Rad New Yorker and super talented photographer Khaleeq sat down to tell us all about his love for skating, photography and bombing down Broadway! Enjoy his sick photos throughout.
Hey Khaleeq, how are you?
I’m doing pretty good.
Where are you from?
New York City! Born and Raised.
What’s it like for skaters?
It’s so nice, got some nice hills here and there. It’s all about the traffic surfing though, hauling ass down broadway with your homies, couldn’t ask for anything more haha.
When did you start skating?
Started on a skateboard about 6 years ago, just cruising. After 2 or 3 years I got on a longboard and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
How did you discover the community?
I went to this site “Meetup” which ended up having a NYC group hosted by a guy named Stu Anderson. He put together so many meetups, it really got the community together. My friends and I started to attend them and at a point I started photographing these events.
Who is this Stu fellow?
When I started out, Stu was the guy to know haha. He put together SO MANY events in the NY area. I would say he’s partly responsible for where I am now.
Is he still active?
Not so much now. He does have one DH race in Prospect Park BK that he runs, but not a ton of other events. Now, it’s more about hitting your homies up and skating one spot.
Best excuse to lurk right?
Yea, but at some point you have to skate. Even if you’re just starting out, everyone’s down to help a fellow skater out. I used to just shoot and chill, now when I’m in NYC I just wanna skate.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your board?
Go fast… hahaha. Whether its bombing a hill or traffic surfing, it’s no fun doing it slow.
How did you camera change how you experienced the community?
That’s a good question. I think at first I was viewing the community from an outsiders perspective, until I really got into the community and starting chilling with my own crew and all the other skaters.
How did your perspective change when you got in?
Once you know how it feels to bomb those hills or slide on them, you know the feeling and how fun it is. It becomes easier to capture that perfect moment in a slide or the joy of the skaters as they walk up a hill, just to do another run.
What kind of images did you capture in the beginning?
Oh god, I hate looking back at those haha. You could tell the person shooting was just a beginner. The photos were never usually at the right time, grainy, the saturation was off, just not the best.
What was your emphasis on back then?
Back then I was just having fun, just wanted to shoot. I didn’t have many intentions, just wanted to show what the nyc longboarding community was like.
How has your photography evolved in the last few years?
Well I’ve been doing digital and film photography for about years 3-4 years now, but have been doing skate photography for about a year and a half. Every time I shoot an event I feel as though I improve, I take something away from every shoot.
Is capturing skate images different from your regular stuff?
I’m going to say no. The same effort I put into composing that “regular” photo, I put an equal amount of effort into shooting skate stuff. I don’t just point my camera in a direction and blast away with the shutter haha. I thoughtfully plan out my shot, and try to make it as perfect as possible.
What is the essence of a good photo?
When you’re able to get the viewer to sit with it for a while. Having that effect where they really analyze your photograph, and has them appreciating every aspect of that photo.
What do you try to capture when you’re shooting a skateboarder?
That flow of a skater, the movement, that precise moment that captures the trick they’re doing or the line they’re taking on a DH run.
Does being a skater help you take better images of skateboarding?
I think it does, because you know what it feels like, you can tell what they’re doing. When I first started shooting I would just use burst, but I’ve grown to the point that I just wait for that perfect moment and “click”, done.
When did you feel like you had finally come into your true self behind the lens?
I think I hit that moment when I got a 2 page spread in the Surf-rodz web magazine “Agents or Change” issue 6 and also got the front cover. Was so stoked!!!! That’s when I realized I might actually be doing something good.
How has life been different since?
Never thought I would be where I am right now. Travelling more and more, hitting a ton of events, helping to promote Ghostskate, getting photos used here and there. Getting recognition from companies, it’s just crazy. Love where I am, never thought I’d get here.
Where are you now?
New York City! Never leaving… College in Chicago though.
What is Ghost skate?
Ghostskate is a NYC based company with the goal of supporting the community and spreading the stoke!
When did you first get to travel to skate/shoot?
My first trip was to I love DownHill in Windham, New York. Took a trip up there with my best friends and we camped out, worst idea ever as it was too cold! However, it was my first time doing DH photography. Fun event with good vibes.
How is capturing DH different?
Shooting downhill is definitely more about choosing your position. At a slide jam you can stand almost anywhere and still compose a good shot. I’ve realized with DH you really have to position yourself right. There’s also a lot more moving around, courses are much longer compared to hills used for sliding. The vibe of DH races is also different, they’re a little more intense. Rooting for your homie in the next heat to kill it gets you hype.
What else did you get up to last summer?
Went to I <3 DH, got on the Ghostskate team, skated the city with the homies, and also went to Central Mass. Central mass was definitely one of my highlights of last summer. Stoked on this summer though!
What are your plans for this summer?
Shoot, shoot, shoot. Going to I <3 DH again, Maryhill, Ghostskate Darknight II (race), Central Mass. Also helped out a friend put together a Slide Jam/DH race/Push race in NJ to Raise money for the American Cancer Association.
You going to be riding any of those events?
Nah, I don’t compete. I’d love to ride down Maryhill though. Might do it this year with the homies.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your board?
Love to go fast, I’m not a speed demon but I love the feeling of just hauling ass down a hill or through traffic.
What’s your current setup?
Currently riding Originals Arbiter 36, Rey truck hangers (death reys), Caliber baseplates, Riptide bushings (Riptide or Die!!!!!). With Abec 11 Retro bertz. Switching my board VERY soon though, to the Bustin Mekanik, such a nice board.
What do you do when you’re not skating/shooting?
Dreaming about skating haha. Skating and photography is life dude, that’s all I do. Besides college and trying to find a job.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-15!
3! 12! and 7! Did I win something?
3 – what crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
That’s a hard question, I’m not bout that life haha!
12 – Who would you like to be reborn as?
Bro! Thanks a lot for your patience, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know you! Love your photos man.
Same here dude!! Thanks for the opportunity!
Any thank yous?
My mom duh! Ghostskate, Nyc, the homies, Stu, and any companies that have used my photographs.