Photographer: Chris Allen
Originally from Pensacola, FL. Now, 2000 miles away from home living a lifestyle most people would only say they dream of living, but don’t actually have the balls to do it. He did. Chris recently purchased a van to live and travel in after almost 2 years of suffering from the horrendous rent prices for small apartments in Southern California. For now he calls Encinitas home, but who knows, that could change soon. After moving to CA, Chris got more & more into photography and for obvious reasons–California has so much to offer. We rang him up one night to ask him some questions…
“This is Ryan Burch on a winter day at Swamis.”
“Last summer at Grandview with my friend Corey Smith. One of my first sessions out in the water with my camera.”
SH: How old were you when you moved to CA?
Chris Allen: I was 20. It was August of 2014.
What do you like shooting the most?
I’d say it’d be anything my friends are doing. Whatever my friends are doing, that’s what I love shooting at the time. But surfing is definitely the number one thing because I’m a surfer, and being a surfer and a photographer, it brings a whole other aspect or element to it, so it’s cool.
What keeps you interested? Do you get burnt out?
What keeps me shooting… really is I guess just that a photo is a frozen memory in time. It really takes you back to a specific place in time. And also people are stoked when I’m taking a photo of them, I’m stoked taking their photo. Also, it’s an easy way to get along with people and shit. That’s what keeps me interested as well. Trying to meet new people and get better as a photographer.
“This is some film from Big Sur. Met this mother and daughter up there and asked to take their picture.” 35mm
“Big Sur along the 101.” 35mm
Digital or film?
Film for sure.
Canon AE-1. That was my first camera. My Minolta x 700, that was my second favorite camera, but I fucking dropped it and broke it on the hardest fucking cobble stone. It was in mid-air and I was like “Noooooooooo”. It was around fifty plus people at a train station and they were all watching me… I don’t know, I was just doing something stupid with my hands and they were full. I shot the rest of the roll and it had the gnarliest light leaks. It looks sick, but you don’t want that on the entire roll of film. But yeah Canon AE-1 with a 50mm is fricken prime. You can do anything with that.
“Kevin & Coop splitting the peak at Beacons on a summer day.”
“Another summer day with Kevin. This one was at Pipes.”
“Jon Wegener riding one of his Bluegill’s. It’s meant to mimic an alaia.” 35mm
“Artist, surfer, Andy Davis riding one of Jon’s Bluegills as he watches out the back.” 35mm
Favorite photographer right now? Maybe someone who inspires you?
Tod Glaser is an inspiration. I’ve met him out here and talked to him a few times. We’ve exchanged numbers, but haven’t met up yet. He’s an influence, but he’s not my favorite photographer. I’d have to think about it. It used to be Chris Burkard, but I’m kind of over him now.
Most memorable photo you’ve taken so far?
Probably the one of my friend Cory. It was at a spot just south of Cardiff Reef. That was my first published photo.
Corey Smith at a spot just south of Cardiff.
What kind of van did you just purchase?
It’s a 1995 Chevy G20 Conversion Van. Basically a passenger van.
What do you plan on doing with the van? Where do you plan on going?
I bought her in mind that I’m going to do work to her. So I’m putting some work into her right now and getting her solid to road trip. I wanna cruise the coast. Probably just keep it as far North as Big Sur and explore all around, maybe head south to Baja.