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

Photo Credit: Skyler Dahan Portfolio 023: Paris, LA and how to take a strangers photo

Skyler Dahan is a Los Angeles based photographer who we were introduced to through industry legend and RVCA founder Pat Tenore. When he looped us in with Skyer, we were immediately blown away by the imagery and how evolved and intimate they were. We hit Skyler up and realized we all could learn a lot from his journey and photography. Check it out below.

Where did you grow up? How did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Los Angeles on the west side and left for school in New York when I was 18. When I graduated I was hungry to live abroad and experience something totally different so I moved to Paris for four years. My father is from Paris so I had been exposed to Europe at a young age, but I really wanted to live there and experience it for myself. During my stay in Paris I would travel all the time. I made a lot of friends in Greece and traveled the Cyclades and continued to explore the Mediterranean (Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, and Italy) taking tons of photos and meeting tons of interesting people. Living in various different places has been such a blessing and always puts me in perspective. Through years of travel and exploration I ended up coming back to LA this year in order to push my career to the next level.

How old were you when you got into photography?

I was a film major at Bard College and had worked a lot with the 16mm medium. I loved shooting in film because the editing processes was so unique and I enjoyed the rawness of the image. During my junior year I started taking an analog photo course and fell in love with it immediately. I had messed around with film before, but this was so hands on, between developing the photos and spending time in the darkroom I felt so connected to my photos.

Do you remember the moment you realized you had “a style” of your own?

It was during my senior year at Bard College while I was taking a medium format color photography course. Our teacher Tim Davis had taken us out to shoot some street photography where he would shoot photos of random people on the streets. The entire class was impressed to see this and the way Tim would shoot other people was so ruthless. Like he didn’t even care that these people knew he was taking the photo. One day I was waiting for my negatives to be developed in the parking lot of a strip mall — negatives usually took an hour to develop, so I would wait around the strip mall and either grab a bite or read a book. One day out of boredom I started to check out the different strip mall shops and noticed how weird the people looked. Their clothes, their facial hair, their expressions and the way they held themselves together was almost something from another world. So I decided to document this universe and started by asking people for portraits, telling them I was a student. This then evolved into the next phase, where

I would take photos of people without asking, and as scary as this was, the rush was incredible. This was my defining moment as a photographer where the street became my playground.

Where I would really look at my surroundings and find these unique characters that would create a voice for my photography.



Any other outside influences?

Tons of outside influence. Photographers such as Diane Arbus, Joel Sternfeld, Martin Parr, Lee Freelander, Atget, Weegee, Steven Shore, Stanley Kubrick and many others have inspired my work as a photographer. The more research I put into photography and the more books I find the broader my perspective becomes. I like to think that the amount of references are endless and extremely enriching because we are always evolving as artists. Music is also an influence in my life. I play the alto saxophone and listen to tons of jazz, funk, disco and samba from Brazil. The music I listen to at the moment has an impact on my mood and how I go on about my day. Travel has to be one of the biggest influences as well because you are always inspired when you travel. You constantly experience new tastes, new sounds, and new sights making you think in a way that you never did before.

I love to travel alone because you are forced to adapt and to completely lose your ego.

You almost become a different person and meet people that you would have never met.

What have you learned from professors and professionals about the business of photography?

Professors at school gave me the foundation on how to take photos but most importantly they gave me great references to go to when looking to strengthen myself as an artist. I couldn’t tell you how many people I meet in the industry that make tons of money and have successful careers but don’t have any knowledge of film and or photo history. My professors really taught me to dig deep into photography and look at the greats in order to become a better photographer. On the other hand my mentors in the industry have taught me how to hustle and the business side of photography which is in my view equally important.

Whats’ next for you?

I am currently working on a portrait project titled “Convention Center” where I am following various fan groups all throughout southern California. Some of the conventions include a Cat show, a Hempcon, and anime fans. “My Team Your Team” a series that I started in 2011 is an ongoing project about different walks of life from all over the world in which I plan on making into a book in the near future. Finally I am directing a short documentary about the skateboarders in Venice and how their lifestyle is threatened by gentrification.

Photo Credit: Nick Green Portfolio 041: From Tasmania with Love

Hailing from Tasmania but now truly a citizen of the road, Nick Green has travelled the map capturing the familiar faces and places that we admire from afar. Coming off his acceptance of the 2019 Larry Moore Follow the Light award, Nick has become a hot commodity. We caught up with him recently while he was…

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

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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…

what youth photo credit rhyan santos

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:…

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