As you might have come to notice, we are very interested in showcasing talented people like photographers, designers. alternative athletes and musicians on this platform. Well here we have someone that is a combination of two of these categories – photographer and alternative athlete in the form of BMX rider. If you know anything about BMX and photography, you will know that you have the upper hand being a BMX action photographer if you are also a BMX rider, as a lot of the moves require to the mili-second accuracy to capture the perfect picture.
Now we would like to introduce you to a man that is extremely talented in both, especially being able to capture the ‘essence’ of freestyle BMX. He has a passion for photography in general as is so talented at it. His name is Ryan Jarrett and he runs his own company called Froot. Take a look at what he had to say to us:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little bit of background on how you began riding BMX?
Well yeah i’m Ryan, I started riding BMX back in 2003 when I was about 15. That led to being able to watch our little scene grow and luckily being able to meet and become friends with all the big guns at that time. Joburgs bmx scene was rock n roll to the max with guys really pushing what they knew of bmx. So it all kind of just fell into place, it has definitely made me who I am today.
MA: What has influenced you over the years to keep pushing and progressing?
Learning new stuff is always fun, but the way I’ve seen myself in recent years is more about enjoying it and hanging out with mates. The reality is that if it were not for a common interest in riding the people involved would probably not even cross paths that much, everyone is different in their way and it ends up creating a richer group of open minded guys with completely different professions and interests. What still gets me to push is watching guys just go fast, go high and with as little effort possible.
MA: What has you most excited about our local riders and how the sport is progressing to heights never seen before in South Africa?
I really get amped on the way local guys are just getting so good and so quickly. The web is definitely opening up the younger generation to the possibilities, both to watch new stuff that the international guys are getting out but also to get themselves exposure and sort of share there scenes with each other. All that is really needed to take it to an even greater level is for big brands to get behind it like what has happened in Europe and the US. Its only set to grow and as the next sort of generation of riders come in, its always great to see the family grow.
MA: We have been taking note of your photography and videography lately, can you please give us a bit more information about this and how you got started?
Taking photos has always been a love of mine, which started around the same time I started riding, the two worked well together and it grew from there. The filming stuff got started also a while ago but at a more sort of rookie level, that most people could do better with probably any cellphone out there now. At that time is was watching guys like Jimmy Reynolds filming stuff for videos like unleash the Fury 1 (on VHS only) and UTF II which was my first exposure to a South African BMX dvd, which got me amped to film more. Over the years it slowly but surely progressed to where it is today.. The most common question I ask myself now is whether to film, take photo’s or to ride.
MA: Tell us a bit more about the brand, Froot, and what the bigger picture is for it?
Well Froot is my “professional” persona or brand that I do photo, design and video work under. It’s not very known but it hasn’t been something I would usually push. It has been more as a place to catalogue my work if people happen to ask. I’ve got 2 blogs, one for the photo and design side (FrootPhoto.blogspot.com) and the other for Video stuff (FrootMotion.blogspot.com). Having recently left my full time job to pursue Freelance work has put me in a rather scary but exciting place. My hope is to just get Froot out there to help me grow my skill set and passions and to make a living really. The more well known brand is Purple Haze Bmx (purplehaze-bmx.blogspot.com) which has been everything to do with the bmx side with events, merchandise and basically trying to get exposure for everyone in the riding scene.
MA: To date, what has been your best achievement as a rider or photographer in the scene?
Hmm I’m not too sure really, haha the only thing i can really say was an achievement or something i”m really proud of was a video I recently shot and edited for Microsoft SA which was called Officeless Guy for their office 365 campaign, I have heard it’s been submitted for The Loeries which is pretty cool.
MA: I saw that sweet little edit you did at the RIOT compound, was that just meant to document a rad day out with the gents?
Yeah it was, figured I’d make a little edit out of the day, first impressions are important and I figured it was a good opportunity to make something cool as the only tangible sort of evidence of the day that would be left after everyone was gone.
MA: Well it was very steezy, as the lingo goes, haha. What influences you as a brand and the stuff you like shooting/documenting?
Haha, why thank you! I mean what I’m trying to get at with the edits lately is definitely to document the vibe, It may not be about the sick riding, although that obviously has a part in it, but crazy riding is all over the internet now, I’m all about the lifestyle and the people in that lifestyle along with some pretty moving pictures. My favourite sort of stuff to shoot photography wise is without a doubt the travel stuff, going new places and trying to capture that feeling to share.
MA: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?
Well in 5 years…. well at the beginning of the year I would’ve said it would be nice to be making a living from doing the things i enjoy, but that has luckily begun happening now. So in 5 years, I would just like to see myself happy, wiser and with a few more kilometres under my belt. Ultimately a small creative agency or production company, but time will tell. Definitely looking forward to what the world has in store for me.
MA: Where can people follow you?
MA: Lastly, if you could have a sesh with any 3 riders in the world, who would they be?
Matt Beringer, Steve Crandall, Josh Stricker