Y o u n g L a d
l a y n e
s t r a t t o n
age 20, behind the lens, and slaying
the word "rad" is tossed around these, but photographer Layne Stratton is fucking rad. He's been all around the map, and shoots freaks of nature in and out of the water daily from Kolohe to Curren. so we prank called him to ask him about cracking his skull on KOTR conditions to being stalked by insta babes.
"I slammed, and had to spend a week in the hospital, with 13 staples in my head. It’s my little souvenir from KOTR… I love it."
Andeaux: What is your go to breakfast before a long day of shooting super freaks Curren [Caples] in and out of the water?
Layne: Oh I like to load myself with protein with about 5 or 6 eggs. Maybe throw some sausage and bacon in there with a bagel with avocado. Breakfast is the most important meal of my day forsure. [Laughs]
Shoots, you’ve been all over the map from the North Shore with the Hurley grom squad to skurfing the N.Y. streets with Curren what’s next?
I got a couple things in the works right now. I’m working alongside Vissla on a full length feature film of a surfer from South Carolina named Cam Richards. We’ve done a bunch of fun trips for that, we're planning a trip to Tahiti now. Also a rad road trip to Big Sur with Vissla, going to Maui next week with Hurley Youth.
Not everyone knows what it’s like to be with a pro around the clock, what is something that you have learned from your experience as a photog for hire?
Aha, the biggest thing I learned as being a photog for hire is that you’re on their clock, you’re not calling the shots, and you have to be very adaptable. On the go, very run and gun around their needs. It’s also very improptu for shooting for stills or motion to get the best content when that magic moment happens. Given that your kinda dependent on other people’s performance for your art form. So it’s pretty sporadic.
Your work is pretty mature, so how is it to work in Arto’s (Saari) backyard and taking notes from him?
Dudes like Arto Saari and Anthony Acosta are so fundamental to building to who I am today. He had such an influence on me from when I started to shooting photos, I filmed my first ever Flip Skateboards video at Arto’s house, getting to go and watch him shoot and picking his brain has contributed to the photographer I am now. Arto was the one who influenced me to get my Red when he got his. I have to give them so much credit… they taught me everything I know.
You boys have a cult of insta babes and skater boys following your every step to post, how often do you have randoms hit you up on the road?
During King of the Road for Thrasher Magazine with Flip Skateboards, we had a bunch of people showing up to help out. Everyone from kids to a 54 year old mom to make out with one of the boys for a make out over age 40 challenge. We would also get, “I see you,” or “We’re right next to you,” kind of messages.
Heavy, how would you describe travelling with the Flip Team savages on KOTR in 1 word?
Give me a second... just savage. Everything was intense, we would wake up early and just filming till 4 in the morning. You’re only getting 2 hours of sleep, just living off red bulls and a cup of noodles.
Would you be ready for a round 2?
Yeah I’d go for sure. Because last year I went, I hit my head and cracked my skull. I was out for the last day, and couldn’t finish it.
Just one day in the morning, [Geoff] Rowley and I were skating a little around this dusty park before I started filming, I slammed, and had to spend a week in the hospital, with 13 staples in my head. It’s my little souvenir from KOTR… I love it.
How did Curren and some of the boys get lined up with your work?
Growing up in Ventura, I went to school with him and that’s how I got connected with skateboarding side, friends of friends. I filmed with as I went to Ventura High, where at the time he lived right across the street from there. So I would just like ditch class, or run over to his house after school. Then we would just post up and shoot, from there it started to progress and I started to get jobs for filming. Where I found an independent study pretty fast, so I could be on the road with him as much as I could to be apart of that team. So I did 2 years of conventional high school and independent study for 2 years.
If you had a choice, to shoot anyone alive or dead… who would it be?
Fuck, I’d would really like John Cardiel back in his day when he was doing his best skating, to follow him in pools would be a dream come true.
All hail Cardiel. Last question, what’s better sitting paradise covered from head to toe in sunscreen surrounded by paradise shooting one of the best guys in the water right now or watching your bro getting worked trying to jump the same set for like the 7th time to get the the ultimate legendary spread?
I love them so much. I would probably lean more toward skateboarding for that one, because when you're filming skateboarding, you’re right there in the mix with the skateboarder… you’re helping them not give up. In surfing your kinda disconnected, because there’s gonna be that one magic moment that you have to be on point, and it's hard to stay focused. [Laughs]
Of course, thanks for letting me talk your ear off. [Laughs]