Anthony Acosta is a skate photographer with next level skills on his board and behind the lens.
Coming up in Cali he managed to get sponsored to skate and filmed some banging skate sections but he steadily became as obsessed with shooting skateboarding with his camera as he did with the act itself.
Twenty years later and he became a staff photographer for some of the biggest brands out and is now currently a staff photographer for Vans.
Now Anthony is a No Comply Network Member we hit him up to discover how he first got into photography, working for Vans, his Logic 6 Section, shooting Daewon, Dylan, Gilbert and Geoff Rowley, his favourite photos and photographers ever, his current camera setup and his advice for skate photographers on how to get better shots.
What’s your full name?
My full name is Anthony Ray Acosta Jr.
Where did you grow up and where do you reside now?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles County, and I live in LA, the city of Angels.
When did you learn to skate and who’d you skate with?
I grew up skating with the kids in my neighbourhood.
I skated with local kids for the first few years.
I was the only kid that never quit skating.
You were a sponsored skater. How did you first get hooked up?
I first got sponsored by local skate shops.
I had friends that worked at most of them and eventually got hooked up.
That’s how I got my foot in the door.
Your Logic 6 part is a banger. How long did it take to film that?
I’m still amazed that people bring that up. I’m actually amazed that I was even a part of it!
The featured skaters are all gnarly dudes and I don’t know how I got to be in there!
I was filming with Heath Brinkley a bunch and it worked out to have a part.
I can’t even recall how long that took to film, we were just out all in the streets everyday just skating and filming. That video rules. Thanks Heath for including me!
Where do you skate now?
I try to skate street still, but definitely not as much as I used to.
We end up skating a lot of the new little parks that keep popping up in LA.
They’re fun but I still prefer street spots.
I really get a kick out of skating stuff that wasn’t intended for skateboarding.
I try and skate flat often as possible too, got to keep the flatground game alive.
When’d you start shooting skating?
I’ve always loved photography, especially skate photography for as long as I can remember.
Growing up in LA, I had a lot of friends that shot skateboarding too.
It seems that I was always around it.
I always thought being a skate photographer was a total dream job too.
When did you realise you could turn shooting photos into a career?
After assisting a buddy of mine on some editorial shoots for about a year, I started learning a lot about photography and the equipment and how to use things.
I would see how photos were lit, I paid attention to composition and why I liked certain photos and why I didn’t like others.
I also saw a need for new skate photographers because the ones that were around were always so busy.
I saw so many bangers go down by my friends that were pro without anyone there shooting it.
They would have to go back and shoot it again when the photographer was available.
In my head I thought maybe I could help out there and be useful if I had a camera.
You’ve shot a lot of great photos of Daewon. How did you first meet?
I’ve been very fortunate to have known Daewon Song for a long time.
I met him around 1995 at Torrance High school skating the ledges there.
He saw that I was riding a super wide board and later when he was leaving he came back from his car with a 7.5 black deck and told me to give it a shot.
I was blown away about how nice he was!
He has helped me so much in my photography career as well.
He pretty much let me learn how to take skate photos with him!
When did you start to work together?
He was filming for DVS Skate More video with Colin Kennedy when I started shooting photos and I happened to be around for a lot of it.
I would ask if I could shoot things and he was super down.
He knew I was learning and was happy to help. He’s the best skateboarder ever. It’s so crazy that I got to learn with him and I knew I had to learn fast.
Favourite Daewon photo you shot?
My favorite photo that I shot of Daewon would have to be one of the most recent ones, it’s a handslap to fakie in the fullpipe up on the side of a building.
It ended up getting the cover of Transworld magazine.
It just came out so cool looking and its something only he can skate!
Daewon can skate things that are pretty much impossible to ride. He can do anything he wants on a board. And skating with him is the best time.
Favourite skaters to shoot?
Gilbert Crockett, he’s super photogenic and has a good eye for spots.