There I was, riding down a street in Lisbon one evening. I was heading to a skatepark for an evening session and clocked another dude on a BMX on the other side of the road. A casual "Yo" and we were basically friends – that's the magic of BMX.
After a slightly longer conversation, we established that we were both photographers and soon I'd seen some of his work on various BMX websites. I was stoked on his photo style – seemingly photographing the atmosphere of a BMX event rather than the action. His focus is shifted more towards capturing the personalities involved.
The pictures below are just one set of images – a photo story from a jam in Kiev. Follow Artem on Instagram to see a wider variety to his photography.
Hometown: Cherkassy, Ukraine
Current Location: Lisbon, Portugal
– Tell us a little about yourself, some vital info. What’s it like where you come from?
"Yo, I am Artem Tricky Surname (they say), coming from central Ukraine and living the 6th year of my BMX life right now. Ukraine is a really crazy place when it comes to literally everything, including BMX. The environment for extreme sports here is as adapted as somewhere in the mountains of Nepal, therefore making real savages from riders out there. Years of riding back home were normally followed with a rampage of a sort and gave me the most genuine feelings about BMX as a way of life."
– What’s going on in your life right now? What’s your day to day like?
"Currently the life is really saturated since I have moved to Lisbon for the semester of exchange. Here it has nothing to do with what is considered to be the eastern culture. BMX here was something really surprising for my young mind either, but that's another story altogether. I can just say that riding with 45 y.o. peeps is insane, in the best way. When it comes to routine stuff, I'm finishing my studies, struggling on my thesis on the daily basis and bracing myself before entering the adult life."
"Ukraine is a really crazy place when it comes to literally everything, including BMX."
– How long have you been shooting photos and how did you get started?
"I put my hands on a camera in late 2011, but never took it seriously till 2015. That was the revolution of the Instagram in my mind and I have started getting artsy with my smartphone, afterwards shook the dust from my DSLR and so on. So it goes."
"I am following the idea of the moment and spontaneity."
– When it comes to photography, what grabs your interest? What do you try to capture in your images?
"I am rather following the idea of the moment and spontaneity. For me the best thing is to put myself in the dynamic and unknown environment and make a tommygun out of my camera. Just going for whatever is catching my eye instantly, normally not even checking what comes out right away."
– How would you describe your style of photography? What else do you photograph outside BMX?
"I am always eager to tell the story with pictures so I am more friendly with photo series rather than one-shot. I think I am really bad at arranging the photograph. I am willing to transmit what is happening in the current moment, and if I feel I have accomplished it - then it's a success. Just being there, living that particular moment and document everything is happening. Be it BMX or anything else. I do enjoy travel photography and also had some experience in shooting people."
– What’s your current setup, what camera gear could we normally find in your bag?
"As you can see, nothing really advanced there. I use my faithful 7D in a combination with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 Art series lens. I always struggle to get a wider angle but so far only 18-55 can assist me with that. One day I will get something more solid. I definitely enjoy the feeling of film photography, therefore I have Canon 300 analog camera and some Olympus miracle always being in my pocket. Kodak Portra film for life."
– Finally, any shout outs?
"Shouts to all the savages in Ukraine and around the globe who preserve the good vibes around BMX. Shouts to my mom who would not understand shit from this interview but still be proud for me. And finally shouts to Robin for riding down the same street with me one day and making it possible to appear on Ride UK. Peace :)"