Adrián’s Portfolio initially caught our eye because of the way he blurs the lines between skateboarding, lifestyle, and fashion photography. Getting his start in professional skateboard photography after moving to Madrid from the Canary Islands, where he was born and raised, Adri developed his style by shooting his close circle of friends initially for commercial work. His client base has since outgrown the world of skateboarding, but despite shooting back-to-back productions for known fashion labels, you’ll still find him at the spot shooting the old trusty Nikon D3 he nicked from his dad years ago and will probably never return.
I don’t remember what pushed me into it, but I guess having my dad really into windsurfing must have had something to do with it. My parents got me a board and going to my local spot with it as a kid, seeing the older people doing it, just sparked it.
I’m 29 and used to shoot with my father’s cameras when I was really young. Then one day my parents got me one and I just started using it but I´m not sure when it started, maybe when I was 14?
What really interested me about photography was documenting my surroundings, what’s going on around me, and all that, and I have been always skating so I started shooting my friends doing it.
As I have always been interested in the lifestyle and skate world’s surroundings, I was shooting that a lot, sometimes even more than the actual tricks.
So developing this into my work, I was finding people that inspired me who were into fashion and all that and made me feel like there could be room for me and the way I saw and captured things in this industry.
Not sure which one was the first for each side but there are some in the beginning that I really like to remember. Related to skating I started covering some events in my hometown, but when I moved to Madrid, Welcome Skateshop and Go-Mag (a magazine project from Esteban Velarde and Luis B) were the ones that got my back in the first place and gave me the opportunity to start working professionally on what I was doing as a hobby.
In fashion, I remember Pepe Lobez, my friend and photographer gave me a hand from day one. He was shooting a private haute couture show and he needed someone to cover what they called "atmosphere” at that time. Something like a behind-the-scenes shooter and he called me for that, it was like documenting everything behind the cameras.
I remember asking for a day off at work to go there, I was working at a design studio at the time. I have a really good memory from that job as one of the first ones and I also remember being really proud that Pepe trusted me for that one.
Also, it was the first time my mother knew who I was working for and that was a good point for her to start understanding what I was doing.
In my opinion, this depends on how you look at it, how you deal with it. For me, the thing is documenting everything as it should be in real life, that tells some truth, no matter if you are telling a story for a fashion editorial or shooting some friends having a beer after a skate session.
I would say both. I’m working and doing personal things on both skateboarding and fashion. It depends on the moment, it goes through streaks but there really is a balance between the two.
I had never thought about this before, but in my photography in general I do have two quite opposite opinions.
I really like the big city. I love Madrid, Paris, I was amazed when I was in Milan and when I spent time in New York I brought back so many photos that I ended up making a book. I like what it transmits, the diversity, the street and everything that it entails, both in fashion and in skate.
But on the other hand, I come from the Canary Islands and all the landscapes, the natural and pure of the islands and what this evokes in me is another one of the things that I like the most.
I think that everything has its moment.
I really like and enjoy the process of working on film and shooting my personal work on film. Go to the lab, work with Jorge (from Aulaga Lab) and get what I really want. Even playing with those mistakes and unforeseen events that the film sometimes gives you.
But also there are projects or works that should go on digital due to time, budget or whatever and I’m really ok with it. I work with both.
I have different ones depending on if it's commercial or skating, film or digital, but I would say my favorites are:
The old Nikon D3 from my father that I borrowed for a skate trip to China 7 years ago and never gave him back. Thanks for never asking dad!
And for film I would go for the Nikon F100, no doubt. For lenses, I usually pack the fisheye, 35 and 50mm lens and really in love with a new 105mm I got recently. Also a baby point&shoot is always in my pocket!
This year, even though we all had one of the weirdest years ever, I did some projects that I’m really proud and happy with.
I was lucky to work with Carhartt as documenting Felipe Bartolome and Ibu Sanyang while they were filming for their new full-length video. I shot skating and I was able to produce an editorial with them and two other models.
Also I had my first photo published in Thrasher which was a Carhartt Ad with Felipe which ended up being back to back with my second photo in Thrasher, a Polar Ad with Roman Gonzales.
I have been more involved with the Welcome Skateshop guys here in Madrid while creating content, which allows me to work with them on really nice projects, develop some ideas and make them happen.
On the other hand I’m so happy that I had my first commission with CAP as they trusted me and let me take part in a commercial campaign they were working in, I really wanted to work with them.
"Try to do the most things you can, whatever appeals to you, they will redefine you and at the end will make you have a unique point of view, which for sure will be translated into your work."
Lately, I can say I’m working on some personal things as long-term projects and I’m happy to say they are all with friends.
I have things coming up with Jura, Felipe and Ibu. Also you can expect some news with my friends from Tangram Division, which you should take a look at if you don’t know who they are.
Most of my time is definitely related to cameras or skating. My work, my personal projects, my days off… even spending time with my girlfriend means bothering her with photos or trying to convince her to learn to push around.
I would say always listen to the people around you, even if they are not in the same industry as you, I got the best advice from Benito, Jura, Pablo, Mónica, Sergio del Amo, Mirta, Pepe, Tomás...
Don’t stop trying new things, work as much as you can. Try to do the most things you can, whatever appeals to you, they will redefine you and at the end will make you have a unique point of view, which for sure will be translated into your work.
And for sure, be nice to everyone.