Bob Hoste is a southern California based videographer and a self-proclaimed hobbyist photographer. Originally from the small commercial fishing and tourist community of Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey, Bob has made his way to California where he is now surrounded by a talented group of unique friends acting as source of constant inspiration coast to coast.
Through his company, The Leeward Shore, Bob produces videos and edits for a roster of clients mainly in action sports. If you’re familiar with the brands Brixton and Raen, chances are high that you’ve seen Bob’s video work – these videos are fundamental to the storytelling of any lifestyle brand trying to resonate their energy with an audience. Check out some of the Brixton visual lookbooks for what I’m talking about.
Bob insists that photography is primarily a hobby – documenting the people, places, and things surrounding him at any given time. I think this is where Bob’s work is understandable, natural and comfortable to everyone who takes photos. But his photographs are far from pedestrian – they are the product of a keen eye, the drive to document, an amazing cast of friends as characters, a lust for travel and the fortune of capitalizing on being at the right place at the right time.
Witness This: How did you get started and what cameras do you use to create your images?
Bob Hoste: “I actually became interested in photography when my grandmother became diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and it seemed that the photos from her past would always be brought up to show her things, to try and jog her memory back from where it had gone. I wanted to have a record of what I saw in my life, good or bad. I just started shooting photos, at first on shitty Holgas, an old 35mm nikon my grandfather had given me, and whatever I could find, experimenting with different cameras and film types. Currently, I shoot with a Hasselblad, Contax G2, Contax T2 for my still photography, and I use Sony and Canon equipment for video work, but also mess around with super 8 and 16mm on occasion.”
WT: From your images it looks like you’re primarily shooting film. What compels you to work with film?
BH: “I think film is the best in that the look, colors, depth are really hard to achieve in the digital realm. I also really like how with film, I have something tangible in my hand at the end of the day, a roll of developed film that will outlive me or anyone I know if properly cared for, I’m not so sure I can say the same about any of the hard drives sitting on my desk right now.”
WT: You are surrounded by some truly amazing people. For example, I look at the people involved with Brixton that you work with and the talent and style that comes from that group. To me, having subjects like that as friends the best thing a photographer can ask for – everything just happens naturally. What are some of your favorite subjects to shoot?
BH: “As far as subject matter is concerned, that kind of changes for me based on where I am and the people surrounding me (I mainly shoot friends and family), sometimes I shoot landscapes, or other times I’m looking for people in a crowd, or maybe trying to find symmetry in everyday settings, or stumbling upon a shot that I never was looking for in the first place. I usually try and carry a camera with me almost everywhere I go, sometimes I forget or whatever, but I feel like there are so many moments that appear randomly that are great photographs, but without the camera there, you have nothing. I’ve seen those moments and said aloud how I missed something awesome because I didn’t have a camera on me. So I guess my main goal of my photos would be to expose those subtle moments in life that go by unnoticed by many, to slow down, take a look around and enjoy the moment. Is that cheesy? haha. But really, these photos i’ve sent are more like snapshots to me, I just happened to be at the right place/right time and saw this or that and shot it. I really don’t do any planning in my photography, it just happens.”