Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

Photo Credit: Jack Belli Portfolio 018

Photo Credit jack belli what youth

Jack Belli’s portfolio of imagery is vast. What started as a surf hobby, has since turned into an art form featuring some of the world’s most beautiful girls. We tracked Jack down to find out how that evolution occurred. And if he knows how we can make it happen for us.

WHAT YOUTH: Where did you grow up? JACK BELLI: I grew up in Newport Beach. I was your typical surf kid: surfing and skateboarding everyday. It was all I thought about at the time so growing up in this area was pretty rad. I lived in Newport until I was about 21 and then moved to Costa Mesa. All my friends and family are here so I don’t have any plans to leave any time soon.

How old were you when you were introduced to photography? It was around 16 or 17 years old. My friends and I always had cameras with us while we were skating, so I guess that was my first introduction to something creative. Aside from skating I was surfing a lot too at the time and was able to travel. I wanted to have a good camera to just take photos while I was on trips so I bought my first dslr. I started noticing that I would rather shoot surfing than actually surf so it was a weird transition.

Do you remember when you realized that it had gone from a hobby to something that had a style of it’s own and you could do something with photography? I do have a pretty specific direction. I style and shoot girls now. Prior to shooting fashion though, I didn’t really give it much thought. I just shot photos that I liked. Having people say they can recognize it’s your photo before knowing though is a huge compliment.

Any other interests outside photography? Music for sure. I grew up playing the drums but haven’t for a while. I’m thinking its time to dust them off and give it a try again.

Who’s work inspires you? I think the first inspiration I had when I was younger was more documentary photos. Nowadays I draw inspiration from so many different places. Thats the fun about shooting fashion stuff now. I kind of take what I have learned in the past and apply that to new inspiration I find to hopefully create something unique.

When did photography become an art for you, or a career path? I never really gave it much thought when I was getting into shooting… I just knew I liked it. It was probably around the time I was introduced to David [Stoddard] and everyone at Brixton and started doing a lot of work for them. I was doing little jobs here and there but David really took me in and put a lot of trust into such a young kid to create content for his brand. I would say this was when I started thinking, OK this could be something I do for the rest of my life and began investing all my time into becoming better. David and everyone at Brixton are so rad and I am really thankful I was able to develop such a good relationship with them at a young age.

Did you go to school or have a mentor? I took a black and white photo class at OCC [Orange Coast College], but aside from that I don’t have any formal training. I just shot every single day. You start to notice things you like in a photo and things you hate. I am pretty hard on myself when I take photos which I think is important for any creative person. If you think your photos are perfect there wont be any progression or push to become better.

When you first started what did you shoot? When I started out, I was only shooting surfing and my friends hanging at the beach because that’s what my life was surrounded by at the time. When I was about 22 years old I started to think about where I saw my future as a photographer. I didn’t really want to shoot surfing for the rest of my life so I kind of took a step back from it and started focusing on developing a look in fashion that I wanted to go for, which was really hard.

Where did you work before photography became a job? Worked really shitty jobs. [laughs] I worked at a flower nursery helping customers carry things to their cars for a while. After that I worked at a coffee shop for a year or so. I went on a trip to Australia to shoot while I was working there. When I got home I remember my boss calling me and asking, “Are you coming back to work?” I sat there for a second and thought about it and just said nope. I haven’t worked another job like that since.

Photo Credit: Chris Peel Portfolio 040: Three Phones, One Camera

Although Chris Peel has been around for a while, more and more of his stuff was beginning to find it’s way over to What Youth. The man definitely has talent and a very unique eye. His subject matter is as diverse as his travel itinerary and his list of frequent shooting locations is mind-boggling. We…

Photo Credit: Sarah Kinsella Portoflio 039: A Natural Eye

Sarah “Louise” Kinsella is a photographer based in Sydney with an eye for life. She picked up photography from her Dad and carried this passion throughout England in her early years. She is a student of her surroundings as she turned her craft into discipline. Here are some photos of her work featuring some scenery as…

Photo Credit: Ashton Herman Portfolio 038: Gone with the Lens

Ashton Herman gets shit done. Young Ashton came to us via a persistent badgering to be a WY intern. We kinda liked the kid so we brought him with us to Waco to shoot with Chippa, Ozzie, Nate, Mitch, Finn, and the Geiselmans. He came home with some solid eye candy from that trip but his…

Photo Credit: Dylan Gordon Portfolio 037: Some Eyes May Wander

Another day, another inbox full of tidbits from far and wide. Today, however, we stumbled across a truly creative lensman who dabbles in multiple mediums. Digi and film, stills and vids. We grabbed the man for a few of the basics and have attached some fine examples of his work below. He is also the…

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Photo Credit: Thomas Fire Portfolio 036: Chet Williams and Trent Stevens document the fires in California

Our state is on fire. Still. These fires all over California have affected all of us in some way. Someone we know. Our friends. Our horses. Our wildlife. Dane and Courtney. Even just seeing these fires from a distant is enough to intimidate you with their power. Two Ventura locals — Chet Williams and Trent Stevens…

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Photo Credit: Rhyan Santos On the road with Cherry Glazerr, No Parents, LA WITCH and more

A few months ago Rhyan Santos sent over a batch of 268 images for his “Photo Credit” feature. We flipped through the batch and fell in love with the raw, on-the-road-with-your-best-friends vibe he was able to capture in some of our favorite bands. We all strive to shoot similar photos when we leave the comforts…

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Photo Credit: Paul Coutherut Portfolio 034: Paul was told he couldn’t skate again, but they didn’t say he couldn’t shoot it.

Paul Coutherut started submitting photos to us one at a time a few months back. They would make there way through the office as a lot of our favorite submissions do, conversations ensue and we start to notice a recurring pattern from certain photographers. Paul was one of those. We kept coming back to his…

what youth photo credit laura-lynn petrick

Photo Credit: Laura-Lynn Petrick Portfolio 033: Natural, unposed, and up close and personal

Laura-Lynn Petrick may be all of 26 years old, but her portfolio as a photographer carries the weight of someone wise with age, and the trained eye to really nail down a shot. She’s captured everyone from Allah-Las to Mac DeMarco to Casey Affleck, but still considers the moon her favorite subject. “Can the moon…

what youth photo credit david evanko

Photo Credit: David Evanko Portfolio 032: Memory Hoarding

David Evanko, also know as Minivan, is an amazing photographer and avid music fiend. He’s at every single show I’m ever at (and even the ones I skip) and consistently blows my mind with his live shots. He’s photographed almost every relevant band (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Kim and the Created), and still manages…

Photo Credit: Timmy Ridenour Portfolio 031: From the filming of “Everything’s Wrong but in the Right Place”

Name: Timothy Ridenour AKA: Timmy Toes Age: 28 Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA Do you remember the first photo you took? I had a photography class in high school and we would go on field trips and just shoot pictures all day. It was the best class I ever took. Such a good experience. Working in…

what youth photo credit gabriel de lery

Photo Credit: Gabriel De Léry Portfolio 030: Black and white

Gabriel De Léry is a Montreal based photographer with a childhood driven passion for black and white film. We recently published a few of his photos in What Youth Issue 14 and we wanted to share a few more that didn’t make print. Click on the gallery below to see through his lens. WHAT YOUTH:…

alec castillo photography

Photo Credit: Alec Castillo Portfolio 029: The epitome of youth on the run

Alec Castillo is the bassist of self-proclaimed “boner rock” band The Nude Party. He’s also a photographer dedicated to depicting the world and lifestyle he inhabits. Whether capturing antics on tour or portraying the most intimate of moments amongst friends, this dude’s eye has our attention. And he’s only just begun. “I use photography to…

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