Locals Only brought back memories for me of my childhood in Los Angeles, and of my neighbor climbing trees and skateboarding barefoot. Photographer Hugh Holland illustrates what California youth culture was doing in the streets in the mid 70's. The photography in Locals Only captures youth skateboarding in (mostly) Southern California, epitomizing the energy, mood and environment of that period.
The photographs give us a brief history of the skateboarding scene. Holland states in the opening interview that he can tell which photographs were taken in '75, '76, or '77 by the clothes and surroundings and by the skating. In 1975, youth skated barefoot and without helmets; however, by the end of 1977, safety gear was worn. Blue Vans, headbands, white socks with stripes in blue, gold and red, corduroy shorts and unshaped locks was the look.
During this "free and exciting" time, there were not a lot of photographers taking pictures of kids skateboarding. Holland states he was welcomed by the skaters. He credits being in the right place at the right time. He loved using wide-angle lenses which allowed for wide shots taken from the bottom of a pool with boards and limbs flying over him or from the inside of a van filed with youth ready for their next ride.
Holland’s shots show blue skies in the background and blue Vans in the foreground, orange helmets and orange urethane wheels, and streaks of blond in brown hair against brown golden bodies. Youthful attitudes, careless days, and hanging out with your friends in the California sun depict a lifestyle I remember. I'm glad Holland was there to capture it!
Reviewed by FIDM Library Staff Member Roseanna Garcia