On directing parkour athletes

Steve: It’s like, “Oh, good joke, Steve. That’s funny.” But usually, when I’m at a shoot and I’m trying to convince someone to do something that I think is in their level. It’s like, “Oh, well, I could do this.” And then like, “Oh, well, what about this?” Like, “Well, I think it would look better if you did it this way, because for the photo, your hips are going to be this way and your face is going to be towards the camera or the light is coming this way so I want you to face this direction.”

Steve: So, that’s kind of where it comes in for me, at least, but generally yeah. I’m not really sure if anything that I’ve done is really photo worthy most of the time. And I think that kind of loops back into one of the reasons why I delve deeper into parkour photography in the first place is because I wanted to find a way to contribute to the community and feel like I was a part of this larger group without being a high-level athlete.

Steve: I think it’s hard for people that aren’t like Kie Willis, for example. He could go to any events anywhere in the world and I think people would, one, recognize him and, two, find a place for him. He would be volunteering to help or he could just go train and do whatever. If you’re not at a level where you’re an elite athlete that has a massive following on Instagram or has done videos with X brands or whatever it teaches with whatever movement collective, it can be hard to find a place for yourself in these big events.

Steve: I don’t think it was always the case. Early on during parkour, I think the community was so small that if you did parkour and you knew about it and you knew this other person, chances are you guys were going to be friends because it’s like, “Oh, you know about this weird, obscure internet thing? You know about David Belle?” You’re like, “Oh, man. We should talk. We should be friends. Like, let’s train together.” But now, parkour is so big that there’s kids that don’t even know who David Belle is.

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