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Meet the Artist: Ben Kohmescher Finds Calling in Skateboard Photography

By Amber Ford

Meet the Artist: Ben Kohmescher Finds Calling in Skateboard Photography

While many artists use the picturesque backdrop of the Mt. Hood Villages as inspiration for watercolors, photography and the many forms of the written word, local photographer Ben Kohmescher’s creativity comes not just from his home on the mountain, but also from his favorite pastime, skateboarding.

Beginning at the age of six, Kohmescher found skateboarding not just as a hobby or way to make friends, but as a passion he credits with inspiring his absolute love of photography. Born in Santa Cruz, California, Kohmescher immersed himself in the sport and soon found out that while skateboarding was a passion, photographing fellow skateboarders was his calling.

“I picked up photography because all of my friends were better than me at skateboarding,” Kohmescher said. “I wanted to do something that involved skateboarding and just started taking pictures of my friends. I instantly became hooked,” Kohmescher added. Having had an intro to photography class prior to transitioning from skateboarder to skateboard photographer, Kohmescher’s ability to capture the unique form and talent of his friends became known throughout the local skateboarding community. “The first time I began taking pictures of friends skateboarding was at Derby Skate Park, one of the oldest skate parks in California,” Kohmescher said.

Although Kohmescher finds his passion through the lens at skateparks, living near the Mt. Hood National Forest gives him inspiration to follow other directions the camera may take him. “My main backdrop for photography is primarily at skateparks in the area, but I have also shot a few weddings,” Kohmescher said.

Crediting skateboard enthusiast Jamie Weller for helping him find his footing in the local skateboard community, Kohmescher’s notoriety as a skateboard photographer became popular with locals while skating and photographing at We Are Camp (formally known as Windells Skatepark).

While his talented skateboard friends provide the muse, Kohmescher also credits other skateboard photographers for helping him grow in his art. “When I was living in Santa Cruz my biggest inspiration was Lanny Headrick,” Kohmescher said. “What inspired me about his photography was his use of light and color and I feel like he caught the subjects’ feelings and expression while they were skateboarding,” Kohmescher added. Professional photographers may have helped Kohmescher hone in on his skills, but close friends in the industry have also given him the motivation to continue to grow with the camera. “In the last few years my best friend Sev Boosinger has also picked up photography,” Kohmescher said. “He is also a skateboard photographer and he is very talented. Watching him shoot and seeing his work helps me stay motivated,” Kohmescher added.

As Kohmescher continues to grow and build his portfolio, he and a number of other talented artists in the Mt. Hood area will be hosting an art show at Pub 26 the last week of April. More information on that event will be showcased in the “Meet the Artist” article in April. Anyone interested in Kohmescher’s work can visit his instagram page @benslens_.

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