Interview With Photographer Lorrie Palmos-Malley.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skater: Melissa Sullivan

Skater: Amelia Brodka at Exposure

Skater: Beverly Flood

We kept seeing this rad woman at each and every skate contest we were at, she was the one quietly setting up her shots and getting great angles. We also noticed that she paid a special amount of attention to shooting the female skaters (which we loved!).  We finally said "hi" and we were so glad we did - Lorrie Palmos-Malley is a down to earth photographer who really works hard to promote women in skateboarding, while taking amazing photos that are featured in places like Skidmark Skate Mag. 

But what does it take to get a great skate shot? The photographer and skater become a team at some point, so we thought we'd interview Lorrie for some professional insight on how she does it, what she hopes to accomplish by  focusing on female skaters, & what you can do to be the skater, that photographers like Lorrie, want to shoot.  xx

Name?        Lorrie Palmos-Malley

Where do you live/work?

I live in a town known for it’s amazing surf, Santa Cruz, CA. I’m fortunate to have lived there my entire life. I work in Cupertino as a dental hygienist.

How did you get started in photography?

My father loved photography and filming and always had the latest greatest equipment. His passion rubbed off on me.

What type of photography do you do when you are not shooting skateboarding?

Surfing and landscape photography. I would like to do more lifestyle and portrait photography.

What made you decide to start shooting so many female skaters and attending their events?

When I’d shoot at a local park, it would strike me that there were far fewer female than male skaters. I wanted to help promote the girls who skate and help them get sponsors. Regarding attending the events, they’re charged with excitement, positive energy and continuous action. Every photographer tries to capture a image that translates every aspect of the actual scene, but nothing compares to the live experience. I wanted to witness it. Most importantly, the events offer a meeting place where girls from around the world come together and inspire each other. They walk away with more confidence than they came with. Not because of the points they score, but because of the interaction with peers and the friends they make. The resulting camaraderie is empowering. I wanted to help promote that.

Skater: Beverly Flood at Vans

Are there any skaters you really enjoy working with & why?

I love to work with people who have a positive attitude. I like optimism. I don’t care if the skater is a novice or pro. If she’s trying and if she’s having fun I’ll work with her. I want to promote good energy. It’s important to me that consideration and respect are given to others. Camaraderie is important as well. I love to see girls cheer each other on and encourage each other. I also like to promote girls that make education one of their priorities. The commitment, focus and willpower it takes to succeed in school is as bad ass as being involve in any extreme sport. Education is like an extreme sport for the mind.

You have been working with The Lady Lurkers documenting the scene in Northern California – can you share a bit about this project with us?

It’s ongoing. No deadline. It’s a fun long term project. When I first started looking for girls to shoot, a friend mentioned the Santa Cruz Lady Lukers. What interested me is that they weren’t pros, but a cohesive group of ladies who came together to share their love of skateboarding. They represent all that I want to encourage.

Skater: Cassie Oseguera
Skater: Cassie Oseguera

Any tips for female skaters to be able to establish a good relationship with a photographer like yourself ?

Show up on time. Be respectful of the photographers time. Give him or her your full attention. Do tricks you land at least 75% of the time. Trying tricks you just learned is time consuming because the consistency of landing the trick isn’t there yet. In addition, when you don’t land the trick, there’s a higher risk of an air-born board that could result in injury to the photographer. Communicate. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Both skater and photographer have an image in mind, but sometimes it takes extensive communication to sync those images. Everyone has their good days and bad. Both need to be patient. Don’t keep going if you tire. That’s when injuries occur. Most importantly, have fun!

Skater: Jordyn Barratt at Exposure

What are some of your favorite places to shoot at?

My absolute favorite setting is the backyard bowl. When I road tripped with Scott Foss, the Bones Brigader who introduced me to skateboard photography, I was lucky enough to shoot small crews at Lance Mountains, Arto’s, Rusty’s, Malibu and Ridiculous. Those bowls are as photogenic as they come. I also like discovering new parks and getting shots of unknown local rippers. I enjoy shooting contests. Some of my favorite contests to shoot are Exposure, the Van’s Girls Combi Classic, Van’s events and World Cup Skateboarding events in general and the Clash at Clairemont. In December I shot the Poseiden Foundations event, Ladies Day at the Berrics. It was all about fun, which suits me well.

Skater: Lance Mountain
Skater: Jim Gray

Do you have an all time favorite skate image that you have shot?

Demarcus James at Buena Vista

Skater: Demarcus James

Any favorite tricks you like to shoot?

I love just a simple ollie. Most everyone can do it and it can be done in diverse settings. I have a shot of Amy Treadway doing an ollie in Oregon. We were on our way to Windell’s Skate Camp and the sunset was insane. We pulled to the side of of the highway and I captured this awesome shot of her doing an ollie on a dirt road with the mountains and sunset in the background. It’s one of my favorite shots.

Skater: Amy Treadway

Favorite camera body & lens?

Nikon D7000, 10mm 2.8 fisheye

Do you like to light or do you prefer shooting with natural light?

I love shooting with short duration flash at high shutter speeds. The resulting photo is always amazingly sharp.

Any girls out there you haven’t shot yet but would like to?

So many I can’t name them all!

Skater: Gaby Ponce

Any advice for someone who wanted to get into action sports photography?

Make sure you have a good job to support your obsession! Camera equipment and maintenance is very expensive. Rent until you find what works for you, then buy used. Don’t get into it for the money. Get into it for the fun and adventure. Ask other photographers for advice. There are many who love to share what they know and will end up to be great friends. Ask questions. Ask more questions. Don’t be afraid of the word ‘no’. Someday there will be a ‘yes’. Not everyone’s going to like you or what you do. Focus on those who like and support you. Ignore those who don’t. Negative energy is draining and will hold you back. Positive energy will propel you forward. Get good health insurance. Carry a medical emergency kit. Injury is inevitable.

Where can we see your work?

I’m building a new website, but you can view some past material at

What’s next?

I hope to cover the Van’s Pool Party Classic this year, as I have done for the past two years. I blog and I’m a photographer for Skidmark Skatemag. All the contests I cover can be seen on their website 

Skater: Allysha Bergado at Vans

To see her rad photos, make sure you follow Lorrie at:

Facebook: Lorrie Palmos
Instagram: @lrpalmos
Twitter: @LorriePalmos

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