Monday, April 5, 2010

Tadashi Yamaoda Interview

As I stumbled blindly into the skate photo arena a name that I heard a lot was Tadashi's. I somewhat recently had the chance to meet the man behind the name at a build event and have seen him around quite a bit since that meeting. All I can say about him is super nice, great photographer, and hope to get to know him better along the way. With out further a due I bring you an interview with a multi talented Oakland based lens man named Tadashi.


C: Name, age, location, and profession.
T: Tadashi, 32, Oakland, Freelance Skateboard Photographer

C: How long have you been photographing skating in the bay area?
T: 4 and a half years

C: Do you have formal training or are you self taught?
T: I took a few of the intro classes to black and white photography but the rest was
self taught. I got a lot of tips from Ed Dominick and Mike Burnett in the early days. Thanks again guys.
There was also an issue of Slap "The How to Issue" where Dawes wrote an article about how to
be a skateboard photographer, it had a lot of technical stuff that helped me understand things. I
still have the issue somewhere.

C: Are there any folks out there that inspire you or have an influence on your work?
T: Any skate photographer that is constantly getting stuff published inspires me. Today I saw the TiltMode Army web zine which
was really dope also a while back The Manifest by Real that Gabe Morford shot was inspiring too. Also I'd have to say Dan Zaslavsky's
work ethic is inspiring, I'm pretty sure he gets more images than the average bear.

C: Do you shoot digital, film or both?
T: 100% digital since 2005. I don't ever want to go back into the dark room again.

C: Could you give me a bit of background on your mag?
T: I got really inspired from seeing a zine that Blair Alley did called "Later Life."
It was super basic and raw, it was just one b&w random image a page no captions zerox style.
I though it was so cool and easy that I basically wanted to copy his idea and throw together my own. So
I stared Kobrah. Also it kinda works out well because I'd have article ideas and solid images that for one reason or another aren't picked up by
a major magazine so I figure I'll just do it myself the way I like it. Currently we are printing hard copies and distributing them locally and
posting the entire issues online with interactive links (that are mainly relate to video) for everyone to check out.

C: Do you travel much to get material?
T: I definitely drive around the Bay Area a lot. Sometimes LA or if an event is happening I'll make
a journey. For instance, I just went out to Tampa pro with the Turf team. That was fun and worth the

C: What are some things you like most about going on a shoot?
T: I enjoy the comradery we'll have when we go skate, the excitement of being right up close to the action and mostly the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you capture a good image. Also I like the adventure and the interesting/random things that happen weather it be finding something unexpected or unexpected things finding you.

C: What are some things that bum you out about shoots?
T: Getting kicked out sucks and I also get frustrated when a stranger is telling us what to do and not letting us live our lives the way we see fit. Also watching grown men throw temper tantrums can be annoying too.

C: If you had to pick a favorite piece of photography equipment what would it be?
T: I recently got a Nikon D90 to shoot hd video with, it's fun. I'm starting to work on a Kobrah video too so keep an eye out.

C: Thanks a lot for your time and for fielding my questions, any shout outs as we bring this to a close?
T: Thanks for keeping on me about this interview Christian. I'd like to thank everyone who's supported my photography off the top of my head I'd like to thank my family, Michael Migdol, Matt Kriegel, Daryll Peirce, Dan Vigil, Greg Janesse, Justin Williams, Craig Nejedly, Lucian Moon, Shockus, Coung, Dave Coyne, Karl Watson, Tony Vitello, Justin Carlson, Grant, Ed Dominick, Mike Burnett, Mark Whiteley, Adam Salo, Pat Wells, Rob and Reija, Birdo and Leticia, Blair Alley, Joey Young, Steve Celentanie, Trevor Morgan, Ron Allen, FGO, all the editors at the skateboard magazines, all the filmers for moving back that one inch for me, and the riders who will give it just one more try for that perfect shot.....

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