The Athlete's Perspective: Corey Martinez No one better understands what action sports photographers go through to get the shot than the athletes themselves. In a new series we talk to them about their unique relationship. Below, BMX legend Corey Martinez tells us why photographers deserve some love. 04/05/2016 © Lucas Gilman / Red Bull Content Pool Why should we turn the spotlight around?"It’s very important they get their time to shine because if it wasn’t for them the athletes wouldn’t shine."How important has photography been to your career? "Absolutely key! It helped tremendously. The era I grew up in was magazines – it was the only way you were exposed to BMX content and you relied on them to see what was the next big thing. I had several covers which was my exposure to the BMX world."And to the sport? "It was expressing BMX as an artform. A lot of photographers experimented with different things. They put in their time. It’s a relationship thing as well, when you’re always working with the same photographer you build this friendship where you create a photograph together. It was a form of documenting things before videography came around."Does photography still have the same value today?"Because of social it’s about a 50-50 balance with video but photos still have a strong play in that game, partly thanks to smart phones. I follow multiple photographers on Instagram and one of the reasons I like that is they try to highlight whatever it is they’re shooting, even when it’s on a DSLR."Any photographers you worked with who went the extra mile to get the shot?"Pretty much every photographer has been there in some rough times to get the shot, a few in particular have gone the distance, guys like Jeff Zielinski, Rob Dolecki and Mark Losey. These are legendary photographers. Mark was one of the first photographers I worked with for Ride. He’s the one who pushed me in that world, doing a couple of trips together – he just wanted to photograph me. From that point on I continued to travel, shooting with other photographers. With Jeff we shot a few double exposure shots. Rob’s always super creative, you’d be warming up for a set up trick and be like, ‘where’s Rob?’ and he’d be up a tree somewhere."Why is it important that the audience sees the right side of the sport? "It’s important because the timing of a trick needs to be showcased to an audience in a proper form. It’s good they’re educated on it. If they see a certain trick and it’s a bar spin trick, the timing is really important to showcase the rider. It says a lot about the photographer and them knowing the sport to get it right. If it’s something really scary, and the image is slightly off on the timing the photographer will work with the athlete, saying probably, ‘I can do it better but don’t feel like you have to’. That’s part of the relationship. You need to have that proper timing to express your skills."The perfect photo? "You can try to express the wow or fear factor of an athlete doing something crazy or you can showcase something simple in the lifestyle form, where people say, that’s an amazing photograph. It’s very rare you get both, where both the rider and photographer killed it."Keep coming back to redbullillume.com for your weekly dose of action and adventure sports photography and galleries of inspirational images. For more regular updates, head to Red Bull Illume on Facebook and Instagram.