"photography Michael Fordham/influx Harley Peters is 22 years old. But the car that is at the centre of his life has components that were manufactured before his granddad was born. "It started with my old man really," he tells me "
The Art of Scott Pommier
Toronto-based photographer Scott Pommier began his photographic career pointing his lens at skateboarders. But more recently the biker culture of North America has found a pleasing home in his viewfinder. Scott’s biker pictures document the new media-sussed generation of revhead that’s stalking the continent on stripped-down customised machines. In look and feel lines appear blurred between the realms of straight-ahead documentary and the cool aesthetic of fashion. The bikes take centre stage meanwhile, as totems of American freedom.
We spoke to to Scott and hit him with six simple questions.
It sprang from my love of skateboarding. I used to flip through skateboard magazines endlessly. I didn’t really read them, I just looked at the pictures. Pretty early on, I decided that if I couldn’t make it as a professional skateboarder, being the photographer would be pretty cool too. I think I may have wanted that to be my retirement plan after skateboarding, I never quite got good enough to crack the pro ranks, so I got started on my retirement plan early.
You know, it’s actually the one part of my life I try not to really scrutinize or question. They don’t make any sense. I just wanted one. I remember visiting Vancouver when I lived in Toronto, and some friends I had out there had bikes. We were at the skatepark just getting ready to leave and they jumped on their bikes and I had to follow in my car. I felt like I was really missing something. that was when the seed was really planted.
Why Harley Davidson?
I didn’t start off looking to get a Harley. I just wanted a bike. I didn’t have anyone to ask about bikes so I just flipped through a cycle trader, and I’d just look through, and think, no…no…no, oh, that one I like, what’s that one. and it was always the sportsters. That was all I could afford, but they also just looked like a plain motorcycle. I liked that. There were also lots of them around. It was big enough to take on the freeway, but it looked managable. When I moved to vancouver, all my café racer riding friends sorta rolled their eyes when I showed up with a ‘Harley.’
V-Twin or V8?
As much as I like juice that tastes like Campbell’s Soup, nothing quite sounds like the rumble of knucklehead.
Canada or America?
I have a great fondness for each. Canada is home but America is home to a lot of my favourite things.
Film or digi?
Film by a mile. Shooting with a digital camera is a consession that I make when it’s necessary, when film is really not an option, but everything that I shoot for myself is on film. A lot of people have discussed and debated the pros and cons, there’s nothing I can really add to the conversation. But I know what’s right for the pictures that I want to take.
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