Editor’s Note: Kris Evans can usually be found with a camera and skateboard in hand. His zest and fascination with documenting the skate and street lifestyles shine through in each of his photographs, telling a story from the perspective of an insider. This is “Wooden Toy”, a bi-weekly column by Kris that explores the creative lives of different skaters, and shows how a simple toy with four wheels has changed lives and formed careers.
Noah Sahady is a photographer, storyteller, and most importantly, a human being. Lately, he’s been hung up on life’s underrated moments and appreciating things for what they are. Though currently living and skateboarding in Los Angeles, Calif., you’ll often find him anywhere else with dense trees and clean air.
What got you into skateboarding?
I went to a local flea market with my family when I was about 5 years old and ended up stumbling upon these two janky, plastic skateboards. Against my mother’s wishes, my father haggled with the dude and scored them for my sis and me. All I can remember from there is pushing mongo in front of our house and forcing my mother into a panic attack when I bombed the hill on the side of our property. Thinking back, I don’t recall there ever being a learning curve – it all just felt natural. Granted, I was only 5 years old and probably didn’t think to ask myself whether or not something was natural, or fitting to my personality. Just a young boy, some hills, and a toy that went fast. I guess I got lucky, because ever since, there has been at least one skateboard in my garage.
Do you feel that skating has played a part in your photography?
Of course. The reason I picked up a camera in the first place was to photograph my friends skating. It kind of just gradually turned into an addiction from there – then became a career.
Where do you think the photography industry is headed?
I find myself discussing this topic pretty frequently with my peers and new acquaintances, and a lot of me hopes that the conversations we have help pull it from the dark depths of whatever it’s currently in. I am fearful that it’s tanking completely though.
Compared to the big guns that have worked in photography for 40 plus years, I’ve only been involved in this industry for a second. But from what I’ve gathered, and my day-to-day experiences within it, I think the industry is at it’s lowest point yet.
Why do you think that is?
I could try explaining my entire, stubborn opinion of that during this interview, but I don’t think that would do it much justice. I think it goes really deep, and I’d rather have a conversation with people eye-to-eye about it, in a completely vulnerable setting. For now, I’ll say this: I believe most of the world’s ugliness stems from insecurities. Vanity, greed, pride – these things are the framework of the platforms that consume our lives.
You mentioned vanity, greed, pride…what do you think we can do to get photography back to telling a meaningful story?
Acknowledge that we as human beings might be doing the things we do for all the wrong reasons. You know, I hate to be a downer about all of this, but a lot of the “photographers” and creatives you see out in the world probably never truly asked themselves, “Why?… Why am I doing this?” Most creatives I’ve thrown this question at, fire back with something along the lines of it being fun, or it’s their passion, and I continue to ask, why? And I strongly urge anyone reading this, no matter what thing they do for a living or hobby they have, to ask themselves, why? I really do believe that making anything in life meaningful starts with an honest answer to that question.
For more from Noah Sahady head to his website: www.noahsahady.com, or follow him on Instagram: @noahsahady. All photos taken by Kris Evans.