INTERVIEW: PHOTOGRAPHER, SKATER & FOUNDER OF THRIFTY SKATEBOARDS
Raul Ramirez was one of those awesome photographers you stumble upon Instagram, and can't help but reach out to them. He shoots photos from an actual skaters point of view which is something that's always spoken to us. His photography is full of the ins and outs that almost every group of skaters go through in a day and the behind-the-scenes of all the tricks that go down. Raul also does a sweet job representing the Riverside, CA, so much that its making us want to visit.
Besides photography, Raul has founded a new board company under the name Thrifty which has three graphics out than you can buy here. We can also expect a video dropping in the Summer.
How did you happen find out about the outdated format of film photography?
I remember my mom having 35mm and 110 cameras growing up. There was also a lot of disposable cameras laying around during my childhood that I would mess with, but it wasn't till after High School that I started looking into film photography, my first camera was a Minolta X-370.
Best thing about shooting film?
I like that theres so many outcomes possible, theres so many cameras old and new, theres different formats of film. I enjoy that I can shoot one picture and love the outcome no matter what. Film photos have an awesome magic about them.
What's your daily trusty steed?
Right now I keep a 3 camera rotation1.Leica ZX2 (Portra 400/35mm Film)
2.Canon AE1(Fuji Velvia 100/35mm Film)
3.Minolta Auto Pack 450E (Kodak Color 200/110 film)
The Leica I keep in my car, its point a shoot I take everywhere.
Whats more fun for you? shooting a trick go down? Or Shooting your friends fucking around?
Both, I get really excited when someone is doing a trick and the background looks good and the framing is right, but I always have fun shooting whenever the guys are fucking around. Its always a good time.
What was it like growing up in Riverside, California? We're from New York, so we have no idea what's like.
Growing up in Riverside was fun, had my group of friends. We went skating everyday, there was always a random DIY spot to go skate, Downtown Riverside is super fun, especially cruising late nights, bombing the parking garage hills. There is skateparks of course. I Grew up going to Crooks Skateshop. Riverside is about an hour from Los Angeles, so we spent alot of time out there growing up.The traffic sucks. Overall Skateboarders are the same everywhere I think, you get exposed to a lot of the same stuff while your out in the streets.
You and your brother started a board company under the name of Thrifty. Can you describe what pushed you to start your own company?
We started Thrifty July 2011, I always had ideas of starting a board-shop, I'm sure all skaters do at one point. I wanted to call it Thrifty Skateshop. I had drawings, designs and ideas on how I wanted it to be. So instead of a shop we made it into a board company. My brother helped fund it since he loves skateboarding too, so we just ran with it. I wanted to put things I was passionate about on the skateboard graphics like cinema, photography, drawings and art in general. So far so good. We're still here now. You can check us out on Thriftyskateboards.com. We're dropping our second video around July 2016.
With the skate industry being so competitive, do you believe small and independent skate companies stand a chance these days?
Absolutely, this is a great time to be small. Young kids are diggin' the independent movement, a lot of small companies blew up in the last couple years. Look at Polar, Magenta, WKND, Welcome. There's so many. I think its rad for kids to have options like that, and even more that they're down with it. Even here in Riverside there's local dudes doing it up, you got Chin Fungus Skateboards, Epiphany skateboards, Blacks Skateboards, and more. Its a good time for skateboarding.