For over 15 years now, Kyle Camarillo has been capturing epic moments of skateboard history with his photography, videography and directorial efforts. He is currently responsible for all of LRG Clothing skateboard media, and throughout his extensive career he's worked with some of the greatest pro skaters and skate brands to date. From 411VM to Enjoi's "Bag of Suck" to his most recent "Gold & Grey" video, it's clear that Kyle is progressing his craft while progressing the skate life we all embrace.
This is The Kyle Camarillo Interview.
I’ll be honest, I never really know how to start an interview… What’re you up to today?
HA! Me either, but that works! Im at home eating an acai bowl and sending out the next LRG commercial in our “RePlacing” series. This one stars Miles Silvas.
You recently dropped your part for the RED / Berrics “REDirect” competition… Why did you call it “Gold and Gray”?
“Gold” because I think this city is golden. It’s been a skateboard mecca since day 1. And “Grey” because it’s always overcast and foggy here.
What is significant about a RED camera? What makes it such a great camera for skateboarding?
To be real basic with it, the RED Epic can shoot RAW 5K video with many different frame rates. What’s great for skateboarding is the high frame rates. So you can shoot really slow motion and the image looks incredible.
Click the image to watch Kyle Camarillo's "Gold & Grey" featuring Jack Curtin and Miles Silvas
Without any ‘formal’ training how do you go about learning new photography and videography techniques?
I’m kind of a trial and error guy. I try stuff, I mess it up, I try it again till I get it right. The RePlacing commercials are a perfect example. When we went to shoot Tom Asta’s, we shot all day, then realized we shot it wrong and had to re-shoot it all over again.
Have you ever tried using a helicopter, Ty Evans style? I flew Ty’s for a second. But thats about it.
If you’re shooting with a skater new to the Bay Area where do you take them?
What are the go to spots you recommend to any new skater in The Bay?
Gotta stop at Papalote or Taqueria Cancun!
Favorite SF spot that still exists?
3 up 3 down
Favorite SF spot of all time?
Favorite Bay Area skater of all time?
Damn. That’s a heavy question. I’ll go with Carroll.
Jack Curtin | Switch FS Smith| Photo: Kyle Camarillo | Click to watch (Re)Placing Jack Curtin
Do you have a favorite skate video?
Shit. Another impossible question. I’ll go with Public Domain because Ray Barbee rules!
Of all the photos you’ve taken do you have any favorites?
I’m really proud of the Karl Watson night push photo. Definitely up there as a favorite. Also the Jason Adams frontside air under the freeway. Stoked on that one too. I love them all really. Those just popped into my head right now.
Do you have any photo / film inspirations outside of skateboarding?
Cartier Bresson for sure. My grandfather bought me a book of his work and it was exactly what I wanted to see.
What positive / negative trends in skating do you see currently that you’d like to see more / less of?
I love seeing that skateboarding is dictating a lot of what’s “cool” right now. It’s always been the raddest thing to me, so of course it deserves that reign. But you get a lot of negatives with that so I’d like to see less of the negatives… And less awesome companies going out of business. Alien going under is such a bummer!
Are there any up and coming skaters you see sticking around for a while? Any personal favs?
Miles Silvas, Trent McClung and Carlos Ribeiro. These dudes destroy.
Miles Silvas | Switch Back Heel | Guangzhou, China | Click to watch (Re)Placing Miles Silvas
You’ve said you first confirmed filming could be a way to make a living after getting your first clip in 411, how much did you get paid for that clip?
Probably around 100 bucks.
How did winning TWS 2007 Video of the Year affect your career? Did the freelance opportunities start pouring in?
Well, I cant take all the credit for that award. The team, Eversole, Avery, it was a group effort. But for sure it was incredible. It was rad to be awarded that from people I have looked up to since I started skateboarding. Seeing people like Lance Mountain and Geoff Rowley clapping in the audience was pretty unreal.
What’s the going rate for a photo these days? Or a video clip? How are rates like that even negotiated, is there an industry standard?
It all depends on what its for. I think its gone down a bit due to the internet and social media. A group of us tried to start a kind of union to get prices standardized to what we were happy with. But that was years ago. It kinda fizzled out.
What is some of the best advice you’ve been given about being a videographer and photographer in the skate industry?
“Sometimes you just cant make the trick/photo work.”
What are some of the craziest tricks you’ve actually witnessed throughout the years that still stand out till this day?
Andrew Reynolds frontside flip wallenberg. That was incredible. Jerry Hsu nollie backside heelflip Lincoln. Really wasn't expecting it when it went down. Oh i just saw Jack Fardell nose grind frontside yank on the top bar of miley. That was no joke! The only dudes that get up on the top bar like that are all legends.
Jack Fardell | Nose Pick | Fort Miley, SF | Photo: Kyle Camarillo
How many countries do you think you’ve visited to film?
Probably over 15.
So when does the new LRG video come out? Is there anything you can tell us about it? Any crazy stories from filming in Taiwan and Cyprus?
2015 is our plan. The guys are making it happen and I think people are going to be stoked. Every single person on the team surprises me all the time. It's an amazing squad. I'll give you a quick story.
When we were in Cyprus, Tom Asta rolled his ankle. A few days later Miles Silvas hit his head. He was fine, but bleeding a lot. So we took him to the hospital. The hospital had a flat fee of 10 euros, and they would do whatever you needed. Miles got two head x-rays, stitches, and some medicine all for 10 Euros. It was like an “all you can eat” hospital. Once we told the rest of the team how much it cost, Tom jumped up and said “shit, ill go get my ankle checked out for that price!” about 30 minutes later he came out all bandaged up with X-rays and a wheelchair.
Tom Asta | Front Blunt | Photo: Kyle Camarillo | Click to watch (Re)Placing Tom Asta
What else can we look forward to from Kyle Camarillo in the future?
A lot more stuff with LRG obviously. Ive got a few music videos im planning to shoot which is always different and fun. Anything else Ill let you know on instagram! Thanks skatemorespots.com!