Andy Bokanev on a ride in LA. Photo by Kelly Nowels.
Lauding the Internet for breaking down the barriers between creators and their potential audience is so commonplace it’s cliche. But without that easy access to eager Instagrammers, tweeters, and bloggers, Andy Bokanev almost definitely would not have had his blazing fast rise from hobbyist photographer to professional. In the course of about a year he went from shooting local cyclocross to embedding with pro teams like Hagens Berman and Rapha Condor at major US races and working with big brands such as Specialized and Castelli. In a similar vein as his cycling photography contemporaries Emily Maye, Emiliano Granado, and Daniel Wakefield Pasley, Bokanev’s work centers as much on life around bike racing–the race prep, the mechanics, the bored hours whiled away at the crappy motel–as it does on the actual racing. I sat down with Bokanev in a loud pub in Seattle to talk about his foray into photography, his efforts to break into professional work, cycling’s attraction, his photography influences, his immigration to the US, and more.
Posted in Bike Industry, Cycling Media, Cyclocross, Interviews, Racing
Tagged alternative cycling photography, andy bokanev, bike race photography, castelli, chris burkard, cycling photography, good cycling photography, hagens berman u23, rapha
Self portrait. Photo courtesy of Emily Maye.
Cycling photographer Emily Maye is on the rise. Only a year and a half after shooting her first race photos at the Tour of California, she’s been published in cycling magazines such as Bicycling and Paved and worked for major brands such as Rapha, Bontrager-Livestrong development team, Crankbrothers and more. Emily is known for her strengths as a visual storyteller. Rather than only focusing on a race’s major climb or finishing sprint, she turns her lens on the drunken fans, the anxiety-filled race prep, the harrowed mechanics, to try and capture the entire atmosphere of a professional cycling event. In this interview, Emily discuses her background in photography, her attraction to professional cycling, the parallels between ballet and bike racing, her approach to storytelling, and more.
Gregg Bleakney crossing into Argentina from Chile. Photo by Gregg Bleakney.
The latest episode of Patagonia’s Dirtbag Diaries podcast is about a young man who left a high paying, white collar career to ride his bike from Alaska to Argentina. Gregg Bleakney had a successful and lucrative job at a Seattle software company. By the time he was in his mid-20s he owned a big house, fancy car, and all the other luxuries one might associate with a rich young guy. He also felt a deep dissatisfaction with the work he was doing and spent many sleepless nights pacing around his house stressing about it.
His solution: set off on a year long, 19,000+ mile bike tour with a friend. Bleakney figured the trip would be just the experience he needed to return to his software career with a renewed sense of vigor and satisfaction. Instead, he wound up spending almost two years on the road, discovered a new passion for photography, and realized he would never find satisfaction in his old life.