Weekly Photo Challenge: object

Was it love at first sight? The boy-child aged two meeting a skateboard for the first time. Photo: Su Leslie 2000

Was it love at first sight? The boy-child meeting a skateboard for the first time. Photo: Su Leslie 2000

If I were to choose an icon to represent the boy-child, it would be a skateboard.

He was first put on his father’s skateboard at the age of two. Within weeks he had constructed his own “board” out of an old carton and was “doing tricks” with it in the living room. A plastic board followed, but that was a bit unsatisfying so he learned to ride on his dad’s.

There have been periods in his life when skateboarding hasn’t been central – but it’s difficult to remember them. For the last five or so years, skating has been his passion. It’s overtaken music as the great love, but has found a profitable bedfellow in photography.

Dreams of becoming a professional skater have morphed into a more tangible goal of making at least part of his living photographing and filming skaters. So far, so good. He recently made a feature-length film which got  sponsorship from a skate shop and team, and which is getting very positive feedback from the skating community.

Although he still skates, the boy-child spends more of his time now filming and photographing other skaters. Photo: Copyright Tom Gray 2014.

I think it’s probably fairly clear from my posting that I am incredibly proud of my son. And one of the things I am most proud of is that he lives his life passionately and is not afraid to pursue his dreams and make them real.

This post was written in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge, and also as part of my “countdown” to my son’s sixteenth birthday.

You can see more “object” posts:



Weekly Photo Challenge: Object















Seeing Triple?

Dry Objects



Weekly Photo Challenge – Object

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object



Be Real

… or read the earlier posts in my countdown:






Where has the time gone?

The other day I was doing the nostalgia thing … looking at old photos of the boy-child. I guess I knew it, but until confronted with the evidence I’d forgotten just how long skateboards have been part of his life.

I’ve lost count of how many times people have asked me how I cope with his hobby.

Am I not afraid he’ll hurt himself?

Yes, but I’m more afraid of trampling on his dreams, closing down his passions, stifling him and making him afraid – of pain and worse – of failure.  I don’t ever want to see my son hurt, but I also don’t want him to grow up being afraid to challenge himself.

I know what that is like and if I could have my childhood again, I’d take broken skin and fractured bones  any day.

And, on the plus side, my son has discovered that his niche in the skating world is largely as the film-maker, documenting the crazy antics of his friends.

Here’s a teaser from his latest project; a “feature” length film called Illusion.

Following the passion



My son is nearly 15. He has been riding (real) skateboards since he was about two and a half – and I won’t embarrass him by reminding him (too much) of his earlier enthusiasm involving a skateboard-shaped cardboard cutout which he kind of surfed around the living room. Lets just say that skating can truly be considered one of the great loves of his life.

First skateboard ride

First skateboard ride

Back in the day; beginning to learn the skills.

Back in the day; beginning to learn the skills.

For the last few years he’s been making films of himself and his friends skating. At first I was the camera operator; spending what seemed like hours standing/crouching/lying in carparks, roadsides, skateparks, etc filming take after take until the trick was landed.

Now that he and his friends are better (and more adventurous) skaters, so the films have become  intrinsically much more exciting to watch. And naturally, his film-making skills have improved too, so that even though I don’t really “get” skateboarding, I can enjoy his movies.

I hope you do too.