Jim Alesi - Behind the Lens

Posted by Carson Joyner on

Over at SOCCO we've had the opportunity to work alongside Jim Alesi for a number of years. He's been a part of the skate culture since he was a kid, so his eye for skate photography speaks for itself. We stopped to ask him a few questions on how he got into skating/photography, and what he's been up to during quarantine. Check out his story below!

Jim Alesi skating frontside at Palm Jr High in 1975. Photo taken by Mike Alesi.


Is skating photography what you do full-time?


I am a full-time photographer


When did you start shooting skaters?


    I started shooting skateboarding around 1972 my brother Mike Alesi and I skated Palm Jr High’s (my jr high) cool bank wave...we would shoot photos of each other with my old Pentax camera and we had to make our own boards 


    How has the evolution of skating changed the way you photograph?


      In the old days you had to buy film pay to have it processed (I always shot slides) so for me every shot had to count, that’s why I think I can get a lot good shots every session. Of course everyone is a photographer nowadays. And of course all of my friends shoot GoPro and pull screen shots which is cool.


      I have noticed on the skateboard side a lot of uptight divas who are really average skaters and kind of rude to everyone in the parks. Rollerskaters are always cool, always respectful. One time I was shooting Nick and Havoc and they were telling me if it wasn’t for us old school skateboarders there would not be parks for rollerskaters to skate that was pretty cool and respectful.


      How has the virus affected your photography sessions?


        Last time I shot phots was Feb 14, 2020.

        I have so many unpublished shots I haven’t looked at yet.


        What are you doing now to fill your time or be more creative with your sessions?


          Just staying close to home, checking out lagoons by my house, and doing a lot of home repairs and painting. May start shooting some far shots of skaters if parks open or start shooting ditches around town.


           Photo of Mike Alesi dropping barefoot into the bowl at Palm Jr High in 1972. Jim said, "my brother and I would spend all day skating pools and banks/ditches barefoot eating fruit off trees like wild animals."


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