Photo Story: Mike Blabac Portfolio

One of skateboarding's most iconic photographers shares some of his favorite images.
By Sam McGuire

Mike Blabac has lived an enviable life as a skate photographer shooting some of the greatest skaters and greatest images over a long and healthy career. Enviable but not just simply handed over. Hard work, a keen eye and just flat out being one of the easiest guys to work with he made the trek out west from Michigan in 94, never stopped shooting, and never looked back.

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Colin McKay
Colin McKay "Colin McKay was trying a trick and I was shooting sequences of it. I thought it’d look rad to put a flash across from me to shoot Colin pushing back after each try. I didn't want to ask him to pose it although he was wondering what was up after a few times getting blasted in the face by a strobe." © Mike Blabac
Danny Way, Gap to Grind
Danny Way, Gap to Grind "This photo of Danny is during the first session on the Mega Rail. No one had thought of gapping 40 feet to a rainbow shaped rail going over 40 miles an hour, but, I guess no one had thought of a lot he has done." © Mike Blabac
Danny Way, Gap to Noseblunt
Danny Way, Gap to Noseblunt "In my opinion, this is the gnarliest Nosebluntslide ever! It's also one of my favorite photos I've ever shot. I shot this towards the end of Danny filming for his Deluxe edition part for the DC video. The gap out photo to it was the cover of the first ever Skateboard Mag." © Mike Blabac
Evan Smith, Frontside Boardslide Pop Over
Evan Smith, Frontside Boardslide Pop Over "Evan is such a fun guy to shoot. He was trying this trick and I asked him to wait until the sun came out as it was occasionally peeking through the clouds. Most skaters wouldn't like that. As soon as the sun hit the spot he landed this trick—seagulls flying, sailboats, and all!" © Mike Blabac
Josh Kalis, Tre Flip
Josh Kalis, Tre Flip "Kalis definitely has a signature Tre Flip, one of the best. DC wanted an image of him doing one for the release of his new pro shoe. Heavy fog rolled in right as we started shooting and I was devastated until I shot one photo. Then I realized it was a blessing." © Mike Blabac
Josh Kalis
Josh Kalis "Josh and I have shot many memorable photos but this one takes the cake! I was shooting Gymkhana 5 and we were going to have the bridge closed for a short time. Josh was in town filming and was down to wake up at 5am to shoot this photo. I love San Francisco so I have a soft spot for this photo." © Mike Blabac
Josh Kalis, Backside Noseblunt
Josh Kalis, Backside Noseblunt "We were having dinner one night, and Josh was talking about how dope the old NYC cab photos were. I came to the conclusion that to properly shoot a photo skating a taxi we’d have to hire one. I called Yellow Taxi where I live and it’s amazing what a little bit of product will get you!" © Mike Blabac
Mikey Taylor, Backside 5050
Mikey Taylor, Backside 5050 "Mikey found this spot while shooting family photos for Easter. It was challenging to shoot because the sun was coming straight at me requiring several flashes, so I brought my son Noah as an assistant to hold one of them. It took a while to set up but Mikey landed it at exactly the right time." © Mike Blabac
Matt Miller, Switch Backside Lipslide
Matt Miller, Switch Backside Lipslide "Skateboarder Magazine hit me up to shoot a Miller interview right before he went pro. We skated around SF all-day and ended up at these benches at sunset. Everything came together as one of those photos that were just meant to be as we got kicked out right after he landed it." © Mike Blabac
Street League 2012
Street League 2012 "I'm terrified of heights, but sometimes the idea of a photograph will make me overcome fear. I would go up in the rafters of the arenas while shooting Street League just to get an over view of the course every contest. Right when I stepped onto the catwalk - the pre finals show started." © Mike Blabac
Stevie Williams, Switch Heelflip
Stevie Williams, Switch Heelflip "Stevie has an amazing Switch Heel. He had an interview come out so I shot a similar photo for his portrait. I loved the photo, but wanted to make it better so we shot a few in the studio. It ended up being one of my favorite photos I've ever shot of Stevie. Thanks for having dope Switch Heels!" © Mike Blabac
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