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Staff in Spotlight

Meet Sidewalk Magazine's Senior Photographer Chris Johnson

Staff in Spotlight series shines light on the creatives, designers, editors and executives who make Factory Media happen on a daily basis. Our company values – authenticity, inspiration, access and insight – are never more apparent than when you meet the real people behind our business.

“I am very proud to be able to work with some of the most creative and innovative individuals from the worlds of action, outdoor and adventure sports. By showcasing these individuals we can potentially inspire the next generation of content creators and industry leaders.” – Ian Gunner- Creative Director ; Factory Media

Read a little bit about the experiences and unique personalities of Factory’s staff, in their own words.

This month: Chris Johnson, Senior Photographer – Sidewalk Magazine 

What was your start date and position at Factory?

February 2010, as the Senior Photographer at at Sidewalk Magazine.

What has been your favourite Factory project?

These three are all great examples of taking skateboarding into ‘other’ environments and really taking a risk on location, climate and terrain, with it all paying off through a collective group effort:

Rollersnakes Highlands- June 2015

New Balance ‘Barge at Will’ – August 2017

Converse x Sidewalk ‘Lobster Tales’- January 2016

What has been the weirdest job you’ve ever had to do?

We used to do a ‘How To’ feature called ‘The Shiner Surgery’ which saw us in a large photo studio in South Wales with skaters dressed up in full surgeon gear doing the flat ground tricks whilst being blinded by a 9 frames per second sequence with flashes.

Where’s the best place you’ve ever travelled to?

Most elaborate would be Brazil with Quicksilver in 2011 which produced a Sidewalk cover and editorial feature.

Most rewarding from a photographic standpoint and setting out with a specific goal in mind and achieving it would be the Scottish Highlands with Rollersnakes.

Who has influenced your career the most and how?

Before I ever picked up the camera, the work of Wig Worland, Andy Horsley and Leo Sharp blew my mind and brought skateboarding from the bigger cities into my provincial Worcestershire village. Input and mentoring from Andy and Leo over the years has been imperative to any kind of success behind the lens. There’s a collective mindset at Sidewalk that’s been there since the beginning and that continues to influence and motivate me.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be? (Dead/ alive/ fictional/ famous/ not famous…)

Andrew Horsley (but never try and keep up with him…)

Greatest personal achievement?

Having our son Samuel in 2015 has to be first. From an individual and career based stance, travelling and documenting childhood heroes and helping draw a spotlight on UK skateboarding at all levels.

Three things people would be surprised to know about you

  1. I grew up on a farm
  2. I trained as a measured land and building surveyor
  3. I moved to New Zealand for a while in my 20s.

Best thing about your job?

Making a difference to peoples lives and helping shine a light on emerging UK talent, some of whom go on to make a full career and life from professional skateboarding and later earn their crust working within the industry.

Personal philosophy/ mantra?

Never be satisfied, it makes you lazy.

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