Phil McKenzie

     Phil McKenzie is a 21 year old Photographer and Web Developer currently living and working in Boulder, CO. Right now he is working in Web Development while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder pursuing a degree in Engineering and Applied Science. When he manages to get his nose out of school work he am likely behind the handlebars of his bike, riding his skateboard, editing photos, or plotting the next shoot.

Home town: Boulder, Colorado

What equipment do you use?: I shoot 90% of my professional work with a "nifty fifty" or a fisheye lens and shoot almost everything else with a variety of cheap point and shoot 35mm cameras, mostly found in area thrift stores, but lately I have been really enjoying the Nikon One Touch 100.

What does photography mean to you?: Photography is my way to relate to the world around me. As a skateboarder who realized I would never be good enough to make the pro ranks I decided that I needed a different route to get more involved in the skate world, building on my interest in photography was the natural path. Since getting my start in the skate world I have used my photography to get involved with shooting snowboarding, D1 sports and music all things that I am interested in but would have no role to play in as anything but a photographer. Photography has also provided me some opportunities to travel the states, so I owe a lot to the trade, it really is a lifestyle for me.

What it is that you want to say with your photographs?: The goal of all my photographs is to "blow up" a fraction of a second in time. I want my viewers to see a carefully captured and curated view of the world as I see it. A lot of my work, like skateboarding and snowboarding is as documentary as it is artful, so another thing I really focus on with my photographs is telling a story. The questions I hope all my photos answer is, what is happening in the photo? What makes the location unique? How does the image convey time? and one of my favorite's that I hear from non photographers is How did he do that?

What catches your eye when you're taking photos?: Usually the situation in which the photo opportunity will be happening, is it day or night? What colors will be in frame? is this a well known location?Although photographing really hard tricks at well trodden spots is important I am usually a bigger fan of something simple and stylish at place people aren't familiar with. 

What motivates you to keep taking photos?: Simply getting better. One of my favorite thing about photography is that it can never be mastered, there will always be in camera or post processing methods I haven't explored. I'm a huge fan of learning in general, but being able to learn a new technique and immediately see if it worked or not is super exciting. 

Any new zines?: I shoot for a variety of skate zines, primarily The Bad Egg a Denver based skate zine which is dropping a new release in October. I also work with Lowcard Magazine a quarterly magazine based out of SF. To see my sports and music work you always check out the CU Independent, the University of Colorado, Boulder's student newspaper. I've also been tossing around some ideas for starting a music publication of my own with my girlfriend, so there is definitely some fun stuff in the works.

Instagram: @philmckenziephoto