We interviewed professional badass and skateboard lifestyle photographer Kate Green. We know what it's like hanging around smelly boys who talk about skateboarding all day, so we were stoked to meet a girl who skillfully documents this lifestyle. Hats off to Kate Green for sharing her uniquely filmic perspective of the East Sussex scene.
Where are you from / based out of?
I’m from East Sussex, England and I’m based between there and Falmouth in Cornwall right now.
What kind of camera do you usually shoot with?
At the moment a canon af35m.
We see a lot of black and white on your site. What attracts you to that photo style above everything else?
I’ve always preferred shooting in black and white. When I was at college I found Larry Clark’s book Tulsa in the library, I’d seen his film Kids before but never any of his photography, that book was what made me start taking photos. I knew I wanted to make photos like that and the traditional documentary black and white style stuck. I just think it suits my work better.
What is the best photo you have ever shot? When / where did you take it? Why is it so special to you?
I don’t think it’s the best aesthetically, but I’d say the self-portrait in the mirror with the skateboards stacked against the wall. I took it in the hallway of the flat I lived at a couple of summers ago. I remember it was really hot and we were having BBQs and partying all the time. I guess the photo is special just because it reminds me of good times with good people.
What are the things that make you want to get creative? Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Seeing other people making really cool art and photos is rad and makes me want to get creative. And hanging out with friends, watching people skate and seeing bands play. Just having a good time and seeing other people do that too, all that gets me inspired and makes me want to shoot photos.
What do you see out in the world that’d special enough for you to say “I need to shoot a photo of that”. What are your favourite things to shoot?
Pretty much any moment that feels carefree and intimate to me, whether it’s a person or a place I’m at. My favourite thing to shoot is definitely people. I think a lot of my subjects are misrepresented, so I hope my photos portray them in a more positive light, the way I see them.
Do you skateboard? How did skateboarding become such a big part of your life?
Sometimes. I use my skateboard to cruise about and get around but that’s all. I’ve always hung out with skaters and my boyfriend skates too so it has been a part of my life for a long time. I love the insane freedom of the skate culture and how everyone just does what they want and has fun. The most accepting people I’ve ever met have been skateboarders.
What is the skate scene like out there? How would you describe the local vibe and culture?
Falmouth has a university so there are new people moving here all the time which means the skate scene is getting bigger and bigger. One of the things I love about the scene here is the variation of ages. Kids through to guys in their 30s / 40s skate together and support each other–chicks too which is cool to see because I know girls can feel intimidated by skating with dudes or skating at all because of it being a generally male-dominated culture. One of the older skaters, Chris Thomas, has an insta account documenting the scene here (@skatefalmouth) which is rad. The vibe is super chilled here and everyone is just real welcoming.
What kind of role does skateboarding have on your photo aesthetic? Would you say skating is the main subject of your work?
My photo aesthetic reflects skateboarding, or at least the way I see them both. I’m shit at photographing people actually skate, but the subculture and skateboarders as people have definitely been the main subject of my work. I like my photos raw and grainy and I think in a way that aesthetic relates to the skateboarding lifestyle.
What is it like being behind a lens all the time? Do you think it helps you see your surroundings differently?
Some people love being photographed, but it can make some people uncomfortable so being behind a lens a lot of the time can make people wary of you. Having a camera on me just makes me more aware of my surroundings, when I take a photo it’s going to be a moment that I’ve felt is important enough to capture so when I’m shooting I’m always more grounded to what’s going on around me.
Describe a main theme you consistently portray through your images.
As well as skaters, stoners and punks also come up a lot in my work so a main theme is definitely the non-conformist lifestyle. I’ve always been drawn towards these misunderstood people and that way of living because it’s so much less boring than living like the people that fully believe you should give up skateboarding or partying because you’ve stopped being a child or a teenager, so I try to portray that through my images.
Who are some artists / photographers that inspire you?
Jim Goldberg is a rad photographer that has inspired me since I first started shooting photos. I have a copy of his book Raised By Wolves, it’s my favourite photo book I’ve come across so far because it really gets to me every time I look at it which I think is important in documentary photography–it should make you feel some sort of way. Ed Templeton is another photographer and artist whose work does this too, but his photos make me laugh. His work has influenced me a shit load over the last few years.
Do you ever branch out onto other medium platforms or is photography your main focus?
Before I started taking photos I was super artistic and used to draw and paint a lot, and I also played around with film and video editing a while ago. I’m always up for collaborating with other artists and practitioners but for now my main focus is just photography.
Top 3 bands?
Right now I’m going to say Johnny Thunders, Motorhead and The Ronettes.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Got any cool plans going on?
I have a couple of projects in mind which are a little different from my work right now. Also, I’m focusing on showing photos I haven’t already. I’m hoping to travel a bit throughout the next year so I can produce some more rad work for this.
Where can we see more of your work? (links) Do you have a place for people to purchase your images?
You can find more of my work at- www.thegreenroom93.tumblr.com and Instagram @thegreenroom93, and on my blog you’ll find a link in the menu with information on purchasing my work.