SUUS: Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you got involved with the moto scene?
Chris: My name is Chris Cooper and i currently reside in Melbourne, Australia. Photography took hold in high school. Riding BMX everyday, and sharing soggy wet prints with my friends at recess and lunch was the norm for two years. When School finished, the passion flaked for a few years until about 07/08. Growing up around Australian muscle cars, I've always had a big interest in modified cars but even though i rode BMX, i really didn't have any interest in motorcycles until Chopped 2010. Seeing "Dogsled" hauling ass down that goat track on his Trump was mind bending. Since then its been a natural progression. You meet like minded people in the car community and discover their also heavily into motorcycles. Its nice, man. Nothing was forced, just a natural flow of discovering people who are into rad shit.
SUUS: Whats inspiring you at the moment?
Chris: My friends, man. As cliche as that is. I consider myself extremely lucky to be surrounded by amazing artists. Both traditional in the sense, and car/motorbike builders. When it comes to photography, there's a great crew here in Australia. It's amazing to have camaraderie in the same field of passion. Bouncing work from one another, learning from one another or needing feedback on an idea you have at 2am, they're always there to guide you in a solid direction. No BS. Them being stoked, stokes the stokage, man!
What gear do you use?
My main Camera is a beat to shit Canon 5d mkii, 35mmL, 50mmL, 120mmL
I very rarely use flash, but a Canon 580ex and an old as hell Vivitar coupled with some pocket wizards are in the bag.
Film wise, I love my Leica M2 with a Voigtlander 35mm. When i feel like really slowing down, I pick up the Mamiya RZ67. Both the Leica and Mamiya don't have built in light meters, so a Sekonic 308 lives in the film bag.
SUUS: What would be your top tips for amateur bike photographers?
Chris: This goes for anyone getting into photography. Love what you do. Stay humble, and don't sweat the big fish, man.
Shoot, Shoot, Shoot.
Over time you will work out why you admire certain photographers and what style of photography has the biggest impact on you. Network. Email your favourite photographers and ask questions, but be polite about it and don't be an "askhole". Be open minded.
When it comes to photographing Someone's blood, sweat and tears, respect it, and the owner. Shoot the shit over a beer or coffee and get to know them. Learn from them. Don't ask to shoot someone's ride just for Facebook likes, man. Shoot it because the passion inside you needs to shoot it.
SUUS: Whats next for you, any thing interesting lined up? Any future bike shoots planned?
Chris: I am currently piecing together a photography book, chronicling Chopped from 2010 to present. I had planned to have it completed by the end of the year, but working a 9-5 and shooting on the weekends takes up a lot of time, man. Working towards by years end, or early in the new year.
Also hoping to scratch a 3rd liberty bell in the coming months to head off to Japan for Mooneyes again with the wild bunch.
The next Scoot shoot is for Retro Bike Magazine in the coming months.
Follow what Chris is up to here - https://www.instagram.com/crcooperphoto/