Interview: Ricky Adam

Whenever I think of Ricky Adam photos, I think of black and white. Why is that?

For the most part it’s what I have used over the years and as I do most of my own developing & printing B&W film was the cheapest option up until I got a digital camera. I have always liked the look and style of a B&W print. It has a timeless quality about it and the documentary feel it possesses seems to fit well with the few projects I have been working on over the past while.

Another reason why I shoot a lot of B&W is because I started out shooting these projects in B&W so it doesn’t feel right to change half way through. I have been working on some of these projects for the past lot of years well before I even had a digital camera. I do shoot a lot of color as well, but old habits die hard.

I posed this question to Chris Hill-Scott, so I’ll throw it at you too. WITH MUSICIANS, IT’S “I WISH I’D WRITTEN THAT SONG”, DO YOU HAVE A “I WISH I’D SHOT THAT” PHOTO?

I wish I’d shot many photos! sometimes it’s because of where or when they were taken. That photo Neil Armstrong took of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon for example. Haha. With my ‘… from the streets of Leeds’ project the whole area is well over 100 years old & walking around I often think to myself what would it be like to go back in time say to the 40’s or 50’s and photograph it? That’s a really tough question and one that I can’t really answer. I see great photos all the time and think to myself – I wish I’d shot that.

Is it true that Shepard Fairey has made an ‘Obey’ print using one of your photos? If so, How did that come about?

I shot a few photos in Minneapolis about 6 years ago of an aging Andre the Giant poster that was still clinging to a billboard. I sent Shepard the photo and he asked if he could make it into a limited edition print to raise money for the anti war campaign at the time. There were a few different color variations on it and as far as I know a few were screened onto metal.

Here is the PRINT. Incidentally, Shepard designed an old DIG sticker for us. Found THIS on Ebay.

Thanks for your time Ricky, I know you’re a busy man. Anything to add before we wrap this up?

Follow your heart & believe in what you do. It’s 2010, let’s keep the energy going. It’s all about what’s
happening today, now.



  • I want this to be an audio interview, haha. So long…

  • jobbers

    Yo Ricky, i got a photo just like this! Just without the service sign!

  • Just an amazing and in depth interview!

  • Anthem 2

    Ricky Adam. a class act.

  • Holy shit, that guy smashed up you Leica M6 in front of you, that’s horrible man.

  • Tyler Deschaine

    All time favorite photographer… I met him once in Kalamazoo, MI at Scott Towne’s birthday jam in ’05 and never even knew it. His urbanite collection is stunning. Keep it up Ricky! Your and inspiration to many world wide.

  • Ricky’s a great photographer. When I saw his stuff in Hamburgereyes I was syched to see a bmx photographer getting noticed in the photography world outside of just bmx.

  • Ricky Adams Rules. That first photo is tops.

  • Everytime i see Defgrip updates in my RSS i’am always hoping for a Ricky Adams related post as i cant get enough of his photos and seeing this made my week for sure.
    Great job!
    More please.

  • HAMBURGER EYES !!!!…….celly brain….love the snow pix of the riders in the storm,…….Gnargoyles!

  • Sean Zubek

    Awesome photos!


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