Korey has been a buddy of mine for quite a few years now. He has alway’s been about having awesome times and is damn good at it. From getting black out drunk WHILE playing laser tag in an arcade and getting kicked out of the joint, followed up with getting kicked out of the bar next door, to hopping in his car on a minute notice and driving 6 hours to Cleveland OH to ride bikes, he is never afraid to have a good time. On top of being one of the wildest dudes i know, he is also one of the most intelligent. During the day Korey works for a military subcontract company designing and constructing missile defense for the US armed forces. Oh… he also shoots some pretty damn good photos from time to time. Check this guy out!
THEBLEND: So where are you from and where do you reside now?
Korey: Born in St. Petersburg, FL, raised in Rochester, NY, living and working in Syracuse, NY.
THEBLEND: What exactly spawned your interest in BMX?
Korey: Watching the X-Gaymes on tv when i was 14 and thinking flatland was the coolest fucking thing on the face of the earth.
THEBLEND: What made you interested in photography?
Korey: Always been interested in the art of it, not until recently did I have the financial means to get together some gear to actually act on it. Never got the chance to take any formal classes for it. I have to blame my friend Julia Rabkin for actually loaning me my first DSLR and starting the fire that never went out.
THEBLEND: Outside of BMX and photography what do you get into to fill the gaps?
Korey: The remainder of my income goes to fund tattoos and traveling. Ever since I got my license, I got bit by the travel bug. My weekends are usually comprised of long late night drives, caffeine, and heavy music.
THEBLEND: What are you favorite subjects to shoot?
Korey: Anytime something interesting presents itself, I’m always willing to get behind the glass. Recently it’s been trying to capture the hidden beauty within perceived shitty places such as Syracuse. I’ve also always been a fan of portraits and the intimacy that’s involved with it. BMX, skate, and snowboarding will always have their special place in my heart though.
THEBLEND: Who’s your favorite people to shoot with?
Korey: I like working with people such as Joel Barnett since they always provide their own personal feedback and will not settle for less than perfect. This not only keeps me on top of my game, but provides me the flexibility to learn and grow into a better photographer. There’s been several times where we’ve gone back to a spot to dial in a photo so that both parties are content.
THEBLEND: Do you prefer shooting digital or film and why?
Korey: Starting out, it was way less scary to shoot digital and get instant feedback on what I was doing. Now that I’m more confident in my abilities, I’ve found it to be much cheaper and rewarding to shoot film due to the labor that’s involved. When you’re paying up to a dollar a pop, you make them count, so the yield is always higher than sorting through 1000 random digital clicks.
THEBLEND: Who are some of your major influences as far as BMX and photography?
Korey: I’ve always been motivated by local talent such as Jeremy Pavia (link) and Julia. I also buy a shitload of skate and snowboarding magazines just to check out what others are doing and form my own style. Recently I’ve been reading the Albion, CASE, and other dyi magazines since they showcase content in a much more raw environment. Seeing what makes it into magazines can give me a better idea of where I stand, and where I can benefit from improving upon.
THEBLEND: Give us a little information on the upstate New York scene and what it use to be and what it has now become.
Korey: The upstate scene has had it’s ups and downs just as the sport has. I consider 5 or 6 years ago to be the “Golden Years” where all the OG’s such as Jim Johnson were around yelling outside my dorm to “get my ass outside and grind some rails”. Lately though, a rise in local younger talent combined with a few individuals moving into the area is starting to put us back on the map. New spots have shown their faces and things are exciting as ever right now. We’re making moves and there’s big things on the way.
THEBLEND: What are some subjects you have not had the chance to photograph, but you would like to get into and why?
Korey: As i stated before, due to the intimacy involved, shooting portraits of anyone can be a difficult task to accomplish. It takes a special relationship with an individual to be able to work with them on a close and personal level. There’s really not a single person I’d like to shoot with rather situations I’d like to be in with camera in hand to catch a special moment. I’d really like to get into shooting more snowboarding this winter when BMX starts to wind down due to the weather.
THEBLEND: What equipment have you been using to shoot with?
Korey: My gear is as follows: Nikon D7000, Nikon F100, 10.5 f2.8 fisheye, 18-35 f3.5, 80-200 f2.8, two Vivitar 285HV’s and two Sunpak 555′s all sync’d with pocket wizards. I use a Sekonic L358 light meter and shoot Kodak Portra 160/400 film almost exclusively.
THEBLEND: Have any shout outs, last words, or thanks?
Korey: Everyone that’s willing to let me take the time to set up all my crap and pull the trigger a few times. All the locals here in Syracuse who’ve become my primary subjects, I’ve only begun to figure out what the hell I’m doing because of you guys. Anyone who’s ever given me pointers on setting up my gear to get the most out of what I’m doing, you’ve taught me 1000 times more than any college or high school class could have ever.