Christopher Stricklen has been a Velocio ambassador since 2015, a former baseball player, the California resident took up photography inspired by social media around cycling and his work selling high end luxury brands. We caught up with the consummate rider to learn where photography fit into his life.
Name: Christopher Stricklen (@creedub)
Current Locale: San Jose, CA
Hometown: Fairfield, CA
Riding and photography. How did they come together for you and what's your background on both?
I've been riding for a little over six years now. Cycling came to me as a way to stay active. In 2013 I had just moved back home and I was reconnecting with my soccer network. An old friend and baseball teammate had moved back from the midwest around the same time and mentioned that he had picked up cycling. I think the timing was just right because my form in soccer wasn't quite back yet. So, I was juggling both sports at the time for about six months until finally cycling took up all of my time. Photography has come and gone many times in my life but it finally stuck when I met Kyle Thornhill in 2015. He was shooting amazing work on Instagram and it was really inspiring. Eventually, I bought my own camera and the rest is essentially history.
Your images capture location and personality super well. How much do they consciously inform how you shoot?
In 2018 I started shooting street photography which was really challenging for me. However, it allowed me to do some serious self discovery: What am I shooting? Why do I find this interesting? What’s the best angle to shoot this? How does this represent my subject? I revisit that on-going discussion a lot while I’m shooting which has helped inform the rest of my photography. Honestly, I wasn’t happy with a lot of my cycling photography until after I started shooting street. If you’re able to “feel” an emotion in the photos that I share, regardless of the style of photography, it’s greatly informed by my experience shooting street photography.
What would you tell folks aiming to become better a photographer?
Shoot all the time! Shoot photographs for yourself all the time even if you’re a full-time working photographer. Back to street photography - I worked in San Francisco for a while. On days that I couldn’t ride or didn’t want to ride I shot street photography, everyday. I would get the quickest bite to eat on my 1hr lunch just so that I can reserve 30-45 minutes, every day, rain or shine, to pick up my camera, walk around and try and find at least one photograph to make. It’s just like any other “thing” that you do - you have to practice as much as you can. By the time a moment or a scene happens you should know how to frame it. It should just be instinct. You shouldn’t be trying to take a photograph anymore. Just be in the moment.
Any photo projects you'd like to take on?
My dream would be to shoot at a location that I’ve never been, over several days, with no bike. The first part of that is easy because I rarely travel, haha. I wouldn’t mind if I was shooting cycling photography but 90% of the time when I’m shooting cycling related things my bike is probably 2ft behind me. It’s fun but it’s cumbersome. I would love to be with a small crew of people, with different backgrounds, creating a super duper rad photo essay. I would be extremely happy to have done that just once in my life.
Anything more to add?
Prioritize finding new ways for old things to bring continuous fulfillment to your life. I’m having a lot of fun right now. There was a moment although both cycling and photography already existed in my life but they hadn’t quite intersected. Once I figured out how to enjoy both together, which gave new purpose for each hobby, that opened up a whole new experience for me and I’m loving it.