In 1975, when Hugh Holland first began photographing the skateboarders in southern California, he had already been living in Los Angeles for nine years. His interest in photography had developed in the mid-sixties as a 20-year-old living in his native state of Oklahoma. Except for a college job working in a photo lab, Holland had no formal art education. However, he spent years training his eye by shooting photographs and working with the images.
It wasn't until after returning from a trip to Spain in 1968 and settling into what would become a career in West Hollywood as an antique finisher, that he began to seriously pursue the hobby. He made a dark room and began photographing everything that came into sight. A favorite subject—from the beginning—was the figure.
Then one afternoon in 1975, while driving up Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Holland encountered his first skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon, and Holland knew he had found his subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, Holland never tired of capturing on film the beauty and grace of the burgeoning craze for the next three years. By 1978, the scene had become more commercial, and Holland’s documentation of the skateboarders came to its natural end.