On photography influencing his movement

Craig: Right. Steve, we’ve talked about the process of creating and we’ve talked a little bit about editing but now, I’m wondering, do you think about the photography, the video part of it when you’re moving so are those two different people. Is there the Steve the mover who goes out or do you find that mid-movement, even though you’re not being photographed, you’re thinking, “How would this frame up,” or, “This is a nice day to be shooting this.” Or, do those two minutes just stay separate or, if they’re entangled, what pieces call to you?

Steve: Well, I think I’m always thinking about composition and a specific quality of light when I’m outside and when I’m looking at things. I was mentioning to you earlier that when I’m looking at photos on the wall or advertisements, I’m thinking about how do they get this shot. When it comes to my movement, first of all, I hate being photographed. I hate being filmed. I’m getting better at it because I’m filming myself, but I think that’s a pretty common narrative with people that are behind the camera for a lot of the time. They don’t like being in front of it.

Steve: It’s given me a lot of insight on what clients think is cool and what looks good. I think it changes what I view as a high priority movement. I don’t know. I think it’s given me a lot of insight in analyzing how people move and looking specifically at hip hinge and knee bends and ankle flexion and those are all things that really affect the way a shape in the body can look and can make or break a photo.

Steve: So, I think a lot about that when I photograph someone like Max and I see his knee drive when he’s striding. I’m just paying attention to that because not only does it looks cool, but it also is like, “Oh, that’s how he approaches this movement. That’s how he generates more power, even though he’s shorter than Brian Prince and can stride just as far.”

Steve: But I never really thought about that. I think it’s a really interesting question, and I’m sure it leaches into my movement practice in ways I’m not even aware of as I’m sure I’m just thinking about, “That looks weird.”

Craig: Do you ever have ideas where in the process of moving or even in a particular space or even in front of a particular backdrop like a skyline or something, do you ever have moments where you realize you want to swap yourself out for a better athlete so you can grab the camera and capture?

Steve: Oh, yeah.

Craig: So, does moving give you ideas for …

Steve: Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. I mean, a lot of times, I’m looking at something and I’m saying, “That’s a really cool backdrop. Oh, it’d be really cool to do this type of movement on this thing because it’d be a really cool photo.” The limitations with my own physical practice, like I can’t be the guy and I think it’s also not necessarily a trust thing but I’m not sure if the people that I train with would be able to capture the photo the way that I’d want it. So, I have to convince someone to do, “Oh, can you do a layout onto this concrete slab 13 feet up in the air?”

Craig: You feel bad.

Steve: Which tends to be a no for most people.

Craig: Call me next time. I’ll say, “No.”

Steve: Yeah. Every once in a while, I’ll get somebody who’s like, “Yeah. I can do that.”

Steve: It’s funny. I was talking about Ben earlier. Ben was telling me how when Erik Mukhametshin came to New York he was asking them to do some wacky stuff. They were on the Brooklyn Bridge and Eric did a webster pre onto one of the beams above moving traffic.

Steve: Ben, if he’s listening to this, which I hope he is. That’d be great. I think Ben, the story goes that he didn’t even ask him to do it. Eric just did it. I think Ben wanted him to do a backflip on the beam and Eric did a webster just to get down onto it. He’s a madman, but he’s one of those guys that I would be able to say, “Hey, can you do this?” He’d go, “Yeah. Yes, I can do that.” I don’t know if that’s what he sounds like, but I imagine.

Craig: It fit. It fit in the moment.