1000 Words: Alecia Williams

David Hume has started a series entitled 1000 Words and he has allowed the series to be cross-posted to Light Paths. The idea behind this series is simple. David selects an image that interests him from a local photographer, and he uses that image as the basis for a conversation. He kicks off the conversation by asking a few questions about it, and then asks about the photographer themselves, their history with photography and how photography fits in to their life now. First up is Alecia Williams.

Alecia Williams

DH: Alecia – I love this shot that seems to playfully subvert the notion of the “skater-boy”. I mean – technically it’s a great shot; framing, light, motion blur, but above all if your subject comes off that board she’ll lose some serious skin. Can you tell tell us something about it please?

Alecia Williams, Ailisa + skateboard

AW: “I was looking through Instagram at skate pics, and like you say, it’s often very masculine, and I didn’t think that was doing justice to what skating can be. I grew up in the country, and when we’d go to the coast for the summer holidays the girls would get around on longboards in bikinis, which I guess makes sense at the beach, and I thought of what I saw there, which I found very beautiful; just how beautiful and free the girls looked while skating. I shot this for an assignment for my study, and It’s unusual for me to plan a shot this much.

My friend Ailsa who’s on the board couldn’t skate and one of my other friends who skated gave her a crash course, and we tried this over again and again until I got something I was happy with, and it was actually really funny seeing the progression of her skating during the day. We saw how quickly she could achieve something, and we had the photos as a record of that. We’re best friends now, and we were friends at the time, and her personality really came out on that day. She started out nervous, but by the end of the day she made the comment, “Oh my gosh – I can’t believe that’s me. I’ve never done something as invigorating as this.” So I guess that’s how the image ended up showing more than I was expecting it to. It started with me setting out to tick a box for an assignment and it ended up becoming such a wholesome experience, and more than just a photograph I guess.