Interview by Ben Murphy
Images by Sam DeAngelis
WHO ARE YOU? HOW OLD? WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Sam DeAngelis, 24, and I was born and raised in Florham Park, New Jersey. I am currently self-employed as a Freelance Photographer and Illustrator and persuing a second Bachelor’s Degree, in English, at Montclair State University in Northern New Jersey.
HOW’D YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, in order to expand my talents in drawing and painting, my parents put me into private art classes. This knowledge has been the basis for my seamless transition into photography. Four years ago a friend of mine gave me a Nikon FM10 35mm. I carried the camera everywhere and learned a lot about manual photography. I then upgraded to a used Nikon N80 35mm that I bought off Craigslist. (Not something I recommend!) The camera was great but short lived. So about a year and a half ago I was blessed with my Nikon D60 DSLR. I didn’t have much money at the time and received it as a very gracious birthday gift from my girlfriend and family. Ever since then I have made it a point to shoot rollerblading almost every day and do what I can to expose local NY/NJ skating to the masses.
WHAT ATTRACTS YOU TO TAKING PHOTOS? WHY NOT VIDEO OR DESIGN OR SOMETHING ELSE?
As cliché as it sounds, a photo is worth a thousand words. This is not to say that videographers don’t do an extraordinary job, but with filming, the moment is brief and not given the attention it deserves. This is especially evident in skating photography and videography. With a photo I can capture the most intense moment and facial expressions of a skater exerting all of his or her energy into that one trick. With a video clip the moment doesn’t last long and to me the intensity of the trick and the athletic talent needed to perform such a stunt is often lost within the five-second clip. Photographs from some of the talent in our industry such as, John Haynes and Jeremy Stephenson, encourage you to dive deep within the image. This allows the viewer to interpret the process used by the photographer and take the time to appreciate the work. Videographers don’t get enough credit for the job they do because the action of blading happens so fast. Photography takes knowledge and preparation and at times gives a photographer only one chance to capture the perfect picture in order to interpret the passionate and aggressive nature of rollerblading.
WHAT ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
It is not what but rather who are my inspirations. The amazing thing about the rollerblading industry is that it is filled with endless talent outside of the athletics of rollerblading. Skaters are constantly picking up cameras along with their skates to document their progress. For most skaters these talents develop into lasting careers and constantly contribute to the wonderful worldwide infection that is rollerblading. My inspirations include not only famous rolling photographers such as John Haynes, Wes Driver, Jeremy Stephenson, Adam Kola, and Lui Summer but also upcoming local talent such as: Angelo Ferrer, Ryan Loewy, David Toro, Cesar Macay, and Drew Humphrey. These guys are not only stand up dudes but also the future of rolling photography as we know it.
IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT, WHAT WOULD YOU SHOOT AND WHY?
Honestly? Rollerblading. (Or Supermodels… but who wouldn’t!) But seriously, I love to shoot rolling and the constant progression. Local New York and New Jersey skaters continue to push themselves just to get an online post with me, but online shine is usually a short lived high. I am trying to find a way to compensate the guys that are consistently performing under my lens. I have yet to make money photographing rollerblading, but that doesn’t mean the guys I shoot don’t deserve compensation. Right now I don’t have the money to be paying rollerbladers what they deserve so let’s say from now on, “I will buy lunch for the next ten guys who get me an ill photo.” I know it’s not much but it’s more than these guys are getting right now!
HOW’S THE NYC SCENE THESE DAYS? WHAT DO YOU GUYS HAVE PLANNED FOR THE SUMMER OF 2010?
The New York City scene is bursting with talent and vital industry representatives. Art of Rolling owner Angelo Ferrer is working towards his first full print issue, which is just the beginning of a successful enterprise within the rollerblading industry. Skaters from all over New York and New Jersey have the opportunity to show off their talents within Ferrer’s picturesque magazine. iRollNY creator Craig Benabu is doing big things to get NYC blading to the masses. His website, iRollNY.com, is updated daily with the latest news in rolling along with updates on the hottest equipment and apparel. You can always expect the sickest street competitions coming out of New York City and this gives us just another reason to skate every weekend this summer. This includes the competition titled “Battle My Crew” which is back after a several yearlong hiatus. New York City native, Hyper Mike, owner of hypermikenyc.com, is doing big things trying to expose local skaters and give them the online time they deserve. David Toro has been working with an amazing media team he developed called ODNY. They use the latest in web degisn, photography, videography, and graphic design to bring you the future of rolling websites in NYC. Of course, you can’t forget that we have New York representative Billy O’Neill and his outstanding frame company Create Originals. They are currently working on big things for the New York City scene and you can expect to see a lot more of him and his company this summer! Lastly, you can’t forget the opening of Pier 62 Skate Park at Chelsea Piers, New York. The opening of this spot is exactly what we need to step New York City competition rollerblading to the next level. Along with Pier 62 there are several cement skate plazas being built throughout the five boroughs in NYC. NYC is where it’s at in 2010 but watch out for New Jersey too… BOOM!
Of course! First and foremost I have to shout-out my beautiful girlfriend and family for literally supporting everything I do with skating and photography. Next, I need to shout out all of the amazing local photography talent that has taught me everything I know about action sports photography. These guys include Art of Rolling Magazine owner/photographer Angelo Ferrer, photographers Ryan Loewy, Cesar Macay, David Toro, and Drew Humphrey. These guys have supported me all the way and I couldn’t have done it without their knowledge and talents. I need to shout out to all of my homeboys who have changed my life as a photographer: Tim Franken, Carlos Jaquez, Pat Bernet, Franco Cammayo, Thumper Nagasako, Adam Killgore, Woodward East’s Mike Bennet, Twenty-Six Letter Clothing owner Joey Zitelli, Scribe/Con Artist Brand owner Daniel Fabiano, Street Mechanics Apparel owner Michael Scott Peterson, iRollNY C.E.O. Craig Benabu, ImagyneThat.com’s Joseph Perez, Justin Eisinger at ONE Magazine for all the support, Ben Murphy at Be-Mag for the great opportunity, and especially Tri-State Skate Shop owner Craig Kieffer. The scene out here in NY/NJ is constantly growing and progressing so I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. There is so much support with everything we do and if I forgot to shout you out know why. The New York and New Jersey scenes are doing it BIG so no matter who you are or where you are from you should come out and skate with us… The time is NOW.
THE PHOTOS AND THE STORIES
Franco Cammayo – Roll Up to Toe Makio – Manhattan, NY. Franco Cammayo is a Valo rider and an outstanding industry representative. Some don’t know but Franco works full time at Thursday’s Child, which is an Early Intervention program serving the needs of children diagnosed with PDD/Autism. Franco spotted this obstacle on night while meeting a friend and saved the trick for my lens. We ended up finding the spot by accident after about 15 minutes of cruising around the streets of Manhattan. Franco laced this shot second try. This trick was so difficult that Mr. Cammayo would prefer to call it, “Roll Up The Devil’s Back to Tough Mak.” I tend to agree with the latter.
Joey Zitelli – Bench Hop 180 Gap to Street – New Rochelle, NY. Joey Zitelli is a New Jersey native, Woodward All-Star, and owner of Twenty-Six Letters Clothing. He is sponsored by Tri-State Skate Shop and rides flow for Razors. Zitelli constantly supports the industry through his skating and brand dedication. He took the drive up to New Rochelle, NY for a day of filming with ImagyneThat.com for Joe Perez’s upcoming video “Fitted.” Joey landed this enormous 180 with his signature style.
Matt DeFrance – Disaster Back Unity – Short Hills, NJ. Matt DeFrance has only been skating for about three years. He has progressed faster than any other skater I have ever known. Matt was eager to get an epic shot for this interview and that he did. This rail has been untouched by any skater I know and conquered by Matt within three nerve-racking tries. If you haven’t noticed, this rail has a bone shattering death drop down a concrete flight of stairs.
Danny D’Agostino – Gap Mute Roll Gap to Sidewalk – Jersey City, NJ. DAGS!!! If you know Danny you know he is a stand up guy with a great personality. Not only will he make you laugh until you cry but he also has the ability to lace hammers like this one. The first time we came here Danny fell pretty hard coming off the roll in and shredded both of his hands. A week later we came here again and he laced, but this time Danny gapped in from the top and into the roll in.
Mike Koliner – Back Savannah to Alley Oop Makio – Newark, NJ. Mike Koliner is a Nimh skater and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The scene in Pittsburgh is always huge and produces some great skaters. Mike has an enormous trick vocabulary and isn’t afraid to use it. Koliner continues to push the limits of rollerblading.
Thumper Nagasako – True Top Acid – New Rochelle, NY. Thumper Nagasako, now residing at Woodward East in Pennsylvania, came out to the Tri-State to show support for the industry. As one of the most renown Vert skaters in the world, he rarely gets the opportunity to show his skills out on the streets. He flawlessly laced this True Top Acid on the most perfect warm up rails in New York State. It is always a pleasure to shoot with Thumper Nagasako.
Tim Franken – Torque Top Soul Thru Both Kinks – Madison, NJ. Tim Franken is a New Jersey born roller who never fails to amaze. REMZ and Tri-State Skate Shop sponsor Tim. We knew about this crazy kink for a while now but never had the chance to get inside. A couple weeks ago we approached the campus and posed as students, hiding our equipment, in order to gain access to the secluded rail. As you can see it was all worth it the hassle.
Pat Bernet – One Foot Wall Ride – Newark, NJ. Pat Bernet, a.k.a. “Crazy Pat,” is a New Jersey born roller with a unique and professional style of skating. Nihm and Tri-State Skate Shop sponsor Pat. Pat is also a very aggressive snowboarder and has found the way to mesh both sports together. Pat knows how to get air and goes bigger than most skaters on the East Coast. His crisp style allows him to conquer tricks like this huge One-Footed Wall Ride. Check out more of Pat Bernet’s skating as showcased in Jason Staine’s film titled “Signature.”
Jeff Dalnas – Back Royale – Short Hills, NJ. Jeff Dalnas came out to film for Jason Staine’s film titled “Signature.” You could have guessed by seeing him skate but Dalnas is nothing short of a professional. There is a huge crack in front of this rail and it is usually skated with a piece of ply wood but this day we didn’t have any. So Dalnas used his mega up’s to get onto this rail to lace a flawless Back Royale.
Joey Zitelli – Abstract 540 – Edison, NJ. Joey Zitelli consistently shows control and style in his tricks. Joey has a large trick vocabulary and most certainly kills it in the Woodward scene. Zitelli laced this huge Abstract 540 with ease.
Dan Fabiano – Sweat Stance 270 Revert Out – Newark, NJ. Dan Fabiano is the owner of Scribe Industries and the creator/owner of Con Artist Brand. Dan moved to New Jersey from Minnesota and ever since he has made things happen here in Jersey. We linked up with him at the Spoiled Brat Shop Competition at Shields Skate Park in Flemington, NJ and he has been shredding with us ever since. The East Coast spots are new to Dan had he had wanted to kill this ledge since the first day he saw it… and he did. We got kicked out of this spot ten minutes prior to me shooting this picture, but thankfully we decided to go back and set up one more time no matter if security was there or not. It was all worth it when Dan landed this perfect Sweat Stance with a Revert 270 Out.
Tim Franken – Alley Oop Fish Brain – Short Hills, NJ. While shooting some pictures for REMZ owner Kato Mateu, of Tim enjoying his new Haffey 2.0s, I captured this shot. As you can see this rail is a short one but this is what makes Tim such a talented skater. In order to get this shot perfect I had Tim do this Alley Oop Fish fifteen times in order to get it right. Well, Tim laced it every time. This is just a small piece of what Tim Franken is capable of. Be sure to watch out for Tim’s beastly skating in Joe Perez’s upcoming film titled “Fitted.”
Lonnie Pearson – Front Savannah 450 Out – Florham Park, NJ. A couple of weeks ago we went on a skate spot search throughout most of Northern New Jersey and captured some great footage. This perfect skate spot was found cruising around my hometown. We checked it out, realized the potential, and decided to come back later that day when the post office was closed. As the sun was going down I captured this shot of skater Lonnie Pearson, ImagyneThat.com rider and native of Bronx, New York. Lonnie laced this Front Savannah right above my head and finished with a huge 450 spin over the pole.
Sam DeAngelis – Backslide – Short Hills, NJ. Michael Scott Peterson, good friend and owner of Street Mechanics Apparel, took this photo. Look for the clip to follow in Joseph Perez’s upcoming film titled “Fitted.”