Yo, I want to give the whole Violet Team and William Strobeck their props for their new film “Violet In Miami.” I love this movie on so many levels because of the way it was shot! Bill has been shining a light on POC skaters long before it became a trend in recent years. He brings something special to the industry and has a good eye for finding the next generation of skaters that represent the true passion of the sport! Today I want to celebrate •┈••✦VIOLET IN MIAMI❤ ✦••┈• by reposting part of their ID Magazine feature, which includes these really awesome photos by Sandy Kim plus an interview between her and Bill. It means a lot to me to see my friends thrive in art and their art forms! Respect is due to everyone who made this film possible!
When Bill Strobeck set out to plan the first trip for Violet, the global skate crew and board company he founded last year, he knew it had to be Miami. For one, it was a chilly winter in New York, and there are few places you can camp out and film tricks that time of year. But it was also a nostalgic choice, in that the legendary videographer’s first paid skate trip took place in Miami in 1999 when he documented pro skaters Rob Dyrdek, Josh Kalis, Fred Gall, and Anthony Van Engelen for Alien Workshop’s Photosynthesis video.
Bill was only 21 years old at the time.“I split a room with Fred and Anthony. I remember a night where they both were on acid and came back after going out – like, Miami going out. They started throwing beer bottles at the wall and each other while I was sleeping,” he recalls. “There was no surveillance or phones or anything, so you could be more free and wild with yourself… The Violet trip happened to be mellower, as it was their first, but I was like the Violet kids on that trip: new to it all.”
Still, the crew – which is comprised of nine exciting young skaters: Seven Strong, Kyle Teh, Efron Danzig, Troy Gipson, Auguste Bouznad, Kris Brown, Kader Sylla, Mike Ward and Patrick O’Mara, spread across New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Philly – had some wild Miami nights of their own. They cruised around South Beach after dark, lit by the city’s vibrant neon lights, smoking cigarettes and sneaking into clubs. During the day, after hours of skating in parks and parking lots – often being kicked out by security, only to return a few hours later – they swam in the ocean and rented jet skis to ride through the waves.
Photographer Sandy Kim captured all of these candid moments. Though it might be the first time a woman has documented a skate trip like this for a style magazine, Bill says there’s a raw spirit to her work that lends itself well to the sport. Sandy’s no stranger to documenting skaters, either. She’s worked with Supreme, photographed Sean Pablo, Na-Kel Smith and more, but her images push the boundaries of traditional skate photography. They’re stylish, bridging the worlds of skating and fashion, much like the Violet crew themselves.
“I got into skating because of the style of it more than anything else,” Bill says. “Bleached hair, size 42 jeans, permanent marker on your grip tape, colourful outfits, safety pins holding a hole in your jeans closed, a shoe string as a belt, the ‘fuck you’ attitude of saying, ‘I can skate where I want…’ Skaters are punks and rebels at heart.”Naturally, Violet is much more than a skate team, because its members aren’t limited by labels. Sure, they’re ‘skaters’, but many of them make art or clothing, and Bill encourages them all to think big beyond the sport. “This modern era seems to be about bending the rules, [no longer] boxing every genre up and saying you’re this or that, and that’s it,” Bill says. “With Violet, I look at it as a collective of cool, bright kids that just happen to love to skate.” To get a better feel for the trip and the energy that makes Violet so special, we had Bill ask Sandy about her experience documenting the crew in Miami.
Bill: Miami pops off, so I feel like it was fitting for our first trip. Have you been there to shoot before? What are your favourite things about Miami, as far as photography goes?
Sandy: I’ve never been to Miami on a photo mission. My favourite stuff to shoot was at night in South Beach. Something about the hot weather, the lively streets, the diverse culture and the neon lights I found to be so inspiring. Being in a different environment from where I live was stimulating, but without the company I was with, it would have been a totally different point of view. The company and vibrant location made this a special project.
Bill: I’ve been a fan of yours and known you for a long time now – I like how you work because it just seems like a friend is with you when you’re shooting. You are you, and that’s what makes your photos look like this. What is your process like and did you do anything different on this trip than, let’s say, your photos from when you lived in New York when we first met?
Sandy: I love that. That’s the feeling I like to create when I’m shooting. I thrive when I’m completely comfortable and just hanging out with friends. I like for the people who I’m shooting to feel comfortable around me, so I can capture moments that feel unposed. My process hasn’t changed much. Initially, I get to know the subject I’m shooting so they feel at ease. I like to develop a connection so that, when I’m in their face shooting all day, it doesn’t feel invasive. I want the subject to eventually forget that I’m photographing and the noise of the shutter becomes background noise. I like to be a fly on the wall.
Bill: How did you feel being on a skate trip? What were some things about this shoot that stuck out to you work-wise?
Sandy: The only thing I can compare to a skate trip is being on a tour with a band – a lot of time driving and sitting around until the magic happens. But the major difference on a skate trip is that people are falling all day. They endure physical pain, but get right back up and do it over and over until they land the trick. I have a newfound respect for skaters after this trip. Our days would look like this: wake up, go to Whole Foods for breakfast, drive to a spot, spend anywhere between an hour to two trying to land a trick – or until we get kicked out by security – and then drive to the next spot. Once everyone is burnt out from skating all day, we go back to the hotel to shower and then drink until 4am. Repeat daily.
Bill: What it’s like being in an SUV with a bunch of skaters… like, what’s the atmosphere?
Sandy: The vibes were all around positive. In my opinion, long car rides are where you get to really know someone’s temperament. No one was in a bad mood and, if they were, they kept it to themselves and didn’t let it affect the group. Everyone got along well, and when there was an issue, they’d hash it out real quick with open communication. The energy was young, bright and ambitious.
Read this Awesome Feature here!