Photographer Julie Daniels Gives Us A Peek At The New Dickies Girl Kids Line!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Quinne, Kala, & Jaelyn   /  all photos by Julie Daniels

We some rad photos of three young skater girls on instagram - all wearing Dickies clothing in kids sizes and wondered what was up? Because up until now, Dickies hasn't made clothing in young girls sizes (it has been traditionally a size 0-15 junior brand) and yet Dickies is a fan favorite for girls of all ages that skate, so we wondered when it might happen... We tracked down photographer Julie Daniels to give us the scoop on what the new kids line is like, when it launches, how the shoot went and to talk about the three mini shredders who got to "test skate" the new Dickies looks!

Hi Julie! We are so stoked to get to do this interview with you - we have been fans of your work for quite a few years and this shoot with Dickies kids clothing really caught our eye! We want to know everything! But first, can you tell us how long have you been working as a professional photographer?

My dad was an avid amateur, he built a darkroom in our garage, so I was always into it, but seven years ago I quit my job as a publicist and went to photo school and the hobby caught fire.

How did you get into skateboard photography?

I’m more of a fashion photographer, but skaters have a unique way of expressing themselves, not just through skating, but the way they dress too, they use their whole body to make a statement, and it’s pure poetry. Skateboarding and photography have a long history of going together, it seemed natural to combine them.

You recently did an awesome shoot featuring young skater girls and Dickies - can you tell us how that came about?

Dickies Girl reached out because my daughter is a skater, and they are bringing out some really cool styles for little girls, so I put together a little crew of girls to skate around in them and try them out.

How did you select the girls and the location for this particular project and can you tell us who they are?

I wanted to photograph girls who are already bringing it in personal style, even though they are pretty young (9 and 10 years old). We’ve been skating with Kala (@kalask8grl) about a year now, and she’s always lots of fun. The first time I saw her skate, she was trying to launch off a wall over and over again, and she kept falling and getting back up to try again, blinking back tears. I loved her tenacity. Jaelyn (@jroseskates) is a really strong skater who we’d seen at a couple events, we didn’t know her that well, but she was always smiling and bringing new tricks, and she wears a lot of purple, which is so cool. I was stoked when her dad said she was available, because I knew she’d be perfect for the shoot. My daughter Quinne (@quinneforreal) is kind of a goofball, she’s always up for anything that involves wheels, fashion, and cameras. I gave up trying to dress her a long time ago, I just let her do her own thing. She loves skating in Dickies because the pockets are long and actually hold more than a key or a chapstick, but up until now, we’ve had to buy them in the boy’s section.

I chose Monitor skatepark in Watts because it’s such a beautiful location, right next to a park and a colorful play area. The transitions are mellow, but fun, so I knew it would be easy to focus on the clothing. Plus, I have never seen it busy, and I wanted us to have freedom to move around.

Can you share a bit about how the day went?

About ten minutes into the shoot, while Jaelyn was getting her hair braided, her skateboard went missing. We couldn’t find it anywhere, which was puzzling, because the park had been empty except for a dad holding a baby in one arm and teaching his toddler son how to skate over in the halfpipe. I felt bad, because I know kids work hard to build their boards exactly how they want them, and they can’t just drive to the store and drop a bunch of $$ to replace everything. Just when her dad went to his car to get his own board so she could use it for the shoot, somebody noticed that the toddler in the halfpipe was skating on HER board! He’d seen it sitting around, picked it up, and skated off on it! This was a reminder to me to try to always have some of our old used boards in the trunk so we can donate them on the spot to a kid who’s really enthused to learn.

Why do you feel that strong images of young girls skateboarding are important to have out there?

The perception that skateboarding is a boys activity should have never happened, and needs to be a thing of the past. Females are bringing a lot of excitement to skateboarding, and every time a girl is seen ripping around a skatepark, it’s like an open invitation to other girls to go ahead and try it. It’s also important for the boys to see positive images of girl skaters, so they’ll be less surprised when it happens at their home park. For the most part, we’ve come across really supportive guys, but occasionally less advanced skater boys will make weird comments about my daughter, like they’re literally dumbfounded that “a girl” could be better than them. They obviously haven’t seen enough images of girls skateboarding yet!

What has been the reaction to the images so far?

So far everybody who has seen the photos wants to know where and when the clothes can be purchased.

You shoot a mix of action and portrait images - do you work with each skater one at a time to capture the action shots?

I wanted each girl to have a moment of their own, so I asked them what tricks they felt comfortable doing at this park and then set up camp to capture it. Jaelyn brought a whole bag of tricks, and ended up inspiring Kala to try some new stuff. It was a fun challenge, everything has to come together, obviously the trick, but also the focus, the background, the way the clothing looks, etc. I was really happy with the results, and I hope the girls are too.

Favorite moment from the shoot day?

We shot the clothes one way in the skatepark, then we let the girls restyle their outfit and go into the play area. It was fun watching what accessories they chose, and how they incorporated skateboarding into the other areas of the park. My favorite moment was when they all skated down a green hill in the playground that is made of some sort of foam rubber, so it’s slower than a normal ramp. They were racing each other and shrieking in excitement. It was really fun.

What's next? 

I’m shooting another brand this week in a similar way (portrait and action together) but on roller skates. Then I’m going to Catalina to shoot an athleisure brand, on a boat with a 2 story slide, so I think I’m going to have to shoot it from a jet ski to get the right perspective. Wish me luck!

You can follow Julie and check out her work at:
Instagram: @jeezydeezy
Facebook: Julie Daniels Photography

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