What is your real name and how did you get the nickname “Fat Tony?”
My real name is Adam Christopher Taylor.
In ninth grade, when I was 15 years old I was riding a quarterpipe in my friend’s backyard with a couple other riders. Brock Gomez mentioned how his dad always called people funny nicknames (his dad still calls him “Willy” to this day), so he had always wanted to give someone a nickname that stuck. I was the newest in the circle of friends so everyone, almost instinctively, looked at me as if they all already knew I would be the one to get a nickname. They all fired off one outrageous, meaningless name after another until Brock finally said, “Fat City.” Everyone seemed stoked on that name until Blake Muller came back with, “Fat Tony,” claiming it sounded like a cool mafia name. Since you can’t get much more dorky, white kid sounding than Adam Taylor, they figured a tough mafia name would make me sound cooler. (Key word being “sound,” because obviously I’m still not very cool.)
Brock continued to call me Fat City for a few months until everyone else calling me Fat Tony overpowered his name, and Fat Tony eventually just stuck with me.
How did you get your job at Ride BMX Magazine?
It’s a long story that I have written an entire blog post about. Check it out here…
Do you have any advice for beginner photographers?
Sure…check out these articles below, then after you’ve read them all, if you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email.
– 5 Basic Tips For A Better BMX Photo
– Advice For Aspiring Photographers
– Also, check out my “Behind The Photo” posts for specifics on how certain photos were set up and shot.
What kind of camera do you shoot with?
I use Canon cameras and lenses. If you want to see everything I use to shoot photos and videos with, you can click here for a detailed blog post, complete with photos of all my equipment.
Did you go to college?
Yes, I went to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts with a concentration in graphic design. I took two basic black and white photography classes, but other than that, all of my photography skills were self-taught.
In most cases, with professional photography and the BMX industry, a college degree isn’t a requirement, and college certainly isn’t for everyone. However, the four and a half years I spent in college really helped me out a lot, and I’m glad I went. Not only did I learn a ton in my classes, but that time allowed me to grow work towards my goals without the pressure of “being in the real world” and having to have a “real job.”
Do you ride BMX?
Absolutely. I don’t think anyone can truly be a BMX photographer without first being a BMX rider. (Which is part of the reason I’ll never try to shoot other sports like skateboarding or surfing.) I’ve been riding BMX for as long as I can remember—since first or second grade. However, I didn’t get really serious about it until around junior high school. In ninth grade I raced for about a year, and I’ve always ridden dirt, street, flatland, and ramps. I’ve never been great at any particular type of riding, and have never been anywhere close to being a “pro rider,” but as I always say…that’s why I’m on my side of the lens.
Click here to see the different BMX video parts I’ve put together with my riding over the years.
Click here to read an article I had published in a Japanese magazine about how I got introduced to BMX.
What kind of bike do you ride?
Right now I have a Fly Pantera that I use for riding street, park, and dirt, a Colony Cube for flatland, and a Supercross to pedal around the beach path with and bring to the racetrack.
Click here to see a full bike check of my Fly setup.
Click here to see a full bike check of my Colony setup.
If you want to see any of the other bikes I’ve had over the years, check out this blog post.
You seem to talk about Africa a lot… Why is that?
In December of 2010 I rather blindly took a two-week trip to East Africa with a good friend of mine named Lindsay Matush. The journey changed my life forever, and when I came back I wanted to share my stories and experiences with as many people as possible.