Volcom Industrial Screw Up – Issue 37 Article


Photo by: James Griffiths

Words by: James Griffiths

Photography by: James Griffiths & Jelle Keppens

Jorge Simões ~ Spanish Grind ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Thanos Panou ~ Frontside 50-50 Grind Hippy Jump ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Back in early 2023 I received a message from my old friend Tom Mangham, who these days is working for Volcom. He was putting together a UK Volcom trip with the Euro guys and said he would like me to shoot it. Months went by and I forgot, as I usually do, that Tom was planning this trip, so when he came at me with dates it was seemingly out of the blue. They slightly clashed with another trip I was on but I managed to do some jiggling as I promised I would be free for this one. A few days before it all started I got a message from Tom saying the Euro TM had invited another photographer and we were going to both shoot it. My first reaction was to fuck it off and let whoever this other unnamed photographer was have it. This wasn’t because of any macho territorial bullshit about claiming a photo and not wanting anyone else to shoot it, it was from a place of insecurity and anxiety.

Marco Kada ~ Hardflip ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Jake Collins ~ Gap Top Frontside Wallride Gap Out ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Harry Lintell ~ Frontside Lipslide ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Eniz Fazliov ~ Frontside Cruntslide ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Victor Pellegrin ~ Kickflip ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Eniz Fazliov ~ Ollie ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

There will often be multiple filmers on a mission and that makes sense – multiple angles, fisheye and long lens, run up and landing etc. – but two photographers…

I’ve always hated showing people photos at the spot when I shoot them, which comes from a deep rooted fear of failure, a desire to avoid embarrassment or be humiliated by the skater not liking the photo or seeing something bad that I missed. All these things, however, are inevitable. I have to show skaters their photos, only for them to say it would look better fish or long from on top of that perilous perch. This is something I have grown to live with and get over, mainly because I realise that the skater doesn’t understand shooting photos and their suggestions to “improve” photos are normally pretty dumb. So, after being scared of showing skaters their photos, I’m finally getting to a stage of acceptance with it. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, I have somehow scrounged up enough confidence to be (semi) sure of myself and the way I shoot photos (or at least I try and pretend I am).

Jake Collins ~ Backside Bluntslide ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Jorge Simões ~ Kickflip ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Marco Cada ~ Noseslide Nollie Heelflip Out ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

Matisse Banc ~ Ollie ~ Photo: Jelle Keppens

So, when I hear another photographer is coming on the trip – someone who I only presume knows what they are actually doing and isn’t pretending like me – fight or flight hits and I wonder if it’s too late to change my Eurostar and pretend I missed my train to stay on the safe single photographer trip I’m currently on in Paris. I am dreading the moment I shoot a photo and this mystery photographer comes over with his bigger lens asking, “Did you get it?”, to then compare LCD screens only to find his angle perfectly framed the skater and mine missed the catch completely.

Jake Collins ~ Backside Indy Grab ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Jorge Simões ~ Frontside Crooked Grind ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Matisse Banc ~ Frontside Shuv-It ~ Photo: James Griffiths

Matisse Banc ~ Kickflip Backside Smith Grind ~ Photo: James Griffiths

About two minutes passed after the initial text from Tom and I suddenly realised:

Who gives a fuck. 

If anything, when I miss the photo and this guy gets it I don’t have to use the photographer’s catch phrase, “Can you do one more please?”

A few days later, the trip started and it turned out the mystery photographer is the OG Jelle Kleppens, which once again filled me full of dread. This guy has been shooting for years and is going to call me out straight away for doing something dumb. It turned out to be quite the contrary. Although he looks big and mean, Jelle was actually really lovely and having two photographers was super handy – who’d have thought? 

Anyway, these images were shot by me and my new mate Jelle over a week in the UK where we visited Manchester, Leeds, Wolverhampton and Bristol. Big shout out to Jimmy, Harry, Howie and Harley at the Tatt Shack in Leeds for having us over for a cheeky lock in 🙂

Filmed by: Christian Vankelst + Max Pack

Edited by: Alberto Scattolin

Thumbnail Photo: Matisse Banc by Jelle Keppens