NAME – Chris Hill-Scott
WHEREABOUTS – London, UK
YEARS SHOOTING – I’ve been shooting BMX with any intent for three and a bit years now, though since a young age I’ve usually had a camera of some sort.
DO YOU RECALL WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
With my first cameras I was interested in them as machines—as a Lego and bicycles sort of kid I found the mechanical aspect of cameras fascinating too.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP SHOOTING?
Now it’s the complete opposite of the camera—it’s the subject that motivates me, which, most of the time, is BMX.
DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOME SORT OF CAMERA HANDY? YOU NEVER KNOW, RIGHT?
I always have my phone on me, not that I really use it for photography. Other than that I’ve cut down to only having one camera, which I carry with me sometimes. Other times it’s fine to let the world pass by, acknowledging fully how elusory it all is.
WHO’S WORK DO YOU ADMIRE, IN AND OUT OF BMX?
Cop-out answer: too many to list. The force-me-to-pick-a-favourite answer: Ricky Adam. I’m always excited to see new stuff from friends who I’ve watched go from nowhere to being talented photographers as well; namely Craig Tull, Luke Peeters and Clement Hencher-Stevens. Outside BMX is easier: Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Andreas Gursky, Martin Parr.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PHOTO THAT YOU’VE SHOT?
It’s more favourite aspects of certain photos than a favourite photo, per se. There are definitely some of those favourite aspects in the gallery, though you’d likely not guess what they are.
MOST GEAR NERDS LIKE TO KNOW WHAT OTHERS ARE USING, SO FEEL FREE TO FILL US IN ON WHAT YOU WORK WITH.
There’s a bag check I did with Streetphire a while ago which lists the whats/whys of my equipment.
DO YOU ENJOY LABORING OVER A SHOT/SETUP, OR DO YOU LIKE TO GET THINGS DONE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE?
Both: I like to labour over a shot until I have the simplest image which remains faithful to the subject. That doesn’t necessarily prescribe complex setups, nor simple images. “Just enough is more”—Milton Glasser.
BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER, HOW REWARDING IS HAVING YOUR WORK PRINTED IN A MAGAZINE?
It’s still really gratifying, especially to think that the opportunity might not be there in the future. No-one knows what’s going to happen to magazines, but come five years the landscape will be radically different, without contention. For now, magazines still have the best photographers and writers in BMX (as well as an audience to whom that’s important) and I’m proud to count myself amongst them.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, YOU WILL BE SELLING PRINTS OFF YOUR SITE, FILL US IN ON THAT.
Starting today the majority of the 900+ photos on my site are available as high quality C-type prints, up to 16×24″ in size. It’s going to complement rather than replace publishing my photos online and in Ride UK. I’ve followed the debate about the “death of print” with interest but, as stated, no-one knows what’s going to happen; I’d rather be part of the experiment. One hypothesis is that magazines will have to become more premium: That makes sense when you consider print’s inherent strengths, but not when you consider how small the BMX market is. So I wanted to try something high-quality that wasn’t hamstrung by having to package together a worthwhile and timely proposition to a variety of readers and advertisers. Put like that, selling prints sounds obvious—premium, with an exact choice of what you pay for—but again, the simple solution is oftentimes laboured.
WITH MUSICIANS, IT’S “I WISH I’D WRITTEN THAT SONG”, DO YOU HAVE A “I WISH I’D SHOT THAT” PHOTO?
Not really, if it’s that good then I’m stoked just to see it. There are plenty of people, or places (or combinations thereof) that I’d love to photograph—which in most cases is within the realm of possibility—I just need to stop being lazy.
THANKS!! ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD BEFORE WE WRAP THIS UP?
Only to thank all the riders I’ve shot with.
*continue for some photos*