FFO: DIY, SKATING, MAKING, CREATING, PUBLISHING… (IN ITS FINEST HOUR)
Who are you and where are you currently based?
My name is Adam Connett and I currently reside in South East London
Why do you go by the alias ‘Vegan Bones’ when you publish your work?
It’s a nickname I got a long time ago. I kinda run with it sometimes when I do photo submissions.
What is your current photographic work about?
I’d say it’s pretty spontaneous. I’m usually out to try and capture a specific moment. Documenting is something I really enjoy and I usually just focus on those around me. Whether I’m out skating or just walking around I’ll carry my camera and then wait for something to grab my attention. I find I’m most productive when on trips and out of my comfort zone. I guess then I’m taking a lot more in rather than letting things wash over me.
What specifically attracts your eye? What do you like to photograph in particular?
Mainly people. I’m a bit of a people watcher. People and skateboarding I’d say are my two favourite things to shoot. With skateboarding, I like to try and capture the before and after moments, rather than the tricks. Photos of that kind of intimate moments are often a lot more interesting to me.
What got you interested in photography and taking images?
I’d say skateboarding initially. As a young skater, I was constantly consuming photos and videos. I think that had a pretty significant impact on me. The same could be said for music. A lot of things I got into in my formative years trace back to skating in some way.
Do you (or do you not) feel that there’s a strong correlation between skateboarding that influences people to become more interested in the arts, specifically photography? If so, what benefits do you feel arise from this relationship?
Oh for sure. It’s how I got into it and the majority of my friends. Skateboarding encourages creativity. Through the videos, board graphics, adverts, clothing, environments, etc. And within groups, you always have a person that’s into filming, or shooting photos, illustrating or playing in a band. It’s great to have interests in skateboarding, especially in England where it rains a lot.
Who are you inspired by?
My friends and peers. Skating is a great way to meet like-minded creative people. You’ve always got someone pulling a video together or photography project. And that’s the primary reason I started I Should Not Be Here (ISNBH). I wanted to pull together and loosely curate what all my friends were doing. It’s great now to see so many people creating zines, books, videos, exhibitions, events and bands.
What is ‘I Should Not Be Here (ISNBH)’ to anyone that doesn’t know? What is it’s aims?
‘I Should Not Be Here’ is a group of skateboarders, photographers, illustrators and artists. We all met through skating and had mutual interests especially in photography as well as a shared appreciation for DIY ethics. We make zines, skate videos and organise and put on exhibitions and events from time to time.
When and why did you form ISNBH? What’s important about it? And why did you choose that name?
It initially started with some skate edits I was making a few years ago. I wanted to do something more organised with all my friends so we took a load of our photos and decided to publish them as a zine. It was basically documenting what a bunch of skateboarders get up to outside of skating with parties, travelling, injuries, etc. People seemed stoked on it so we made some more. The short story with the name is that I came up with it at a random party, so I wrote it on my board. Next day I thought I should do something with it so that’s what I called the first skate edit I was working on.
Since starting ISNBH, what’s been its biggest achievement to date? What would you like to achieve with it in the future?
Making the first full skate video took some doing, we were out filming a lot and the editing drove me nuts. Once that’s all done and we did the screenings, that’s the best part.
In the future, it’s going to be more of the same. Dan (our designer) and I are currently planning ISNBH 3, as well as another skate edit and then there will be some more exhibitions and screenings.
How do you balance your own personal photography projects along with running ISNBH? What do you aim to achieve with your own photography in the future? Got any exciting projects lined up?
It’s pretty chilled. I just submit work from time to time. There are some things I shoot which I know aren’t really right for ISNBH so I just archive it. I’ll probably do a zine on those before the end of the year. I’ve got a few split zines in the works too, so excited to get those printed.
What are your future aspirations?
Got a few split zines in the works, as well as a solo one. Imagine we’ll start pulling together the third ISNBH group zine pretty soon too. Should be a few more collaborative projects and exhibitions before the year is up too. And hopefully, we’ll get another ISNBH skate video nailed. As we’ve got a few trips lined up this summer, so that should be here by the winter.
What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?
Do your own thing and stray from the common path. Travel and document. Make mistakes and have fun.