San Francisco-based photographer Jenny Sampson spent seven years making tintype portraits of West Coast skaters, bringing a portable darkroom to skate parks in California, Oregon and Washington — and now she’s ready to share them with the world with her book Skaters: Tintype Portraits of West Coast Skateboarders (Daylight), out today, October 10. In an introduction, Sampson explains her fascination with skate culture:
That skaters view the world through a unique and uniquely revelatory lens is no secret. Where civilians see safety—a handrail, a wheelchair ramp—skaters see opportunity. What others view as unsightly— drainage ditches, condemned motels and their stagnant pools of brown scum-skimmed water—skaters seek out. We will drive for hours just hoping the spot hasn’t been dozed; we’ll bring brooms and buckets, torches and tents, and bags of concrete. What everyone else takes for granted—empty parking lots, the transitioned planter outside a bank, a freshly painted curb, a Dumpster beside a loading dock—skaters notice immediately. Where the rest of the world sees limits and nastiness and the bland burden of suburban life, we see possibility; we see an invitation to construct something out of air and movement, a structure at once ephemeral and everlasting.
We’re excited to share a selection of Sampson’s captivating images with you:
Images copyright © Jenny Sampson from the book: SKATERS: TINTYPE PORTRAITS OF WEST COAST SKATEBOARDERS, PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNY SAMPSON Published by Daylight Books
More from BUST
This Incredible Exhibit Celebrates Women Of Color In Skate Culture
Sophia Banks’ Short Film Is Tulle Princess Meets Skater Grrrl
This 8-Year-Old Skateboard Star Shreds Harder Than Anyone You Know