words Zarah Cheng
All images are from Jordan's portfolio.
Where are you from?
Describe your pictures.
I shoot skateboarding, snowboarding, my friends, and some shows.
A lot of your images document skate and snowboard culture. What’s the best way to describe skate culture?
For me, it’s just about going out and having fun with your friends – exploring, getting into little adventures, trying to find cool things to skate, and just kind of seeing what happens. At the end of the day, even if you don’t get any photos or clips, it’s still a cool day with your pals.
You studied photojournalism in university. How has this influenced the way that you approach taking photos?
We had this section on street photography that was really cool – we looked at and shot a lot of street photos, and that kind of goes perfectly with shooting skating because that’s mostly where it happens. So that helped a lot with skate/snow photos, but I guess now I also try to apply bits of street photography to other things. We had this lighting class I really liked too. I was pretty clueless about using flash before that, so it opened some doors and I love messing around with it now.
You are also a videographer. In terms of creating a narrative, how would you describe your processes for taking both photos and videos?
With skate/snow photos, you normally need to see where the person came from, the trick, and where they’re landing so it makes sense, not like a newspaper photo of a skateboarder soaring through the air with no context. For video it’s pretty much the same, but you can move along with the person. I like just leaving the camera rolling, filming skating because something funny/crazy/interesting is almost always bound to happen. With both photo and video, I just try to make it an accurate representation of what happened.
What is the worst bail you’ve ever witnessed?
This winter we were shooting at these really big kink rails. There was one down the middle of the staircase and one down the side, and this dude JJ was trying to transfer from the middle rail to the outside one. On one try he got caught up on the second rail and got tossed straight down into the stairs hitting his head on them. That one was definitely a stomach-dropper, but after a little sit down he was up and at it again, and I think he actually may have ended up getting more tricks that day.
Best place no one has heard of to skate in Vancouver?
But if I say then they’ll hear of it.
Who are you listening to right now?
This band Diamond Youth just put out a new record called Nothing Matters, which I really like, along with the rest of their stuff. I’ve also been seriously digging some older Stevie Wonder stuff, like Up-Tight.
What creeps you out the most?
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