Owens Photo: First Cover, 2000

In 1999, I moved to California from South Carolina when I was 24. I had graduated college. My father had recently passed away. I had nothing to lose. I had that dream, that so many do, to work for a skate mag. All the while not knowing how in the hell I was going to make it happen. Skateboarder Magazine was the only mag at the time with email addresses in the masthead. I sent Aaron Meza and email with the subject “Keep the damn raccoon out of my truck please” (if you’re an old skater, you’ll get it) he emailed back, I started interning and met Mike Ballard who showed me the ropes of skate photography. Taking me on tons of sessions with the biggest pros. He even hooked me up with a job with Jackass. Then one night he called and said he was gonna shoot Andrew Reynolds frontside flip the Wilshire 15 and I should come help. So we doubled up on shooting; me fisheye, him long lense. It was an awesome night. Historical trick to go down. So a month or so goes by then I got another call from Ballard one night in Oct 2000, “Aaron’s gonna offer you the Photo Editor position tomorrow.” I was floored. So I met the entire staff for lunch the next day and he offered me the job while presenting me a framed cover of my photo of Andrew at Wilshire. I crapped my pants. The rest is history. 13 years at Skateboarder was the most monumental job I could have ever dreamed. Thank you Aaron Meza, Mike Ballard and all the rest of the staff over the years. Great memories that will be cherished. Time to move forward now.