Greger Flak is a 32-year-old inline skater and photographer living in his hometown of Oslo, Norway.
How long have you been skating?
Twenty years, thanks for asking, didn’t know it had been that long!
How did you get into photography?
It’s been an on and off thing for many years. As a child, I loved playing with cameras, especially when I got my hands on my moms’ camera. I would take it and play around with it till it was out of film. I remember she would get furious about it. We’re over that now!
I bought skating VHS tapes as soon as I began and soon after websites posting their own skating edits. This inspired my friends and me to begin shooting video and taking photos to post on our website, which I made using notepad while looking through an H
What gear are you using?
I shoot with a Sony A7iii camera with a Sony 24-70m GM 2.8 lens.
How long have you been shooting skate photography?
I’ve been shooting photos of my friends since I began skating but have taken my skate photography more seriously in the past few years. It started a short time after I bought a video camera. Shooting video took so much time, and there were too many camera settings to adjust that I decided to start taking photos instead. My goal was to learn about composition, technical settings, and editing; in those things, I found an immense passion for photography that I never expected. This newfound passion opened up all kinds of photography work for me, which made me happy.
Have you had any skating photos published?
I don’t remember my first published photo, but I remember which image got the most attention. It was from Winterclash 2019 when Joe Atkinson backslid up the Roces extension box to a fishbrain stall to 270 out. I remember thinking to myself that he was going to do that trick. So I adjusted my camera and set a focus point, and when he passed me, I stepped out of the crowd, centered him in the shot, and got it perfect! That was such a fantastic experience, and that photo is one of my favorites. Websites published the picture, and people shared it across the internet. For someone who has been in this community for so many years, it’s a big deal to both be able to contribute to blading, as I love blading, and to be part of it in some way. I have had a few of my Winterclash images from 2019 and 2020 posted on Be-Mag, but I’m still waiting to have a skate photo published in print.
Have your non-skating photos appeared in any magazines?
I have done a lot of concert photography and had some shots printed in Natt&Dag, a Norwegian street magazine.
Have you worked together with any skating brands?
Yes. I have had the pleasure of working with the best brand in the business, Hang Losers.
What is the favorite project that you have worked on?
I don’t have a favorite project. For me, photography is more about capturing a vibe, a moment, or something passing. And I’m finding myself enjoying photography the most when it’s more in the documentary style. Here are some examples:
I passed this store, shooting the photo from my hips and seeing these to kids, playing adult and how this young man wants to look big and cool for that diva of a young woman. It is my favorite photo; even though it seems staged, it’s just so real to me.
I was in Cuba, and there was this amazing art on the wall. I just took up the camera and waited for something to enter my frame. Here comes a child with his fist up, playing with his friend on the other side of the road and not paying any attention to me
At Winterclash, you have two events going on at the same time. One is the skating, and the other one is the spectators. I love the spectator show at Winterclash. It’s a high energy, and it’s so amazing to be a part of that!
Who do you enjoy collaborating with the most?
Anyone. I don’t think there is any other answer for me. It’s more about the thing you find in common with someone at that time. It can be significant that one time, the next time not so much, and then right again. It’s not about who for me. It’s more about sharing an idea and wanting to realize that idea together.
Is there anyone who you’ve wanted to shoot with but never had the opportunity?
No. All the opportunities I have taken to shoot with people ultimately made room for the next. It’s not something I would like to force.
What’s the most challenging photo you’ve ever taken?
A DJ needed me to shoot some promotional photos for her. She goes by the name DJ Pink Fog, and together we pulled off an enjoyable shoot. I didn’t want it to be an edited photo, so we made do with some smoke grenades. One issue was that the smoke was orange, but I just edited that to be pink. I was happy with the result, and it ended up being on display in a gallery in Barcelona, Spain.
How does skating today compare to when you first began?
I do not know if it just seemed a lot bigger as a child, but I think it was. It was a lot bigger; I just needed to think about it. We used to have anywhere between ten to twenty people at a session, and it’s not like that anymore. Lately, I have not been skating as much, but I see who is out there, and it’s pretty much the same people. However, I do have a gut feeling that it’s growing here, and now I’m just waiting for my new Them 909’s to get going again myself!
Where do you want to take your photography into the future?
Right now, I’m on a break and trying to figure out that question. I’m leaning more towards gallery showings or a book of some sort, but I don’t know. I’ve also been thinking about making some clothing and stuff, but it’s all very early. What is sure is that I want to do more with skating! One of my goals is to get a skating photo printed in a magazine, but I’m still happy to get a repost on Instagram.
Is there any photographer who influenced your approach to shooting photos?
Many people and I think a combination of them. I’ve learned a lot from both street photographers and the skating world; there are too many good names to drop that I’m choosing not to. I think everyone is doing a great job, and I don’t want to leave anyone out.
Do you do any other photography outside of skating and street photography?
Yes. I do. I’ve done a lot of events and concerts—also, some fashion and advertisement. But right now, I’m taking a break from all paid work to see where my inspiration will rise and have space to pursue whatever that may be. Stay tuned!
Has COVID-19 changed how you go out skating and shooting?
Well. We are not that many here. The most significant change is that all the indoor skateparks are closed at the moment. But three people at a session is not a problem. Less high fives ☹ , I miss High Fives.
Are you taking any precautions while out against COVID-19?
- Follow Greger Flak on Instagram.
- Contact Big Wheel Blading for any questions, suggestions, story ideas or to contribute content.
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