Gold Coast native Sarah Huston, the face behind YeahGirl, talks photography, growing up as a female skater and life after high school.
|Credit: Sarah Huston Instagram @thesarahhuston
So..where exactly did your career begin? Did you go to university or jump straight into working on your own stuff?
I studied a Bachelor of Digital Media and have been working as a designer ever since. Photography is just one small part of my work. It’s something I’ve become interested in partly through my studies and career but mostly through skateboarding. I’ve only been shooting photos on the regular since 2014.
Especially as a teenager, did you always feel welcome at the skatepark? Because I know for a lot of girls the idea is quite intimidating.
I usually always felt welcome and still do. My local indoor park growing up was like my second home so I always felt comfortable there. Having a good crew of guys and girls to skate with helps too I guess. But even when I skate alone I am never really bothered by the people around me… I just focus on the trick I am trying and I’m usually off in my own little world. I totally understand how girls (and anyone, really) can feel intimidated when they rock up at the park. But I find that if people see that you’re really passionate about skating and you’re really trying to push yourself, they’ll be stoked for you when you land the trick your trying. Even if it’s just an ollie.
Since you have been involved in the skate scene, have you personally noticed any changes to the way women are viewed in the industry?
When I was younger I think I was fairly oblivious to any gender bias. I just skated to skate. These days I’m more tuned into what’s happening in the industry, particularly as far as women are concerned. Just recently I have started noticing way more media coverage of female skaters and it’s awesome to see. I think it’s partly because companies are slowly starting to realise that there is a market in women’s skateboarding, but also because women are starting to create the media for themselves. While the big opportunities for female skaters will come from equality in the industry as a whole, I also think that women’s skateboarding is in a league of its own and those that are a part of it have the power to make it great. There’s a lot of people doing amazing things for women’s skateboarding right now and big things are happening. It’s an exciting time.
Is there any specific person/place/art/magazine that has had a big influence on your photography work or your content in general?
I think it’s more a case of many different things having a small influence, rather than specific things having a big influence. It sounds so cliche, but traveling and meeting new people probably has the biggest influence on my work. That’s when I am most inspired. Aesthetically I like minimalist design and photography so I’m really drawn to Swiss and Danish design. I’m also currently swooning over the minimalist aesthetics of Sovrn skate company.
Do you have any plans for more photography exhibitions similar to Yeah Girl?
There’s definitely more to come with Yeah Girl in the future – stay tuned!
Where is your favourite place to skate the Gold Coast?
We are really lucky on the Gold Coast with so many awesome skateparks. We actually have the most skateparks per capita in Australia. Pizzey Park has new lights and is awesome to skate at night when it’s not so hot. Tugun skatepark is is another favourite. But despite the amazing parks, nothing beats exploring the streets.
Finally..as I ask everyone, what is your best piece of advice? or quote you live by?
“A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are build for”. I have a thing for boats and adventures, so I guess this resonates with me. Also, an anonymous wise person wrote me a note at my uni grad exhibition that said “jump first, read the instructions on the way down”. That stuck with me