rush | 1 september 2017
jake mein is a name usually associated with 360 flips and 50-50 grinds. but this photographer hailing from the mainland is no one-trick pony - as his other work hands down attests too. We catch up with jake and get his mctwist on the nz skate scene and photography in general.
photographs: jake mein
interview: mitch alison
Where are you from in NZ?
Born in Wellington, moved to Christchurch where I grew up. Then back to Wellington to study photography & where I live currently.
What's your earliest memory of skating?
Earliest memory would be my Uncle Jeremy skating bare foot (with dreads at the time) in the small town of Westport and asking for a turn.
When did you first get into skating?
Around 9-10 I think, I remember my board getting stolen at a Cheapskates demo in Christchurch.
Who's your favourite intl skater and why?
A near impossible question, so I’ll answer with some of my favourite photographers instead. Sem Rubio, Trent Parke, Alec Soth, Mike O’Meally, Rich Gilligan, Cole Barash, Dana Lixenberg.
Who's your favourite Kiwi skater and why?
As above! However Brett Band has the most amazing flick I’ve ever witnessed.
"Nothing is taken very seriously here in New Zealand which can be a double edged sword."
How does the Kiwi skate scene compare to the rest of the world?
The main one would be how small it is, however the internet has changed that drastically. There are probably more similarities than differences and the more you visit other places the more you notice it. Nothing is taken very seriously here in New Zealand which can be a double edged sword.
When and how did you get into photography?
My folks used to have disposable cameras around when I was young that I’d mess around with I didn’t really get into it until High School when it was offered, we learnt to shoot film and process it all in the dark room. It’s a bummer this has been phased out of most High Schools now.
If you could shoot anyone in the world who would it be and why?
I’m not really sure! A photographer I look up to described the aim of shooting a good portrait is communicating something about the person & their personality to the viewer, so I don’t think the subject matters that much? Maybe Bill Murray though.
You seem to have a dream job. What's your advice for young Kiwis who want to make a career out of photography?
I’m still working it out for myself to be honest, if you want to make it your day job then I think maintaining personal practice is key, making images just for yourself. More time will be spent in front of a computer than with a camera in hand so keep that in mind & never turn your nose up to an opportunity whether it be a job or otherwise.
Jake Mein: Website
Jake Mein: @jakemein
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