Lorrie Palmos from Santa Cruz is someone I’ve seen at a lot of events. She’s always very busy taking pictures. I was excited to have the chance to work with her, learn her thoughts behind the pictures, & yes share a picture of her.
In addition to being a photographer and mom she’s also a dental hygienist – she’s truly a #girlboss showing girls they can have diverse interests. Without further ado my interview with Lorrie Palmos.
SF: How/when did you start photographing skateboarding? Do you skateboard? If so was it before or after you started shooting skaters?
Lorrie: I started shooting skateboarding on April 1st, 2012. I use to photograph surfers when the waves were too big for me to paddle out. One day a friend I had known through surfing, Scott Foss (member of the original Bones Brigade) asked if I wanted to shoot him skateboarding. He had gone to a Bones Brigade reunion and became inspired to start skating again after a 30 year hiatus.
above Scott Foss
After that first session, I was hooked. I loved the continuous action. Also, the people of the skateboarding community were so welcoming. I loved hanging out with them. From there I went on to shoot my first event, The Pink Motel Pool Party in October 2012. Things just snowballed and before I knew it I was shooting Scott and his Bones bro Lance Mountain in his backyard bowl. I found myself at Van’s Pool Party Classic thanks to then Skateboarder Journal’s editor Barb Odanaka. It didn’t slow down. Bucky Lasek’s Boo-B-Que, The Clash at Clairmont, Exposure…I was on the road twice a month heading for yet another skateboarding event.
I began skateboarding a little after I started shooting the sport. However, I don’t do it much because I’m most passionate about surfing. That’s probably a good thing, because if my passion were skateboarding you’d see very little skateboard photography from me. I’d be skating instead of shooting! So my favorite subjects are happy I don’t skateboard. Ha!
above Dakota Olave
SF: How did you get involved with shooting skater girls?
Lorrie: There were always a couple of girls skating at the park when I shot, so it was natural progression.
above Kim Contreras
SF: How has girls skateboarding changed since you started shooting?
Lorrie: It has grown and gained more recognition. There will be skateboarding in the 2020 Olympics. That says it all.
above Arianna Carmona
SF: What’s your favorite type of shooting?
Lorrie: My favorite is bowl and vert skateboarding.
above Melissa Sullivan
SF: Where do you like to shoot?
Lorrie: I enjoy photographing anywhere as long as the prevailing attitude is positive and fun. It’s the people, as well as the action, that draws me to shoot. Skateboarders tend to show camaraderie, even in contest situations, which impresses me. However, if had to choose one setting, small backyard bowl sessions are my favorite.
above Jim Gray – #thisIsNotJimsBeautifulHouse
SF: What’s different about shooting skateboarding then other photography?
I love action photography in general. I love that the action is ongoing in skateboarding. It’s not like surfing where the photographer has to put up with lulls in between sets. The excitement is continuous.
above Melissa Sullivan
SF: Where can people see your work?
Facebook: Lorrie Palmos
Website: Lorrie Palmos Photography
on Lorrie’s website you’ll see Action, Exploring, Whimsical shots and her blog
SF: What do you think of all the press girls’ skateboarding is getting? I think all press is good – but I want to be a journalist. And every fashionista has a subscription to Vogue. I was beyond excited when I saw Amelia shoot a prom dress campaign and then the pictures & videos got covered in magazines. And those long board girls in the Red Hot Chili Pepper video – loved it & totally inspired me to keep skating. But is that press bad for competitive female skateboarding?
Lorrie: I feel the press is good for girls in general. It doesn’t stop at skateboarding. The more respect women get in skateboarding and other sports will cross over to respect, greater opportunities and equality in the job market and in all other areas of life. Regarding Amelia’s shoot, I’m definitely a person who loves creativity and diversity. So, Amelia skating in a prom dress? Awesome! I also LOVE being a girl. I love wearing dresses, putting on make-up, having my nails done and doing girlie-girl things. However, I also love wearing my wetsuit, surfing, wiping out on a wave and getting pounded. I love getting in there and mixing it up with other skateboard photographers. I’m proud of my battle scars; 4 staples in the head, broken finger (compliments of Christian Hosoi’s board).
We don’t have to have only one interest, or choose between being a tomboy or feminine. We can be everything and anything we want to be. The only rules are the ones you impose on yourself.
above & below Amy Treadway
SF: Did/do you have role models or people/organizations that continue to encourage and support your photography?
Lorrie: My main role model is my daughter Jesse. She is a tenacious, intelligent, beautiful, spirited young lady who follows her dreams and has encouraged me to follow mine. She sees life as an exciting adventure and has inspired me to be myself.
The skateboarding community has been very supportive in general. So many legendary photographers and skaters have been encouraging. I can’t begin to list them all.
Thank you Lorrie for sharing so much of your time in pictures (including the ones of your daughter above) & words. I especially love how you said
The only rules are the ones you impose on yourself.
and that you’re open to finding new passions. 2012 wasn’t that long ago, I’m so glad you decided to see if skateboard photography was for you. It definitely is and we’re lucky to have you showing the world #girlscanskate.
Till next time keep it stylish on & off the board.
above Pammy Brodowski – this incredible pool is in Malibu