How much fun was that shoot?
Ale had a plan and we locked that in pretty fast. I had an idea about a location in Brooklyn, we rented a car and the party started there!
Guessing taxis aren’t your usual terrain?
I had a little kicker ramp and knew I could ride the windshield as long as it lasted long enough before breaking.
Were you seriously worried?
No, I knew I wouldn’t go through, I just didn't want to break it and that would kind of screw up the shot ya know.
How do you like the image?
I like the angle from the passenger’s POV of this action. Once Ale and I staged this we knew that the shot was going to be sick. We had the building on the left, Williamsburg bridge on the right, taxi driver locked in and when I hit the windshield it filled up the entire open space, just like we planned!
Generally, how important are photographers to you as an athlete?
As a rider I need to concentrate on the my job and have full confidence in my photographer that the image is being captured perfectly. It feels so satisfying to land the trick and hover over the camera and double check your style.
Do you think you’d be where you are without quality images?
In this day and age imagery is everything. I’m definitely known for my images and videos over the years. It takes a team to build quality content and real photographers that can hang with the action and the down time. They end up traveling the world.
Photographers don’t always get a lot of love. You think they deserve some?
Yes of course, but the photographer’s job is to highlight the action & athlete and not really himself. A photographer rarely gets the recognition that an athlete gets from a photo but that’s kind of the nature of the beast!
How was it working with Ale? Did you have any creative input into this image?
Oh yeah, we talked about the shot and the action like old war buddies. Ale is an easy guy to get along with.
Tell us about the collaborative process between athlete and photographer.
It all depends, this photo Ale and I collaborated on no doubt, but in general if out with a photographer I generally do my thing and let him do his.
What advice would you give an aspiring action sports photographer?
Get on Instagram and see what people are doing. Follow people that inspire you and apply some of the grand images to your world. When traveling, I often look at post cards and imagine a bike in the setting, stuff like that.
Have you seen the other images in Red Bull Illume?
I was just saying to Ale that Red Bull Illume is like winning a raffle, all the photos are insane but I’m stoked to come out on top!
What in your mind makes a great image?
The best photos tell a story.
Want to hear more about the story behind the shot? We recently caught up with Red Bull Illume Category Winner Ale di Lullo to talk about what went into creating the award-winning shot!