HEAD: PHOTOGRAPHER’S PORTFOLIO: SIMON CUDBY
My name is Simon Cudby and I am a professional photographer who specializes in action sports. Originally from London, England, I have lived in Southern California for almost twelve years. I went to college in London for photography, but learned most of the secrets of the trade by assisting local photographers on anything from Nissan car brochures to shooting the latest revolutionary medical widget.
Though shooting commercial products pays the bills, I’ve always had the desire to make a living shooting what really interests me. I was first bitten by the motocross bug when I was a young English schoolboy and my dad took me to a local scramble in Cornwall, England. I watched the only rich kid in our town power his shiny new Bultaco to a hard-fought win while I was up to my knees in mud. I was hooked.
About twenty years later, Bill and McGoo (TWMX’s designers) decided that mountain biking wasn’t worth all of the climbing for a quick three minutes of downhill shredding, so MX bikes were duly ordered. At around the same time, I was shooting studio and action photography in the bicycle industry for GT Bicycles and Mountain Bike magazine. One day in the studio (in 1996) I received a call from Jim Hale and John Caper at AXO/Renthal, and I was on my way to Orlando for my first Supercross shoot. AXO became a regular client, and I still travel with John and Shaun Norfolk from Renthal to several races per year, in between time loading up on Diet Coke and snack treats at various studio shoots.
I often saw my work in ads and brochures, but my first magazine break came from Davey at Racer X with a Jeremy McGrath cover from Anaheim ’99. I now shoot exclusive editorial stuff for TWMX, but some of my major advertising clients include Fox Racing, Renthal, Mechanix Wear and GT Bikes.
Though I still shoot for other industries, I have yet to find anything as exciting as shooting the first SX of the season, or going to K-Dub’s house while he does about a hundred whips over a seventy-foot double just for my Canon. (Though riding my #42 KX with my buddy Big E at Elsinore does come close!) Bottom line is that I love this sport, and if being at the races shooting is as close as I’ll ever get to being out there on the pro circuit, that’s fine with me. On the following pages, you’ll see some of my favorite images that I’ve collected over the past few years, along with a brief explanation of each. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them!