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

Photo Credit: Terence Connors Portfolio 019

photo credit what youth girls
WHAT YOUTH:Terrence M. Connors has been recognized by his peers as one of the pre-eminent trial attorneys in the state.” How do you feel about that being the first thing that comes up when you google your name? TERRENCE CONNORS: [Laughing]. That’s awesome.

Where did you grow up? How did you end up where you are now? I was born in Manhattan and grew up between NY and Paris because my mom is French and my dad is American. My teenage years were spent in Paris where I spent my time filming and photographing skateboarding. That led me to meeting some really interesting people notably Charles Lamb who was on a skate trip in Paris from NY. He would later introduce me to basically all the people I know in NY.

I ended up settling in New York for college when I got a scholarship after winning a short film festival in Paris. I studied cinematography there. During that time I spent most of my days still filming skating which for some reason quickly led to assisting jobs in the fashion world. I guess skaters hang out with fashion people and vice versa. I met Zippy somewhere along the way and I now have the privilege of spending summers in New Zealand where she is from.

How old were you when you got into photography? I would say I was about 13 when my stepfather who is a photographer gave me his old Nikon fe, from that point on I fell in love with it and spent any money I made on film and renting out darkrooms with a friend of mine.

Do you remember the first defining moment where you realized you had developed your own style? When I was 13 I thought I was taking these amazing unique photos just because I had managed to expose them correctly. They were all in black and white and very graphic looking. I was naive and I kind of miss that. My mind wasn’t so flooded with images and references back then. I try and take photos all the times with whatever I have handy it could be with a phone, a little film camera, anything, it’s just fun.

I’ll admit it is more thrilling shooting film as there is an element of surprise involved and you put more work into it, from buying the film to bringing it to a lab and finally getting your scans back, you feel as though you’ve worked for your images. They are more rewarding in a sense but I don’t have anything against digital.

Any other outside influences? Outside of photography, yes my main job as a cinematographer. After that music, I couldn’t live without music. I’ve played instruments since a really young age and they’re so important in my work, often times my ideas will emanate from listening to music. I’ve also started great friendships from playing music with someone else, same as bonding over films. One of the things I really like about filmmaking is that there is a musical element to it and a collaborative process.

Who’s work has inspired you or made you think about the way you shoot? Man, so many people’s work inspire me, and the spectrum wouldn’t even make sense. All the photos and films I see make me think about the way I shoot.

At what point did photography seem like an art? Or a possible career path? Photography has always seemed like art to me. I took it for a given. I was young, I was told it was an art form and that was it. As a career path it isn’t really one for me or at least not yet. Although I’ve shot some things for money and I do believe filmmaking and photography go hand in hand I really try and concentrate on cinematography and directing as a career path, I would say it’s definitely what I’m better at.

How did you develop your skills? Did you go to school or have a mentor? By taking thousands of photos. I went to a photography and filmmaking intensive summer camp when I was 14. We spent 2 months shooting super 8 and 16mm film, splicing and taping the film together and projecting them at the end of each week. We also had access to unlimited amounts of 35mm film and a darkroom. It’s all we did every day so I developed technique there, or at least understood the mechanics of cameras and the importance of being organized with your negatives. I still feel as though I have so much to explore and learn creatively.

My mentor was my stepdad when I was younger, he directed me to all the photographers that were working at Magnum and they were obviously incredibly inspiring. Then I would say that I discovered and fell in love with Bruce Weber’s photography after seeing Let’s Get Lost. I love the moments and scenes he creates and captures, especially when you see his fashion work, he manages to make things feel good and that’s all I need at the end of the day.

What did you shoot during this time when you were still an adolescent photographer? When I was young I was shooting skating and friends. Now I shoot friends but a lot of my girlfriend as you can see.

What did you do before photography was a viable option? To tell you the truth it still isn’t a viable option. I’m going to focus on films for a long time and never stop taking photos, there’s no other medium I’m really as passionate about.

Check out more Terence Connors imagery at @terenceconnors

Photo Credit: Zara Mirkin Portfolio 017

“I love music, its my biggest passion in life except I can’t play for shit so didn’t pursue it. In saying that I try to make my work as musically involved as I can and spend the majority of my money going to watch my favorite bands play, and buying silly band merch.” –Zara Mirkin…

Photo Credit Larsen Sotelo what youth girls

Photo Credit: Larsen Sotelo Portfolio 015

Being resourceful. And making the most of what you have. That’s been the ticket for a lot of successful photographers. And Larsen Sotelo became an expert at both of these things, and now his photography comes with built in edge and raw energy. We had him select some of his favorite photos and asked him a…

Photo Credit: Luke Schuetrumpf Portfolio 015

He’s young. He’s talented. He’s hustling. And he literally rode his bike here to meet us. Australian photographer Luke Schuetrumpf started by filming surfing and then quickly abandoned that when he realized he could photograph beautiful girls instead. And the call has worked out. “Where I grew up had a big influence on me: girls at…

photo credit kyle lightner what youth surfing

Photo Credit: Kyle Lightner Portfolio 014

The return of a really talented photographer

what youth photo credit

Photo Credit: Patrick Trefz Portfolio 013

Patrick Trefz is originally from Düsseldorf, Germany — a long way from his current Santa Cruz home and surf lifestyle. But it was there in Germany his love of skateboarding got the ball rolling for his current passion. It was a few well-timed jaunts into the jungle, barefoot and eating bananas and coconuts off the…

Photo Credit: Stefan Kocev Portfolio 012

A beautiful array of images from a friend of a friend.

what youth surfing waves

Photo Credit: Seth Stafford Portfolio 011

Seth Stafford spent much of his career shooting photographs for the now out of print TransWorld Surf Mag. Now he spends his time surfing and skating and shooting more photos. And as you’ll see below, the New Jersey native has accumulated quite a surreal catalog of photographs during that career — working with and shooting both…

Photo Credit: Gutterdust Portfolio 010

Gutterdust is the epic alias of Andy Wauman, artist, photographer and wanderer.

Josh Zucker shoots Geoff Rowley what youth photo credit

Photo Credit: Josh Zucker Portfolio 009

Josh Zucker hangs with a sick crew. At only 21 years old he’s already worked for Vans and Flip, is practically an honorary member of Odd Future, kicks it on Fairfax casually and has traveled the world with “it” crews as well as a solid batch of skateboarding legends. His demeanor is polite, friendly and…

Nolan hall photo credit what youth

Photo Credit: Nolan Hall Portfolio 008

Working for Vans puts you in some pretty good company. And when your’e a cool cat like Nolan Hall, you’re going to get to document dudes authentically. In the wild. How they are. Unique, creative, fucked up and amazing. Nolan has been traveling the world snapping photos for a long time and we hit him…

Woody Gooch photo credit what youth

Photo Credit: Woody Gooch Portfolio 007

When we asked Woody Gooch about his name, all he said was: “Woodya mean?” Followed by: “I don’t really have a fucking clue how I got the name of two male private parts. I still haven’t asked my parents. No one ever believes me that my name is Woody Gooch.” But we’ll be damned if…

Photo Credit: Isaac Zoller Portfolio 006

Isaac Zoller is a photographer from Laguna Beach — which must fucking rule because his photography is a myriad of rad and inspiring things. Waves, women, scenics, bands, models, rebellion. He’s not a one trick shooter. We asked him to curate some images and he submitted like 6,000 images that were all worthy. We somehow…

Sign up for letters from What Youth