*Photo quotes by Lauren Muller.
After previously making photographs at Dew Tour Long Beach for a magazine in 2019, Lauren Muller officially joined the DewTour.com team for Dew Tour Des Moines 2022.
“Everybody in the town got so hyped about the event that it made it super special,” Muller said of the experience of seeing crowds of Des Moines skate fans line the hills above Lauridsen Skatepark all weekend, cheering throughout both practice and the contest finals. “They came in and lined up hours before the gates opened, and I talked to people who said they’d been looking forward to it since last year: they waited all year. And then the skating was at a crazy level all week. I mean, these are the best skaters in the world.”
Muller is based in Newport Beach, California and is one of a handful of rising women photographers in skateboarding.
“I grew up on the East Coast, in New York, and skateboarding was not as big a thing on Long Island, but when I moved out to California I would go down to Venice Beach to take photos of the sunsets, and then I saw the skatepark there and just thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Muller says of her origin story as skateboard photographer. “I started taking photos kind of from the outside of the park, from a real outsider’s perspective, and then started shooting from inside of the park, just fascinated by it all.”
Muller says she was inspired early on by Gale Webb, a fixture in California’s skateboarding and action sports scene who has hosted her Gale Webb Extreme Sports Show events for more than three decades, and by legends of skateboarding photography including Bryce Kanights, Ray “MRZ” Zimmerman, and Anthony Acosta, who have each mentored her along the way.
“When photographing an event like Dew Tour, I keep reminding myself to get the whole picture: I like to shoot everything wide so I can see the whole park, capture the incredible skateboarding, get the trick, and also get the emotions of the whole scene.”
Muller’s favorite moment of the week?
“When Felipe Nunes came in from the top of the extension with the fingerflip drop-in, I was in awe,” Muller says. “Like, ‘He did not just do that.’”
Muller says she was also inspired by how rapidly the level of progression has increased in the women’s events. Some of her favorite shots of the week were of Sky Brown in Women’s Park.
“The bar keeps rising and it feels like everyone is so much better from one contest to the next, so that’s really exciting,” Muller says. “The crowds in Des Moines were just as big for the women’s contests as for the men’s: everybody gets it now.”
Muller says she has faced her own challenges breaking into skateboard photography as a woman.
“I mean, it’s hard being a girl and being a skate photographer. Super hard. I feel like I’ve been trying and pushing for a couple of years now and I feel like people are starting to finally take me seriously,” she says. “When I first started showing up at events, other photographers would be like, ‘Who are you? What are you doing here?’ But just as women have really pushed their way into skateparks and skate contests at the highest level, I think things are finally starting to turn around for women behind the cameras in skateboarding. I’m really hyped about that.”