Skinny Waldo - Artist Profile June 14 2016, 0 Comments
Skinny Waldo aka Anthony Antonov is part of a new generation of "internet famous" photographers. Photographers who have no formal training and a keen eye for the absurd. Photographers who often imitate one another, either on purpose or subconsciously... It's a hard pack to stand out in. But Skinny has done just that by casting the most current up-and-comers in heavy flash, heavy party environments. No matter what his method, Antonov has everyone talking... And we're here to listen.
How many warnings has Instagram given you?
They’ve straight up sent me like, 3 warning emails. I’ve heard that you get 3 warnings then they disable your account for a month or something. I have photographer friends who lost their accounts at like 100k. They don’t like it when a woman censors another woman with her own body.
What would you do if you lost @skinnywaldo?
I don’t know man. Make another one. Fuck it.
It seems like all the hot new models follow you. You’re always a common connection with them. Why do you think that is?
Ummm… I dunno. Either the images I take or how open I am about it. It could be anything.
Tell us the story about the weed in the bathtub photo.
I had this promoter friend that I hung out with like every day. We’d just go and hang out with models. One day I had my camera with me and we were supposed to go to Coachella and my buddy was like, “Yo dude, come check this out”. He pulls me into his room and there was like 20 pounds of weed in trash bags. So I asked him, “Can I dump all this weed on a chick?”. So we did all that and then I had the photo. I didn’t do anything with (the photo) for months because I was supposed to have an art show or something. That fell through cuz I cut ties with that promoter. Then the second person who wanted to do something with it, I hadn’t heard from them in months so I thought, “fuck it”, and I posted it on instagram. Then for the next 6 weeks my instagram kept going up. Like, repost, repost, repost. I guess that was the photo that kinda changed the direction my photography was going. That and the waffle photo. If you look back at that waffle photo, I didn’t even tag the girl in it. *Skinny took a long pause here* You know, like, Zeda (Skinny’s Girlfriend). Her agency would have lost their fucking mind.
Do you plan this stuff out or, just how do you make it happen?
It’s more of a friendship you have with the model. Being comfortable with the person to where you can’t be like, “Take your shirt off”. There’s like, two views of it… There’s the, “TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF AND GRAB YOUR TIT”. And the, “Take your shirt off and grab your tit”.
You don’t come off as a creepy weirdo photographer in person.
Tell us about your first camera and how you decided that photography was what you wanted to do with your life.
It all started in high school when I was hurt and couldn’t skate. I started with my friend who had a (Nikon) D60 or something I was just shooting photos of the homies skating. I remember one day I borrowed my friends wireless flashes and went out with Malky. We went to UCSD and I had just finished learning how to set everything up and we were already getting kicked out. Malky yelled from behind security that he was going to go for it and the camera shot three photos. The flashes fired three times. I looked down to the camera and the second photo was perfect. I didn’t even want to show it to him while we were there. I said, “I need to upload this. I need to put this on a computer”. That was the first photo I ever shot that I said, “I don’t need to do anything to this.” Thats when I started using the flash a lot .
The flash is definitely your signature look.
The whole flash thing does create my style of photos. Bright and hot chicks and random ideas. I’ll take notes in my phone when I think of something. Then I’ll reach out to someone who’s DM’d me to shoot. It works out probably 90% of the time. It was like that whole Fruity Pebbles photo…
Did you ever see that meme with the super raunchy chicks in weird poses? It said something like, “What they got ya’ll girls out here doing’?” One of the photos in it was a chick in a Fruity Pebble bath…
Uhhhh, no. I mean I really don’t give a fuck. Everyone’s gonna have their opinion and everyone is going to judge.
You do have people talking about you, that’s for sure.
You know, just cancel it out. Do my own thing. Obviously it’s working. I don’t know man. People ask me all the time, “Why don’t you come home more, why don’t you come home more?”. I don’t need to. I got whats going on up in LA for me. People want to talk a lot of shit on LA. Obviously it’s working in some way. You got an issue with it, fuck off. I’ve cut ties with a lot of people. I’ve got a lot of people who I haven’t talked to in years cuz of my history getting fucked up. They’re all hitting me up all of a sudden because of followers..? Like, all of a sudden because I’m doing something now..? You’re going to try and be my friend again because of instagram?
Your longtime girlfriend is Zeda. A pretty well known model. It seems like it’s you and her against the world. Some real Bonnie and Clyde type shit.
That’s straight up how it is. We’ve always been like that.
What do you say to the people that say, “He’s only where he’s at cuz he has a model for a girlfriend”?
I mean yeah I’ve heard that. It’s been said to me before. It could have been the spark to things. That model isn’t the one pushing the trigger. That model isn’t the one coming up with the ideas or putting the settings in on my camera. She may have opened the door but she isn’t the one who had to put herself out there reaching out to other girls. I mean, it goes so far back. Half the people don’t even know that I was the one that put the idea in her head to go up to LA and try open castings. We basically have always just pushed and supported each other. We’re at where we’re at because of each others support.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
That’s what it all comes down to man. Helping each other out. Helping other photographers meet girls. Helping girls meet new photographers. That’s how it works. For someone who just picked up a camera and just started shooting and has like 100 followers on instagram… Reaching out to models and actually getting a response is almost impossible. Having more followers is gonna help that.
The question is, what do you do with Instagram fame? What value is in it for you?
It opens doors man. It takes you places. I’m going to some pool party in Palm Springs this weekend because I was invited by an agency on Instagram. Of course I’m going. I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t have it.
You got anything to close it out with? Last words or thanks?
Pretty much my chick and the people that have been pushing me. You guys at Good Worth for having my back. All my old and new friends. It’s like, I do have support from a lot of people I grew up with… I’m just gonna stick with doing what I’m going to do.
We can dig that! Cheers Skinny!
To see more of Anthony's work make sure to follow @skinnywaldo on instagram.