It can still be difficult to get people to realise all the effort and expense that goes into a great skate photo sometimes.
Where else can we check your work: www.lukeshootsphotos.com (due for a big update soon)
Best company you have worked for and why: I couldn’t pick out the best company at all. Everything has it’s ups and downs. I just enjoy working for anyone who respects the process and understands
How did you become involved in Soggybones and what’s your role: Justin Ward contacted me about submitting skate content and we just went from there. I’ve landed in a position as one of the Senior Photographers and also the Skate Photo Editor. Very happy to be here and wish I could afford to dedicate more time to it if anything.
Future Plans: Well I’m not exactly sure at the moment. I have been working hard and saving my coins to fund a trip away. Not exactly sure where too yet. I want to go visit Justin in Bali, some friends in Melbourne and then see where I end up. Keep my options open so to speak. It’s all set to be a great year though!
Previous Small Projects: