Steve Halo sits down with his buddy Todd Jordan to talk about being a professional skateboarder, photographer and he quest to find the perfect burger in New York.
When did you find photography a point of interest for you?
I was really young actually when I got into photography. At first it was just an infatuation with my mother’s camera. She had a Pentax SLR that she always had with her on family trips and I guess it was after seeing my interest in it that she eventually got me a point and shoot for Christmas one year. It was a neon green Minolta point and shoot actually. I never had film for it but I just loved to point it at people and see the flash go off. It would be amazing to look through all of those photos today had there been film in the camera.
At what point did you start to take it more seriously?
I guess in high school is when I started to learn more about cameras; the process and the art of photography. Learning about the relationship between the shutter, the aperture, how to process my film and make my own prints was major. Also learning little tricks in the darkroom was as exciting for me as shooting photos. I remember how psyched I was to shoot a photo of my friends skating and then being able to show them a 8×10 print of it the next day.
Film or digital, and why?
I still prefer to shoot film. That’s really all I shoot right now but I can see it is slowly becoming time to invest in a digital camera. If I’m shooting something for somebody else, it’s just faster and easier to get him or her the finished work if it’s shot digitally. I also usually need to scan my negatives to be printed as opposed to making prints in the darkroom and that kind of defeats the purpose of shooting film in the first place. But I will never not shoot film. That’s one thing that I know for sure.
I see some of your skate buddies and your girlfriend are subjects in your work, any reason why?
Well for the obvious reasons I guess. They’re what’s closest to me. Its not only out of convenience that I shoot them. If you’re as comfortable as the subject you are shooting and you can translate that mood into a photograph; than I think that can be something beautiful. Shooting someone familiar is also a way for me to sort of figure out how to shoot people that I may be shooting for the first time. People that may not be as comfortable around me.
Camera of choice?
It really depends on the circumstance, but my Leica Rangefinder hasn’t given me any trouble in the 10 years I’ve had it. It’s the only thing that I have ever owned that I know I will have for probably the rest of my life.
Anything new inspiring you lately, or do you still dive back into the archive or old stuff for inspiration?
I’d say I’m inspired all the time by a lot of different things. As of late though, I think that traveling a lot has helped. It’s important for me to get out of New York lately to keep me generally excited. I get into too much or a routine in NY as far as what I do and see. To just change it up a bit keeps ideas kinda popping up I think.
What can we see on the horizon for you with projects and photography?
Well I have a lot of things that I’m trying to work on right now. Its always a matter of focusing on getting these things done to a point where I am happy with them. One of the major things on my list is finally getting a website that I’m happy with finished and online. I feel like I am one of the last people without a website. It’s been frustrating to get contacted by people asking where to see a selection of my work online and I have to direct them to something that may be a bit dated. I am also working on getting a show together soon with the gallery that I’ve been working with here in New York. I’m hoping to have something set to go up in January and maybe a small catalog printed for it as well. We shall see. Ive been keeping myself busy so I guess that’s a good thing.
You’re always seeking out the perfect burger. What’s your favorite burger spot of all time?
I don’t think I’ve really found it yet. There’s a lot of factors involved with such a title. At this exact moment though I wish that I had a La Esquina burger sitting on a plate in front of me. Its not normally what I would even go there for but they do have a really good one.