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Andy Martinez.

Twelve years ago I didn’t know my flash sync from my film speed and had no LCD on the back of my Rebel G to make sense of anything. The only way to learn was to burn through rolls and rolls of film, trying to remember what you did right and what you did wrong. Thankfully I had Andy Martinez in front of my camera a lot those first couple of years and learned a ton shooting with him. I can honestly say if it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t shoot BMX photos today.

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Mikey Babbel, gap to wall.

Images like this make me so appreciative of riders who give me the time I need to setup the photos I have in my head. Sometimes its a quick setup and other times it can be upwards of twenty minutes of head scratching and light moving. This one was more towards the latter, but I never felt the pressure and just did my thing. This ended up being my favorite riding photo from 2012 and I couldn’t have made it without the patience and trust of a dude like Mikey Babbel.

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Drew Graves, crankarm tiregrab.

Every once in awhile you see someone trying something that’s right on the line of “no way” and “you got that”. When I saw Drew Graves messing around with these crankarm tiregrabs, I could see he was getting close and had to set a photo up. Sometimes I feel bad making someone do something they were just messing around with, but when I know they’ve got it and it’ll make a good photo, I can’t help it!

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Jeremie Infelise, smith feeb bar.

I don’t know about the tears, but Jeremie Infelise definitely put in a lot of sweat and a little bit of blood to get this smith feeb to bar done. Sometimes the struggle makes the reward that much sweeter.

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Simone Barraco, hop whip.

Big shootout to Eric Bahlman for getting us to stop at this intersection to shoot a few photos. While I was setting up, a girl recognized the Shadow shirt one of the guys had on and stopped to talk to us. Apparently she knew OG team member Byron Anderson, we all became fast friends and spent the rest of that night drinking beers at a dope apartment in downtown Denver. All off a chance encounter. So awesome.

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Jared Swafford, smith whip.

As the sun was setting on Double Ditch 2013 in Albuquerque, I wanted to get one last photo on this grindbox setup with the mountains in the background. Right after pulling another bangin’ move further up the ditch, Swafford casually got this smith whip done first try and we called it a day.

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Devon Lampman, wall to tuck.

We originally set this photo up for a wall to tabe, but this tuck ended up being my favorite frame from the session. I wish I could say that I meant for his body to bend with the fisheye as well as it did, but sometimes its just luck.

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Erik Elstran, T-bog.

Most times, Erik Elstran’s doing something completely outside the box on his bike, so I was a little surprised to see him ripping this mini ramp at the F1 Fan Fest in downtown Austin. This color coordinated t-bog was too good to break out the camera for.

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Chris Silva.

If you were lucky enough to go to this spot or have seen footage in videos, you might realize how insane this channel gap is. You’ll have to wait for the footage to surface to see how Chris Silva got the speed for it though. Definitely one of the most awesome things I saw go down in 2013.

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Tom Dugan, quarter blast.

Going on a trip with Tom, I knew it was only a matter of time before we shot a photo of him going to the moon. When we rolled up to the skatepark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and I saw this quarter, I knew it was on. While I might usually prefer a photo with as few distractions as possible, I love how stoked these kids were seeing him blast this quarter a few times. I can guarantee they’ll never forget the time they met one favorite riders and saw him killing it at their local park. And thats how kids get hooked on BMX.

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Kareem Williams, gap to switch feeb.

When Kareem tells me he wants to go out and shoot a photo, we either end up sitting around smoking weed or shooting something ridiculous. Luckily this day neither of us had any weed so out we went. I’d seen him get a few clips on this rail before, so I was wondering what he wanted to do. When he said gap to feeble on his opposite side, my eyes got a little wider. One lens hit and half an hour later, he rolled away clean.

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Alex Rutledge, alleyoop pocket.

My friend Alex Rutledge aka Cbox is a bit of a quirky dude. Let’s just say he didn’t earn the nickname Chatterbox for being a silent shredder. But there’s no denying that under all those quirks is a genuine dude who loves riding his bike. These alleyoop pocket airs were one of the coolest things I’ve seen anyone do in a pool and he had them on lock, doing maybe 20 of them till we got a frame we were both stoked on.

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Charlie Crumlish, abubaca to rail to hardway.

Over the past year Charlie’s become one of my favorite people to chill, ride and shoot with. Sometimes you get the feeling that certain dudes are trying as hard as they can to “do their own thing”, then there are guys like Charlie who don’t have to try at all. It’s pretty safe to say that no one else would roll up to this spot and think, “I could probably abubaca that ledge and pop back onto the rail”.

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Matt Roe, fully torqued turndown.

Matt Roe riding this box jump was one of the best things I saw during the Fun Fun Fun Fest weekend. This was the first photo I shot on Friday and after I saw it pop up on the LCD, I knew it was going to be a good weekend. I guess I should also add that he’s actually jumping the box backwards and cranking one of the most ridiculous turndowns I’ve ever seen in person.

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Colin Varanyak, switch feeb to truck.

Before going on this trip with Colin, I’d never really seen much of his riding, mostly because a lot of his footage from the past few years was going toward his part in Deadline. But I got familiar real quick and saw him fire out awesome stuff like this switch feeb to truck on the daily.

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Ben Hucke, bridge air.

This is just one of those spots you look at through the viewfinder and think, “holy shit this is going to be awesome”. Ben Hucke coming through with the move on a bridge outside downtown Denver.

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Dennis McCoy, can can air.

I’ll be honest, before a few months ago, I’d never shot a BMX photo on a vert ramp. And the first time I do, I’m shooting demos with Mat Hoffman, Dennis McCoy and Simon Tabron. I had to make a conscious effort to put that thought out of my mind and just try to concentrate on making good images that I could properly freak out about later.

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Drew Hosselton, uprail to wallride.

One of the things I love most about shooting BMX photos is rolling up to a good spot and seeing someone’s eyes light up and the gears start turning in their head. You can just see them working it all out mentally and after they’ve pictured themselves pulling it, there’s that instant where they’re like, “let’s do this”. Apparently Drew had been looking for a setup like this for awhile and made quick work of it.

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Jeremy Hrabal, Ruben wallride.

Before I even made my way down the bank for that year’s James Jam in San Antonio, Jeremy came up to me and said, “I’ve got a photo”. Knowing him, I knew it was going to be something completely fucked and he’d probably get worked trying it. But if there’s one thing I’ve come to know about Jeremy is that if knows he’s got something, he’s not gonna walk away from it until its done or he literally can’t walk.

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Drew Bezanson, 270 bar.

What was originally supposed to be a fun, chill day at the race track in Orlando quickly turned into a hammerfest when Drew Bezanson started dropping in from the announcing tower into the berm. While most people would be happy to get one scary ass clip on a big setup like this, Drew was fully sessioning this thing like it was nothing and rolled away from every banger with a smile on his face.

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photos by Tristan "Gutstains" Afre
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