The Skartorialist

Sam Ashley’s blog Skartorialist is a collection of carefully executed portraits of skateboarders. Shot in a beautiful deadpan style they merge the traditions of fashion, portraiture and straight forward documentary photography. Have a look at the blog and see what Sam had to say about it below.

What made you want start the blog?
Basically I wanted a collection of portraits of skateboarders all shot in a similar way. I guess people have done similar stuff before but I always found it odd that no one had done a series of full length, full colour portraits. My approach is kind of based on what I imagine people would want to see in a portrait of a skateboarder in say 15 years time, to me the kind of shoes they were wearing is an important detail.

Vice called it “the best Sartorialist parody blog in existence.” Apart from maybe the name Skartorialist, I don’t really see any parody in there personally. How do you feel about that?
Yeah I mean obviously the name of the blog is derivative, and kind of a joke, but I can honestly say I’m not trying to parody anyone in the way I shoot the portraits. I think maybe to a casual viewer maybe the photos make look similar to the stuff Scott Schuman does, if you look closer I think you’ll see we have different approaches.

Describe the blog in a few words.
It’ll be hilarious in 10 years time.

To me the photos look a lot like classic portraits that exist in between fashion, editorial and art. What context do you see these in yourself?
I don’t really see it as art, i’m trying my best for it to be straight forward documentary.

Have you had any feedback from skaters on the fashion blog -type aesthetic of it?
I haven’t had any skaters that I know give me any negative feedback on it, which is kind of surprising actually. I think secretly most skateboarders are pretty fashion conscious, even if it’s in a very niche way, you’re definitely not allowed to admit that though.

How do the photos come about?
I’ve just been asking people I’m out shooting skateboarding with, no ones said no so far. In the future I’d really like to include people that aren’t ‘pro skaters’ or whatever, it’s just been like that out of convenience so far.

What’s google analytics saying about your demographic – any idea of the kind
of people looking at these?

I just had a look… It’s a lot of Americans on Apple computers. From the emails I’ve had, I think it’s fair to say that it’s a hit with the ladies.

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