Although Thomas Busuttil is a very versatile person, he considers himself first and foremost, a skateboarder. The reason might be that for him, everything he does is somehow linked to this lifestyle.
His passion for photography started about eighteen years ago when he was living in a small city called Beauvais, which is located 80 kilometers north of Paris. He got to know Yoann Kim there who was also a skateboarder and living on the same street as Thomas. Today Yoann is one of Paris’ most well-known skateboard photographers.
While in the beginning, Thomas preferred to skate in front of Yoann’s camera, over time he became interested in shooting photos himself. Through watching and following Yoann’s photography work, Thomas was influenced to start photographing too. He got to know the different formats and all the materials being used. Thomas dove into the world of infinite possibilities behind shooting the “right” photo. Today, Thomas is the man behind the De PARIS Yearbooks, which are published annually and depict the lives of skateboarders in different cities, not only Paris. As Thomas is currently working on the next edition about the French capital, we thought it would be the right time to do a short interview about his upcoming project.
by Paul Röhrs
Photos: Jocelyn Tam
Thomas, I know you do a lot of lifestyle and street photography, but do you shoot skateboard photos, too?
No, not really. Sometimes I do, but actually, I don’t want to pretend like I would be better than other skate photographers here in Paris because they already do an amazing job and invest a lot of time in it. When I shoot skateboarding I like to not be recognized as “the” photographer. You know? I like to participate more as a guest and do my own thing. I don’t really want to show myself up.
You were born in Nice and then lived some time in Beauvais. What changed for you when you came to Paris?
That’s right. My first six years in skateboarding were in a rather small city where we did not really have any spots. That, of course, changed with moving to Paris. I also met a lot of guys from the scene here. The Parisians are very open-minded which is totally different to the smaller cities I was living in before.
Do you have any other professions besides skateboarding and photography?
Actually, I have been doing everything from being a skate-teacher to working for magazines, being a photo assistant or a film director, to being an actor in commercials.
"I found this concept of the De PARIS Yearbook
very convenient because it can be applied to every city, every year and also to different subject matter."
Would you say that with the De PARIS Yearbooks you found the thing that you actually wanted to do?
I was waiting for a long time to find a project that fits me and that demands my total dedication. I always wanted to do something around media, image, skateboarding and photography. So I started the company.