At Wheelbase, we are always hunting for fresh and inspirational skateboarding; we’re on a mission to bring you the content that makes you want to get up, grab your shredsled, and go a rippin’. One of the ways we try and share this freshness and inspiration is through the medium of photography. From the moment we laid eyes on the epic skateboarding photography of 23-year-old, Brazilian photographer, Rafael Fazano, we knew we had to showcase his work in our mag. Needless to say, we love this dude’s creative and truly powerful visions of skateboarding, and we have a feeling that after checking out the photos below you’ll feel the same as we do. Anyway, longboard skateboarding is growing big-time and it is our belief that guys like Rafael Fazano, who are exposing us to skateboarding in a dynamic and fresh way, deserve to have a forum for their work and some industry support. Enjoy the pretty pictures.
So where are you from originally and where do you call home these days?
I’m of Spanish descent and was born in Brazil. I’m living in São Paulo where skateboarding and surfing are a huge part of the culture.
What do you do for cash money, and what is your official title?
After working for a long time in advertising agencies, searching everyday for creative solutions for my customers, I decided to work in a photography studio. Over time I learned all of the technical basics of photography, and then decided to follow my passion of photographing action sports. This is one of the things that makes me truly happy, but here in Brazil it is so hard to be recognized by this type of work—it’s hard to make any real money to have a good life and continue to show this different way of sports photography. I just can’t give up because I love what I do!
Your skate-photography is so unique and inspirational. I know you shoot surfing and all sorts of other stuff as well, but what’s the specific draw to shooting skateboarding, and what’s your approach?
Yeah, I love all action sports but my focus is on boardsports. I love surfing, and have many friends that are constantly on the shore, but skateboard is what we do in my hood. We skate almost every day. As for approach, I’m a person that thinks a lot before shooting even one photograph. I think if you shoot many photos—just shoot, shoot—you’ll never have great photos. It’s better to have ONE AWESOME shot rather than ten normal photos? I prefer to have one that makes people wants to look and appreciate!
People out there may not know this, but you shot that last Loaded ad in Concrete Wave, the one where the dude is doing a stand-up slide on a dark and wet road with a huge light in font him. What an epic shot, Rafael! How did you hook up with the Loaded dudes and score that gig?
This silhouette was made on a dark street after the rain, and this shot was a lucky chance: It was not a premeditated photo. The conditions appeared and we just tried to do it without knowing if It would be any good. I don’t even have the lighting equipment to setup a shot like this.
I’m a Loaded and Orangatang freelance photographer. They allow me the freedom to develop, create and take photos with Brazilian riders. I send them photos that I shoot with my friends and they select what they find interesting. Loaded and Orangatang are brands that I’ve always loved, even before I started skating. They have amazing products and always give special attention to all the people that they deal with—stoked to have the opportunity to work with these guys!
What advice or words of insight do you have for the up-and-coming skate-photographers and any new photographers in general?
I’d like to say: Be original and make your ideas happen. Create your own vision of anything that you are photographing, this is the key to having good work!
Yo, thanks so much brotha for sharing your bad-ass photography with us. We are looking forward to seeing much more of it in the future. Any closing thoughts, shout-outs, or comments you’d like to express before we say “bon voyage”?
Yeah man, first I want to say to the Wheelbase readers: Continue reading! It’s a great skateboard magazine—they fight for the skateboarding and are open to new ideas. My regards to Marcus Bandy, Adam Colton, Loaded, Orangatang and all the riders and friends for their support and for believing in my work.
Before I go I’d like to share one thought and really emphasis how important photography, skateboarding, and surfing are to me. Without them, my life would make no sense.
Make sure to check out Rafael’s website and facebook pages to see more of his photos and to keep up with his future work and personal explorations: