Featured Photographer Dennis McGrath
How long have you been skating and shooting in New York?
I started skating in 1985 and I’m from New Jersey so New York was the first city I skated in. There used to be ESA (Eastern Skateboard Association) contests at the banks back then that were amazing. This was around the time Shut first started. In 1988 my brothers and I met Aly Moore and he would let us stay at his Mom’s house in Brooklyn. Back then I remember skating with Stan Lambert, Qulon (sp?) Douglas, Eli Gesner and others. In 1994 my brother Mat moved to NYC to help James Jebbia start up Supreme, I was living in San Francisco at the time but i would spend Summer’s in New York shooting photos through the 90’s.
What was it like growing up with your brother who was also into skating and photography?
I have two brothers who skate, Mat and Jon. Jon and I got cameras in ‘87 I think and we would shoot each other all the time. The best thing about having brothers that skated is you always have someone to skate with. We also grew really close since we all skated too, we have a lot of friends in common and such.
What do you like most about photographing in New York, as opposed to any other city in the world?
There’s an energy that NYC has that is beyond any I’ve ever felt anywhere else in the world. It’s raw looking as well, more interesting spots. It’s all about the energy for me.
Who have been some of your favorite people to photograph in New York and favorite moments?
Back in the mid 90’s I would go out with everyone who was at Supreme mostly. Jones and Chris Keefe, Peter Bici, Ryan Hickey, Harold Hunter, Justin Pierce, Loki, Joey Alvarez, Danny Supa, Mike Hernandez, Hamilton Harris, etc. Favorite times were just pushing around the city with all these guys trying to get photos, but really just skating. Also skating the banks back in the 80’s. Those contests back then were so much fun since everyone was there.
What is the story behind your photo of Huf in Full Bleed?
The photo of Huf in the book was one of those days in ‘96 I believe out pushing around downtown. It started raining and we were walking back to Astor or Supreme most likely. I just recently printed that picture for the first time like 2 yrs ago. Before that I never really thought much of it.