Posted on May 04, 2018 - All words Nikita
G.W.R. with Concrete Girls Photographer Charlotte Thomas
Charlotte Thomas is the a UK-based skateboarder-turned-photographer behind the book, "Concrete Girls"; a photo project documenting the female skate scene in the UK. We were lucky enough to snag her for a photoshoot recently (check out our Instagram for photos from the shoot!) and also made time to sit down with her and get to know the girl behind the lens. Enjoy!
Hi I'm Charlotte Thomas, I'm a skateboarder and skateboard photographer. I've been skateboarding and a photographer for over 15 years now. I have my first published book out in June 2018 titled Concrete Girls, which is a huge 5 year project that I'm very proud of!
What do you like about shooting photos, and, specifically- skateboarding?
It allows me to meet new people, I love capturing the natural vibe of people. It's great to see a smile or hear laughter when we all hang out. This is only caught when they don't focus on me shooting so I try to stay invisible throughout the day and just let people skate.
When we are focused on a trick it's great team work, two creative minds working towards creating that perfect photograph. I always remember to respect the skateboarder- I have to make them look as awesome as I can. It's important to listen, be patient and offer encouragement.
What's been your best moment behind the camera so far?
Photographing my hero Ryan Allan and getting to hang with him during the Supra Skateboarding UK Tour . He is a friend now and he will offer me advice on photos and projects - a real nice dude!
When did you start shooting photos?
I started shooting skateboarding and producing photography when I picked up my board at the age of 16. However, I started taking skateboard photography seriously in 2014 when I started a book project called, "Concrete Girls". Before that, I would shoot skateboarding for fun and worked in Fashion in London.
"Concrete Girls”, that sounds awesome! Tell us more about the project.
Yes, Concrete Girls came about in 2014 after I spent the weekend down in Plymouth with Stefani Nurding shooting for Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine. After that trip the idea in my head was to create a book capturing the UK female skate scene. When I first started the project I didn't have a publisher, I just started contacting girls all over the UK asking if I could meet them to shoot photography for a book idea.
Then, 4 years into the project I got in touch with Cindy Whitehead who owns Girls is Not a 4 letter Word Publishing House. She agreed I would be the second book to be published via them!
A dream come true.
The whole project has been created and executed solely by myself, it's something I'm very proud of- I've worked very hard on this.
Above image from Charlotte Thomas for Concrete Girls release
That's amazing! Without even seeing the book yet, we already are so engaged by the title and the story you just told us. How did you choose the name, “Concrete Girls”? Does is mean something to you?
Concrete Girls is very simple- we skateboard on concrete and my subject was girls.
Ah! Simple and straightforward, that's perfect.
What do you connect with in skateboarding?
The one thing skateboarding has taught me is to be yourself, push hard, commit, express yourself, build friendships and see the world. It's freedom to me !
For real- it is!
What are you doing when you're not skateboarding or shooting photos?
At the moment I'm working on building the Concrete Girls brand and launching the book. It will be available to buy June 2018. Please follow @concretegirls on Instagram!
Also, I practice Yoga and Self Love to manage my anxiety and depression. Spending time with my Gorgeous man Tom, he loves to take photographs too so he will often come with me on skate adventures. Looking after our fish, Tom and I have 6 Mollies.
Learning to build skateboards with my brother Adam. Oh, plus there's getting prepared to be an Aunty. EXCITING TIMES !
Alright, the last one - Top five must-have snacks for any day of Skateboarding!
Wow never been asked this before, ok here goes:
Flask of English Tea
Pot of Humous with Carrots and Celery sticks
More English Tea!
Um, yum! You're making us hungry- we're packing that the next time we get out to the skatepark now too!
Thank you again to Charlotte for taking the time to sit down with us, and also for coming out to the skatepark with us for our most recent Nikita shoot. If you haven't already, go hit @concretegirls with a follow and double tap all those pics- they're completely rad.
Below Images taken by Thomas Cole.