Evan Burke has always been a documentarian, hoarding show flyers, tickets stubs and skate magazines. Eventually, he realised photography was the most powerful way to capture life as he experiences it. Evan shoots what makes up his day to day life: skateboarding, punk rock hardcore, and cruising the city of San Diego. If his stunning images are anything to go by, it’s a pretty rad existence.
When and why did you start shooting pictures? What is it you love about film photography?
“I picked up my first camera around the age of 14. It was a hand me down digital Kodak point-and-shoot that a buddy gave to me. I carried the thing around with me everywhere. I’ve always been interested in documenting and saving memories. I’m a bit of a hoarder with show flyers, ticket stubs and skate magazines. I pretty much just wanted to skateboard and go to punk shows, documenting my surrounding and the people I fill my life with. I started to notice I was paying more attention to the photographers and the composition of the magazines more than the skaters, tricks, spots or bands that were the subjects. I would study the gate-fold images more than I would read the lyrics to the records would buy. I guess that’s when I figured I was more into photography than I thought and I started to get serious.”
“In late 2009 I picked up my first SLR, it was a Minolta Srt-100. I burned my way through a few rolls of cheap Kodak and Fuji film from the local convenience store. I had no idea what I was doing, how to read my light meter or what an aperture ring was. Needless to say, the first few rolls were a waste in terms of images but a huge learning experience. I appreciate the patience, diligence and photographer’s eye that shooting with film has given me. I learned to lay off my shutter button and compose my images. Find my scene, my focus point and truly make the image in my mind. It’s easy for shoot a million images on a memory card, but making sure you have 36 images you’d pay for? That’s what I love about film.”
What are you passionate about – interests, hobbies outside of photography – and how does this inform the images you take?
“For as long as I can remember I’ve had a skateboard under my feet. I may not skate as much as I used to or would like to, but skateboarding is a huge passion. As well as punk rock and hardcore, vinyl records and photography. I live a simple life. I skate when I can, got to a gig when I can and carry my Contax with me everywhere. I’m privileged to live in an interesting city like San Diego, full of life and character. Having few hobbies and passions allows me to give more of myself to the ones I have. I believe that helps to inform the images I make.”
Who or what inspires your work? Any other photographers?
“I try and let my inspiration flow naturally. I hate feeling forced and I feel you can see that in photographic work. Forced inspiration is never fun and often makes for unenjoyable photos. I let my environment and my mood inspire me. I follow so many photographers and appreciate all help I get from them or their work. I often imagine the conditions and equipment many of my favourite photographers captured their images or made their prints with, and use that as an inspiration. I lust to create images like Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, Edward and Brett Weston, Minor White Tobin Yelland, Bryce Kanights, J Grant Brittain and countless other photographers whose work I’ve studied and continue to study. I try my hardest to understand their work and approach to photography.”
What do you do for a living and how does photography fit into your life?
“I’m a Body Piercer. This is how I support myself and my hobbies. I’m also a student, so working and going to school full-time sometimes leaves little time for photography outside my studies. I’m trying to find a perfect balance with school, work, a personal life and shooting for myself. It’s very hard and tiring at times, but I can’t complain. Someday I’d love to support myself with only photography. I’d love to travel and explore the world, photograph, document, and share my explorations.””I have my personal website, I run a blog, I Instagram and put out zines from time to time to get my name out there. For my analogue work I have a simple editing process. I want them to come straight from the camera and onto my blog or zine. If I can, I process my film my own and scan my negatives making minimal alterations to the negatives.”
Are your photos staged/posed or documentary? Can you describe why you choose to shoot in this way?
“I love candid images, so almost all of my work is just documentary. The only staging comes when I make my subject aware or ask if I can take their image. If I’m out with my friends I’ll try and get them motivated to try something, go for a trick they normally wouldn’t. I love capturing moments like this. I often cruise the beach area late at night, creeping around the bars on my skateboard in hopes of finding something that strikes me. I mostly shoot this way because I love the outcome, the process and the eventual images. Pure unscripted emotions, actions, and still life. People are more like themselves when they aren’t told what to do, how to carry themselves or have no idea they are the subject of interest.”
If you had to take one photo that summed up your view on life, what would it capture?
“I don’t feel I can sum up everything in one image. I want to say an images from a rad session with the homies, or a beautiful landscape from a distant and foreign place to me. I’d want to capture a genuine feeling of exploration or the great times I share with those who are closest to me.”
You can see more of Evan’s work at his website.
Huck partnered up with Lomography to run MY LIFE IN ANALOGUE, a project celebrating analogue photographers from around the world.
The competition is now closed, but stay locked to the Huck website for a hand picked selection of our favourite photographers and their amazing work. If you’d like to be featured send a folio of 10 analogue images to [email protected] using the subject line MY LIFE IN ANALOGUE.