Louie Lopez

Skate Eye

Words: Ann Donahue
Photography: Arto Saari

Skateboarder-turned-photgrapher Arto Saari was on the front line as his sport burst into the mainstream. Here, he tells stories of the shots that helped define skating.

Two professions united in one passion: Skateboarding. Finnish photographer and skateboarder Arto Saari talks about some of his best work. “Louie Lopez blasting a very stylish frontside ollie over the hip in my pool” he says about the main photo. 

“This is a rad DIY spot constructed by Pontus Alv in Malmo, Sweden. Here, Pontus and Oski Rosenberg are double trouble”

Willis Kimbel Arto Saari

“This invert nose grab by Willis Kimbel at Washington Street skatepark in San Diego, USA, was one of the best things I’d seen in a while”

Scott Oster Arto Saari

“Scott Oster is epic. I have been lucky to be able to witness some of the manoeuvres he has executed with style and grace in my pit of concrete. Here is a photo of a perfect slash”.

Ryan Sheckler

“Ryan Sheckler, here in Sydney, Australia, has an incredible amount of talent and skill on a skateboard, with strength and style and absolute passion”

Self-portait: Arto Saari

Arto Saari

Key to taking great skate shots, says the Finnish photographer, a house with a drained pool in the garden. Saari captures his friends from the skating world in their most unguarded, yet still triumphant, moments. One of his favourites in this collection is the opening image of 19-year-old Louie Lopez. “Louie is one of the best up-and-coming skateboarders. He is where style and skill come together in extraordinary fashion.”

Kynan Tait

“This is a photo of my friend Kynan Tait on an excursion to the Arctic Circle, through North America, on his bike. One of the raddest trips I’ve ever been on and one of the best photos I’ve ever shot”  

Arto Saari skate

“I call these ‘Pooltown 1 and 2’. These two collages are the result of four years of skating and shooting different pools with my friends. This, to me, represents the very essence of skateboarding: fun”  

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