I'm currently staying in Worcester at the moment and found this very small but very fun countryside skatepark just up the road from me.
I usually have it to myself for a few hours, so I get out my picnic and portable speakers with chiller Junes on, Copson London Playlist and have my own mini skate session!
My gorgeous man took some great photos from my book launch last week. All shot on his 35mm Film camera I got him for his birthday.
Must get Canon T70 such beautiful results.
Check out more of his work at solacemoth.com
My best friend Simon Burlo Kindly shot some photos for me on his Canon T90 Film Camera during my exhibition and book launch last Thursday.
They are gorgeous!
Follow his amazing photography @ssjnb
Photo Credit: Simon Burlo
Last Thursday was Go Skateboarding Day and my first Solo Photography Exhibition and Book Launch for Concrete Girls.
Vans supported the event along with drink sponsor from Corona.
Here are a few snaps from the night, more to follow......
I'm so stoked!
Grey Skate Mag and Vans are hosting several events in London this Thursday and last stop on their Go Skateboarding Day mission will be my Book Launch Exhibition Gallery.
Go meet up with them at Gillette Square at 4pm where there will be some fun stuff to skate then after head over to east London for my photography exhibition and book launch for my first book Concrete Girls.
Look forward to sharing a beer or two with you all!
I will be hosting my first solo photography exhibition for the launch of my first book Concrete Girls.
It will be a nice place to unwind after a day of skateboarding. Come along for a few beers!
Unit 5 Gallery
I took a trip back home with my boyfriend Tom, we visited my local skatepark in Hereford. I haven't skated in a fair few years and I'm slowly getting back my confidence.
Below are some gorgeous photos Tom took on his 35mm Film Camera.
What would your husband say about you if I asked them for a reference?
"She's nice, until she gets hungry." :)
What is your top 5 tracks on your current Spotify Playlist?
Seasons, the Future Islands/ Badbadnotgood version. & by Pinegrove.
Bein' around by Courtney Barnett.
Relapse by Fossette.
When you were mine by Lambchop.
You’re on death row, what would be your last meal?
My late nan's rice pudding and a strong black coffee.
Describe your life using film titles?
Much ado about nothing. Or The Hangover...
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be ?
A sunny, happy yellow.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be ? Why?
Gosh, there are so many... But I'd have loved a good chat with Wittgenstein.
Who was your favourite Spice Girl?
I genuinely have no idea. I was listening to Coltrane.
How long does it take you to scroll through Instagram before getting bored?
I struggle to sit through 30 seconds of footage these days!
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Eat, Play, Love
Below is other skateboarding photography I have taken along side the Concrete Girls project.
First day of Spring today well not officially but the sun was out and what do us Brits like to do when we see a bit of sun, yes you guessed it get the BBQ out!
Today my family got together at my brother's workshop for a classic Saturday British BBQ. I take my camera everywhere with me especially when I'm with loved ones I was so pleased with the outcome of the photos. I thought what a great opportunity to introduce the people in my life that have been a huge influence on me as a photographer and a human being.
Anna Svan - Jewellery Designer, Artist & Owner of Halo Hair Looms - halohairlooms.com
I first met Anna two years ago when my brother introduced me to her as his new misses. My first impression was 'who is this Icelandic mega babe my brother has managed to pull'!
Well done Adam!
We hit it off instantly which I was so happy about being an older sister. I haven't always formed a close bond with my brother's past girlfriends but this woman was different she was warm, chatty, really cool, genuinely interested in making my brother and his world happy.
Instant best friend material!
Over the past two years I have learnt so much about Anna, she is a keen Human Rights Activist you'll often see her at a march within the UK or Iceland. Has a huge talent in alternative medicine, natural healing and how to really take care of yourself as a human. As well as this she is a kick ass jewellery designer, artist and makes the most beautiful flower headbands for all occasions.
The one thing I love the most about Anna is how much she loves my brother, she has encouraged him to grow as a man, to be more open and free spirited. Adam and Anna are expecting their first baby in June 2018, yes that's right I'm going to be Aunty and I can't wait.
Anna has been a huge part of Concrete Girls behind the scenes, helping with packaging, ecommerce and coffee dates to discuss all creative ideas. Our favourite spot is Black & White in Worcester, gluten free carrot cake to die for!
Today, I did a mini pregnancy shoot for them both and I'm over the moon with how they turned out.
Adam Thomas - Woodworker, Brother and All Round Very Cool Human! - Website coming soon
Adam is my brother, he started carpentry at the age of 16 and has been announced as the most sort after carpenter and woodworker within the Herefordshire area. Having worked on million-pound houses it's hard to put into words just how hard working and talented he really is.
Now starting his own business as an Established Woodworker, he is often found in his workshop in Cradley, Worcestershire creating bespoke furniture. His next project is making a Snake Skeleton Chair, this I can't wait to see.
Adam is also helping me in creating bespoke skateboards for Concrete Girls which I will be introducing to you in the late Summer.
Soon to be a proud father to a son, I can't wait to get the little pirate out on a skateboard and documenting his life.
Thomas Cole - Photographer, Love of My Life & Guardian Angel - solacemoth.com
When I met Tom, it was love at first sight, his Irish charm had a huge part to play in this, that accent instant swoon!
Tom has inspired me in ways I'll never be able to thank him for, being a sufferer of Anxiety and BPD I sometimes find life extremely difficult at times, where most people don't understand or find it difficult to except people with mental health difficulties, Tom has been by my side and helped me overcome some of my most difficult times. Through his love and support, I now live in a more calm way and manage my demons. He has taught me to believe in myself, love my body, have confidence in my beauty, to take more photos, to get back on my skateboard and to love, trust and build friendships, something I had lost for over a decade.
For his birthday this year I bought him his first 35mm Film Camera, a man who has a passion for photography, drones and all things digital I wanted to introduce him to the world of 35mm film. To my delight he is in love with it, probably more in love with it than me some days ha!
I also built him a website and encouraged him to follow his talent of being a photographer. He has a natural gift and a real eye for beauty. Encouraging him to find his inner creative spirit has been incredible for us as a couple because he has become the second arm in Concrete Girls. Taking all the behind scenes pictures, coming on trips producing film and photos for clients and has become a real blessing.
I'm extremely lucky to be able to share this with the love of my life.
As well as my Mum and Step Dad Roger, without these 3 talented creative humans there would be no book or Concrete Girls, no Charlotte so with all my heart thank you for saving my life!
Below are the photos from our BBQ today in the sun, taken by myself and Tom.
I was so honoured and touched today, a very talented illustrator took one of my skate photos and a portrait of me, combined the both to create this beautiful picture.
100% taking pride and place in my home!
Be sure to follow her @BoulgomCatCBC on Instagram.
These are the images I took for a photoshoot for Supra Footwear last year in London featuring the gorgeous Rianne Evans. I was kindly asked by Supra to hang out with one of my friends and take photos.
My perfect day!
Concrete Girls - Its just friends hanging out!
Rianne is one of my favourite humans, so relaxed, never any drama and just happy to get involved with Concrete Girls anyway she can even with a looming university final exam.
Rianne's everyday look is much more chilled but for the purpose of the shoot I kindly asked her to step out of her comfort zone for me. She is wearing my Vintage Leopard Print Coat a real charity shop find, my Skate or Die Sunglasses and Supra Footwear.
Yesterday I was invited down to attend the Girl Skate UK birthday bash at Broom Skatepark in Leicester. It was so much fun, loads of amazing prizes kindly donated by some of my favourite brands, guys & girls shredding together and it was so nice to meet up with old and new friends.
I have selected my favourite photos from the day below.
For full coverage of the event pop over to GIRL SKATE UK and check out all my photos, plus videos and other fun content.
Remember to follow @concretegirls on Instagram.
Photos below taken my Charlotte Thomas.
I've put together the very basics you will need to take pictures of skateboarding using a Digital DSLR camera.
Spend time talking with the skateboarder, see what trick and area they want to skate. Visualise in your mind how you want to compose your image, do you want to focus just on the trick or tell a full story by composing the surrounding area of your subject.
Composition is really key!
It's important to not distract from the skateboarder to much, ensure they have a relatively plain background when they are performing the trick. This will allow your subject to pop out of the image,
Discuss with the Skateboarder the angle of the image, as much as you're the photographer its extremely important to respect the skater, you need to make them look as awesome as they can!
Make sure within the framed image you can see where the skateboarder started, the trick and where they land. You need to tell the whole story.
3. Camera Set Up Digital- Image Quality
Set the image quality to the RAW setting with the highest bit depth number available (12, 14 or 16) and the image size to the maximum resolution output your camera is capable of. Set colour space to Adobe RGB if you have an option to do that.
Always format - fully erase - files from your memory cards in camera, not on your computer. And don't mix up memory cards from different cameras unless you format them with that camera before use.
This can be tricky as you're shooting a moving object, you want your skateboarder to be in focus at the right point of the trick. I usually get the skateboarder to try the trick once or twice to gage where I will be shooting the subject. Get them to stand where that point is and set your focus at that position.
Most cameras have AUTO FOCUS option however I would use Manual Focus that way you have more control and can set it exactly. ALWAYS ALWAYS recheck it before shooting. I've had times where I've missed the trick or the skateboarder was out of focus, can be a little upsetting for both parties if they've just nailed the trick!
6. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.
SHUTTER SPEED 1/1000th
LOW APERTURE - (Blurry foreground/background) 3.2 - you must get your focus right shooting at this aperture.
ISO - 400 - If its quite dark I would bump the ISO up a little bit but try not to go too high as your image will get a lot of noise.
7. Tripod & Remote Release
For sharper results and to reduce any shake that can be a result of the hand held shooting - use tripod & remote release.
With so many skateboard photographers, photographers in general nowadays with all this cool technology, it's important to find your own style and have fun with it! Be yourself and remember its a team effort but always respect your subject, its your job to make them look the best they can!
Hi I'm Charlotte, I'm 34 years old, I'm a skateboarder ( old timer these days ) and skateboard photographer.
I started skating at 16 years old but really found my skate home in Leeds, where I spent my University life.
Hyde Park, Leeds was my home for most of my 20's, this is where I spent days taking some really hard slams for months just trying to ollie up a curb! The lads I spent most days with, would be constantly picking me up off the floor.
A few years went by and I had managed to learn to boardslide a small rail, this was the only "wow" trick I could do for months, so I was given the nickname 'Charlie Boardslide'. It stuck and now thats my name among some of my closet friends.
As time went on I grew more and more confident through skating everyday, I started to learn heel flips, I could ollie off blocks and up curbs but my favourite time skating was through the University to classes. There is something so free about cruising the streets on your board, especially on a summers day in Leeds.
Leeds was the best time of my life skating but as mentioned in my talk last Saturday at House of Vans London, I was the only regular girl skater in Leeds for nearly 10 years. Girls were dotted all over the country but it was word of mouth via the guys that I would hear of another girl skater in the area or from another city.
Lois Pendlebury was a northern lass but she was away so I never got to skate with her until the last few months of my time in Leeds.
Jenna Selby, another amazing photographer had organised a Girl Skate Tour - called Mega Mission this was the first time I got to meet any other female skaters at that time.
After many years in Leeds I decided to move to Barcelona where I lived with Maria Falbo, she was a skater from Manchester at the time, we met through friends and just clicked so moved in with her. It was an amazing experience, a completely different culture to what I was used to, so laid back and people skated very late at night, Macba was the go to place then.
We lived a few flats away from JB Gillet, one of my heroes at the time. We would often see pro skaters cruising the streets and hanging out, it was so exciting to a young skater back then to hang out with your idols as if it was normal. I had to be very cool and relaxed you know!
(Below is my only video part from my time in Leeds, remember we had no social media back then.)
When I came back from Barcelona, I moved to London to start my career in Fashion. I was a shoot producer for many years for Topshop and Topman. Skating took a back seat during this time however most Saturdays I would go to Mile End skatepark for a mini cruise to keep the old legs working!
Once I got the big city out of my system, I decided to move back to the countryside, Hereford where I was born. The skatepark was voted by the lovely Lucy Adams as one of the best in the country. So if you ever get the chance come down and see me.
A few years back now, I cracked my coccyx skating the bowl it was then I couldn't skateboard anymore, this was when the dark times became real. I had hit rock bottom and one of my old friends said to me, why don't you start taking pictures of skateboarding to keep in with the scene and still see your friends.
So I did and the rest is history.
I still skate but only cruise these days but I still love it and I cannot wait for the Summer.
(Below are some images taken of me in BCN days, me and JB Gillet, Mega Mission Tour, meeting the Nefarious Crew and shooting Stef in Plymouth for my feature in Sidewalk Magazine. )
So Girls, for all of you who were there on Saturday at the House Of Vans London - Girl Skate Camp you would have seen myself, Stef Nurding, Lucy Adams and Daphne Greca talk about issues around Mental Health.
Stef openly talked about her issues with Anxiety and how Instagram has lead her to question her own body image, self worth and has quite frankly burnt her out. She opened up by saying that despite her having all these 'Followers' it did not mean a thing and that it was all a fake reality the posts we all share online, a little snippet of our "So called perfect life."
Stef gave us some of her tips on how she is tackling this, by focusing more on her Skateboarding, reducing her time online and self love.
Following on from Stef I began to tell you my story of a lifetime of Self Doubt, Depression and Anxiety.
During my 20's ( 2000's pre social media) I was faced with the demanding pressures we all face, who am I, what career am I supposed to be pursuing, am I pretty and thin enough, do I have the right clothes, why I am not fluent in seven languages, play a musical instrument, travelling the world on fancy holidays and making loads and loads of money. Plus being a pro skateboarder was a big deal for me at the time.
When all of these things seemed unobtainable I started to slip into a dark place within my own mind which I like to call "The Monster". Throughout my whole life this Monster has stayed with me, most days I wake up with a huge fear of anxiety, even at 34 years old, I'm still worrying am I good enough, damn it I didn't go to the gym yesterday, I burnt the pans again when cooking bake beans, I'm not travelling the world as a blogger, photographing myself in a bikini in exotic locations, constantly working out, I can't speak French and therefore feel this huge amount of guilt because aren't we all meant to be aspiring for this so called 'Perfect Life".
This perfect life notion has always been around, however I feel with Instagram we have all got ourselves into this negative mindset that we should all be these perfect humans achieving everything in life but instead of being ourselves and becoming beautiful in our own right we instead spend hours scrolling through Instagram feeling sorry for ourselves that we are not on that surf holiday in Bali, with a perfect ass and abs! Ok maybe thats me sometimes however we all have a tendency to compare, the thief of joy ladies!
Now the one thing I hope, can bring you joy from Saturdays talk, was did you notice that all the women sat in that room were gorgeous, talented, confident enough to try a new skill and make new friends but more importantly we all felt the same. We were together making each other feel better by just talking and being open about a taboo subject. I don't know about you but just seeing how many of you felt the same as me actually relieved my symptoms and made me realise, I'm not alone and that we can all take on "The Monsters" together!
Now after a tough few years of several psychologist therapy meetings, anti-depressants and the sheer strength and support of my family I have finally got a hold on "The Monster" and I would love to give you my tips on how to beat your Monsters.
1. SKATEBOARDING - First and foremost the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life, it is really good for your fitness, keeps you toned and healthy, you get out in the fresh air which is amazing for your skin.
Its learning balance, co-ordination and strength which is also really beneficial for your brain, it keeps you feeling positive because you are learning a new skill.
You get to travel, make friends, smile, have a laugh and be yourself.
Skateboarding can be enjoyed at all levels, I went from not being able to push, to grinding ramps and doing flips tricks, to an injury, to just cruising. My point is you don't have to be throwing yourself down a set of stairs or competing in the XGames to be a skater, just get on your board and find whats comfortable for you.
2. FRIENDSHIPS - Skaters are the nicest humans on the planet FACT! You will make a friend on your first day of skating I promise you and obviously with the amazing Girl Skate UK and all they do for the scene you can always pop along to one of the events and they will be there with open arms to get you started.
Its important to remember girls, you will always have haters, I have loads of people who either don't agree with what I'm doing or we just don't click as people and thats ok, my motto is "If you don't like me, I must be doing something right" but also try to be kind to people even if they are not being so nice because they will be dealing with "Monsters" too and 99.9% of the time its got nothing to do with you.
Plus kindness always brings them around eventually.
Ask for help, when I told my friends and family what was going on I felt scared and ashamed would they think I was insane, or just feeling sorry for myself. However it was the complete opposite true friends will be there for you no matter what. Through opening up I have got the help I needed and made more friends by being honest, open and myself.
"Hi my name is Charlotte, I'm anxious and have depression every now and then, if I need some alone time or haven't replied to your text or Instagram update, its nothing personal I will, but I'm just doing some me time right now and thats ok. "
3. 30 MINS SOCIAL MEDIA TIME PER DAY - So as I mentioned on Saturday Social Media feeds that "Monster" so in order for me to feel happy and positive about myself I allocate 30 mins per day where I upload content to Instagram, answer any messages and have a quick look at what is being put out there that day. Then I switch off, or put my phone away.
The one thing I noticed was the world isn't going to end, I'm not going to miss out on anything and I had more time to focus on learning a new skill, skateboarding more, taking more photos and actually talking to real humans in real life! Laughter was something I missed staring at technology all day long, when I started getting out and about more, organising "No Phone Catch Ups" with my girlfriends we all benefited from it and had a laugh. More of this please, plus its good for your heart!
4. FOLLOWERS V FOLLOWING - I only follow people who inspire me, who make me feel positive and skateboarding. Plus cute animals and funny accounts who take the mick out of everyday life, this is always a winner.
@fuckjerry and @celestebarber - Hilarious!
5. FIND YOUR INNER ARTIST - Skateboarding has so many artistic avenues it can be hours upon hours of inspiration. I love decorating my board and Stef Nurding has some great ideas over on her blog. Danni from Girl Skate UK always has some really cute creative ideas she's amazing in the garden too, watch skate videos old and new, start a band, watch documentaries, be inspired by Eloise Dorr and her incredible illustrations, learn to draw.
Skateboarding can bring you so much creativity, if you just look at your fellow skaters and get inspired by them.
6. TOGETHER - Most important thing I want you to remember is we are all in this together, skaters stick together and I hope we see you at the next event which is the 31st March 2018 in Leicester Broom Skate Park - GIRL SKATE UK 4th Birthday - PARTY!