Social Media, without a doubt, gave opportunity of promoting themselves on internet to everyone. Instagram has become a gallery for both professional and amateur photographers. It’s hard to get throught that creative cluster. We’ve managed to talk to a guy that has his own direction. Van Styles will walk you through his life, beggining of adventure with photography and approach to his own art.
exxist: Do you remember first picture you have taken?
Van Styles: I do. It was a while before I realized photography is what it is today but it was of the twin towers while on a skate trip to NY in 1999.
exxist: How did you made that transfer from skateboarding to porn business?
Van Styles: I was running a skateboard camp for kids one year. A father named Christian Mann had his three sons in my camp. I wound up becoming friends with him and it turned out he owned an adult film company. He expressed an interest in producing a skateboarding themed adult video. He asked me to produce it. I was 21 at the time and thought it would be a crazy adventure to work in the adult industry.
exxist: How both of those things have impacted your pictures?
Van Styles: Skateboarding initially showed me a fun and creative side to photography. Skating in the early 90’s was awesome, and a lot of the photos from that time impacted me on being open to creativity and experimenting. As for learning photography through the adult side it showed me more of the flip side to the creativity. Which is running a business. It opened my eyes to the legal side of things. Model releases,copyright laws…. all of these things played a big role in me understanding more to making photos.
exxist: Without a doubt you have your style. In case of pictures of women the way you look throught the lens and catch a moment was creater when you worked as a director? editor? or did you achieved it with time?
Van Styles: I think over time. I just realized the ability to translate things how I see it with my camera. It took time to really understand that and it is still evolving. That is something that I love about photography.
exxist: Even though on your pictures we can see women known from adult industry you don’t show them naked. Why?
exxist: When you picked up camera for the first time did you knew that photography will become you work?
Van Styles: Not really. I mean was working in the adult industry doing photos but it was more of a job at that point. It was over time as I would take my camera with me more and more on my trips or skating with friends that I realized what it meant to me.
exxist: What do you think was your biggest achievement?
Van Styles: There are a few but I would say realizing that photography is something I love in life and taking the chance to follow it.
exxist: For what we’ve heard you don’t stay close with other photographers who shoot women. How often do you find in internet guys who try to copy your style?
Van Styles: I don’t know. I get tagged in or people will definitely bring up other photographers whose style might be similar to mine. I don’t really care to keep tabs on that stuff. I am more interested in being inspired by other things.
exxist: Do you still skate?
Van Styles: Yup! Not as often as I would like but I get on the board a couple of times a week.
exxist: Skate Trixx is one of your creations. Do you work with video sometimes?
Van Styles: I produced Skate Trixxx. I use to do video work but I find photos more satisfying personally.
exxist: Outside of Instagram and Tumblr your pictures can be found on clothes. You have a couple of strong projects in your portfolio and your own bran, V/SUAL. Do you remember your first picture that was put on a t-shirt?
Van Styles:Yup. It was a photo I did of Kristina Rose for a HUF 4.20 collection back in 2012.
exxist: In SS26 collection we can find products with pictures made by Evidence and Miechele Maturo. Why them? How do you choose pictures that will be put on clothes?
Van Styles: Well when I collab with photographers like Evidence I like them to submit images that they love. From there we see which ones can work on designs. I love for the photographers I collab with to be involved in the creation. Evidence is a very talented individual and I have been a fan of his work for awhile. As for Michele, she and I had linked up on various photo sessions before. Her vision is fun. She has a creative mind so for her project she proposed the concepts for the shoots and I translated them with my camera. A true collab in the sense of a model and photographer coming together. In the end it is a matter of working with my team and having fun with the designs.
exxist: What do you do when you’re not taking pictures?
Van Styles: Aside from trying not to think about taking photos? I am pretty mellow, I love to spend time with my girlfriend and our daughter. We just got a house in the past year so it has been fun working on it. Skating when I can,enjoying time with friends,movies,photo books and V/SUAL. I would say a large chunk of my time would be dedicated to pushing forward with the brand on upcoming seasons as well as collabs.
Van Styles on Instagram (link)
Interview by: zulu kuki