Mike Azevedo is a dirt. However, of the famed NHD crew, he’s one of the most functioning members of the Granite State posse, and as of recent, his tenure in photography is starting to pay off. Vedo’s been in it for a minute and is one of the most talented lensmen to emerge from the east coast due to his eye for composition and compelling action and because of that, he’s starting to make a name for himself outside of northern New England…finally. We figured he was a perfect candidate for our Lens Crafters series because he’s gifted, genuinely funny, and brutally honest, so read what Mike’s got to say in this candid interview, and if there’s anything Vedo says that scars you, don’t worry. Just rub a little dirt on it.
Name: Mike Azevedo
Home Mountain: Ragged/Loon
Hometown: Danbury, NH
Gear: Canon 5d Mark 2, Canon Mark 2n, 70-200 f4, 17-40 f4,15mmfish 50mm1.8, Elinchrom flashes, vivtar flashes, canon480ex, minolta light meter
You recently moved from NH to SLC. What was the reason behind the move, and are you liking the new location you live in?
I was just in SLC for the winter. SLC is sick, i’ll definitely be visiting again this season. I had visited a bunch of times before I moved last season. Basically just moved there to rip some pow turns. Having more people to shoot with was a bonus. Was kinda a shitty winter last year but I still got some face shots.
What are some of the differences between the snowboard scene out east vs. the west. And why is it that so many talented riders come out of New Hampshire?
People from NH tend to just not give a shit. They’ll send it no matter what the conditions. Loon is amazing too. As far as resort/park riding I tend to like it even more than some places out west. Riding pow is the best though. So that’s where the west coast has us beat for sure. As far as the scene goes it’s just smaller, virtually no pro’s hangin’ around, just homies. Which SLC isn’t much different, seems like everybody gets along for the most part but it’s definitely more competitive as far as fimling goes.
So what’s up with NHD?
Haha! honestly I don’t really know. I’d have to ask Mike Baker, but I think it started as just a nickname for a group of friends and it’s kind of become a description for a certain type of person. Those types of people who really don't give a shit that I mentioned before. To me it’s kind of just a reminder of where I came from. It’s always important to remember your roots…
You recently started a new online mag called “Beer Shower” give us a little insight as to the inspiration behind getting the site going.
Well hopefully it gets off the ground. Still waiting on some submissions. Yeah I’m looking at you Pat Moore, kids a slacker. But basically myself, and I’m assuming some other photographers have a ton of unpublished/unsold photos at the end of every year. So it’s something to put that stuff to use. Hopefully a way to showcase our friends talents. It’s a work in progress hopefully It’ll be something sweet to look at. I guess time will tell.
Cool, is it live right now, or still in the building process?
We started a Tumblr and posted a few things on that, so you can get a sense of what we are doing on there. beershower.tumblr.com But I want to turn it into a website which I probably won’t update it very often. Probably stack content and release it all at once. I’d love to do it in print but I don’t have the money.
Tell us your best Big Mike story….
I've asked other people that same question when interviewing them and it’s a hard one to answer but I’ll do my best. One of the first times I had really hung out with big Mike was the night before a bunch of us guys in the Loon/Plymouth scene flew out to Tahoe. This was way back, like maybe 7 years ago now. It was me, Ted Lavoie, Chris Carr, Bryan Beiderman, and big Mike all flying out. So everyone else stays in that night and rests, because they are smart. Now me and big Mike…. we are retarded, so we went out partying. Some kid offered us some whiskey and we passed the bottle back and forth ’til it was gone. I don’t think that’s what he meant when he offered up the drink. So anyway the night goes on and big Mike ends up passed out on these kids couch. I tried so hard to wake him up but it wasn’t happening, so I left him. Apparently the dudes that lived there abide by the no passing out with your shoes on rule and big Mike got it bad. They covered him head to waist in marker and spray paint…….covered in wieners and all sorts of ridiculousness that is pretty standard for writing on the drunk guy. But they stepped it up a notch by making a peanut butter and jelly sando in big Mike’s butt. In the morning we had to search all over town, and we finally found him and tried to get him cleaned up. We get him in the van and make him scrub his face with rubbing alcohol. Somehow he got through security and then continuously ripped loud ass farts all the way to Tahoe. There’s so many more, but I just like that one because it was kinda my intro to him. Man being young was awesome. Big Mike is still awesome. He was once found sleeping naked on the couch, and his justification for it was that his dog Winston wasn’t wearing all clothes, so why should he?
What would be your dream crew to work with?
This might be kinda corny, but I just like shooting with my friends. It would be the ultimate honor to shoot with some of the greats but a day shooting pow with Chris Carr, Ted Lavoie, Big MIke, Chris Grenier, Scott Stevens, Timmy Ronan would still be the best. Just like it’s been for the last like 8 years or however long i’ve know those guys. I’m sick of dreaming, the real worlds fine with me.
Tell us the most important tool that you use for your photography…
My lightmeter for sure, I’d be useless without it, real unconfident.
It seems like you are pretty tight with “Keep the Change” crew. There’s a lot of hype around this video right now. Who is your favorite up and comer to shoot with in the crew?
I know Rav the best so I’d have to say him. Spencer Schubert was a treat to shoot with, he’s such a little shithead it’s awesome. Johnny O’conner is one gnarly little dude, so i’ll give him a free pass on looking like he’s 11. That video is amazing though. I went to the premier in plymouth, and people were getting rowdy. Oh yeah Darker Puke is rad to shoot with too.
Alright, let’s get into some dirt…. Why aren’t you allowed to stay at the Snowboarder Mag house at Superpark anymore?
Haha because i’m wicked good at sluggin beers, and Reid Casner is a trouble maker. It's a longer story than I’m willing to type. Basically I got taken advantage of by free fun sodas, and thought I got left in downtown Mammoth. I went and almost stayed in some random euro dudes hotel room, but then I promptly bailed after getting there, and then ran into a bunch of people at the Pita Pit. So I hopped in a van with Reid and Hardingham and a bunch of other people I don't remember. When we get back to the hotel I stumble out of the van. Apparently everyone bails without paying. Reid yells at me to run, so I do, but i stopped once I was inside because I didn't know why I was running in the first place. Then as I'm bouncing off the walls in the hallway I get tackled from behind. This guy starts screaming at me telling me I’m an asshole because we didn't pay. There was nothing I could do for the guy, I had no cash and my card was left at the bar, so he eventually he came at me again. I dodged, ducked, dipped, dove and ran into the parking garage. I promptly fell face first into a car setting off the alarm, then ran away and up to the room. But it’s a lesson learned and now a funny story. What kind of bar lets people bring in a funnel anyway??
Haha, wow that’s a great one!
It's retarded, I hope that euro dude wasnt trying to hook up with me. All I did was take a piss and then left without saying anything to him.
How does one end up puking up cigarette butts?
Haha I'm gonna look like way more of a booze bag than I really am, but I will answer. I was really broke all the time, mostly because I was spending my time trying to be a photographer instead of actually working. So I got really good at stealing peoples drinks from the bar. So once again on this night, alcohol had it’s way with me, and I eventually ran out of those nice free drink tickets T-bird was giving me. So I resorted to attacking wounded soldiers. It turns out there were a few cig butts left behind. I felt like I needed to puke later on and I also felt like I needed to tell T-bird about it. So when I told him he kinda blew me off and just said well then go puke. So I stood there and puked on the casino floor. That’s when we discovered the cigarette butts in my puke. Funny part is I’ve never smoked a cig in my life. Some other highlights from that night were: getting on stage and mooning/possibly showing my genitals to the entire party, winning 70 bucks playing blackjack even though I couldn't read the cards, and pissing in Jaqcue Beriau’s bedroom. I hitchhiked to Northstar the next day and shot the Vans cup pipe finals. So I mean pretty much job well done I’d say, but I’m much mellower these days. I’m getting old. And I don't have health insurance so I cant afford the high blood pressure medicine that I would eventually need. haha.
What would be some good advice to any of the younger up and coming photogs out there reading this…
Oh god, just run for the hills! Nah, in all honestly I’d tell them to find a way to make their money mostly outside snowboarding. It’s a tough market plus when money becomes part of your motives it just pollutes everything.