Saturday, February 20, 2010

Christina Shook - Photographer and Author of Chicks on Bikes

Christina Shook is one incredible biker chick! She has created an amazing new book called Chicks on Bikes. I hope you enjoy getting to know Christina as much as I have. You've also got to check out Chicks on Bikes and purchase your copy today!

Please give me a bio about yourself....
Hmm a bio…

Well, I live in San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a professional photographer shooting lifestyle photography (my website I have an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. Two little girls 3 and 8 who are the light of my life and a darling supportive husband who is a sound designer for video games. 2 cats, 3 motorcycles.

When did you realize you had a passion for photography?
I got a camera in college and was a journalism major. I quickly found that taking the photos was vastly more fun than the writing aspect.

Are there any photographers that you draw influence from?
Diane Arbus, Joel Peter Witkin, Willliam Eggleston, Weegee, Iriving Penn… oh so many…

When were you first introduced to the motorcycle lifestyle?
When I moved to SF and finally bought my own motorcycle I was instantly biker chick. I wanted to ride all the time and I did. I didn’t have a car for 8 years.

How long have you been riding?
17 years. Yikes that must make me old!

What was your first motorcycle?
A Honda Nighthawk that had electrical problems and I had to push start it 80% of the time. Fortunately I lived on a hill and San Francisco is hilly.

What motorcycle do you currently ride?
1979 BMW R100S, Ducati ST4, Suzuki Bandit 1200

Why did you decide to do a book on women in the motorcycle world?
When I first moved to SF I didn’t know many women. They seemed harder to meet than men. I was studying photography and I love riding my bike. So combining all three interests, I starting shooting women bikers and haven’t stopped since. I feel compelled to photograph the real women bikers I see in part because the media has so absurdly represented us.

What process did you go through when you decided to write Chicks On Bikes?
It started as a documentary project for school. The class ended but I kept meeting and photographing women bikers. I did a portfolio piece after graduating to show art directors of magazines and I wrote little vignettes to go with them. It got a great response particularly with the words.

Tell me about Chicks on Bikes...
Chicks on Bikes is about real women bikers. It embraces and ponders the relationship between women and our machines. Racers, clubs, sisterhood, mechanics, journeys of mind and body, risk… what all these issues mean to women bikers. It’s a photobook at heart with a lot of words. And I hope I’ve captured the spirit of these wonderful women who ride.

If someone would like to purchase your book where can they find it?
One place only! Go to this link, Chicks on Bikes and I’ll send you a signed copy with love.

Is your work strictly based on the motorcycle lifestyle or do you have other areas that you include in your body of work?
I’m exploring the world of scooters for my next book. It’s a fascinating and distinct culture all of its own. I'll have to get a scooter.

Do you feel that women are finally breaking the glass ceiling in the motorcycle world?
Yes I do. I am particularly proud of what women racers are doing.

Do you feel you are a role model for the women of the motorcycle community?
Only in my avid support for all women motorcyclist to come together and promote the joy and freedom of riding to be acceptable for all women. I think that support of one another is vital. Just like what you're doing Stephanie. There are so many amazing women who have blazed fearless trails in the world of motorcycling.

Who are your role models?
Those women riding in the early days really move me. Like those Hotchkiss ladies riding cross country in 1915. Now that took spirit and guts and a great sense of adventure.

I just read Lois on the Loose and I have to take my hat off to Lois Pryce too.

Do you have any advice for girls and women if they are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
Take a motorcycle safety class and do what feels right for you. Get a bike that fits you and good riding gear.

Do you have any big projects in the works for the future?
I’m still having a great time with Chicks On Bikes. Its opened up so many paths and I’ve met even more amazing people since publishing it.

I’m organizing a mothers day ride here in Nor Cal and would like to try and get others to take their moms for a ride too. Share the passion and the thrill.

What are your other passions beyond motorcycles?
My kids are #1 with me. Also love yoga, leaning to play piano. I’ve been into Twitter and blogging:

Follow me on Twitter: cshookup

My blog:

Is there a motto that you live by?
You mostly regret the things you didn’t do.

If you could change anything about yourself or your life what would it be?
I’d like to live in San Francisco and not the pretty but boring suburb I live in. I’d like to be independently wealthy. And somehow find more time to ride : )

Honestly I feel very fortunate to have work I love, a supportive loving husband, smart happy kids, good heath and live in gorgeous northern California.

Thank you Christina for taking the time for this interview! You are truly a woman that other biker chicks can look up to.


Rob said...

Great Interview! I like biker chicks and think I will get myself copy of that book.

motoroz said...

Looks and sounds like an interesting book.

Ken said...

I must confess, that given two equally beautiful women, and one rode a bike and the other did not, I would find the one who rode twice as attractive ... there's just something about a woman who rides that stirs this man's heart.

Christina Shook said...

Thanks for spreading the good word Iowa Hareley Girl! I particularly like that men comment. Its not just a book for girls, ya know. Come on guys, find out who we really are.

KT Did said...

Hey Steph!
Chistina donated an autograph book to our Annual Panty Ride and everyone went crazy over the pics. (Think you might already know that though...) In any case, as usual, a great interview and keep 'e coming. BTW... hope things are well with you and I have booked my room for Sturgis already... you going? This time we need to have a little day together.

Baron's Life said...

This is a great interviews, I like biker chicks and all chicks... and always like to hear their opinions, feelings, views and their rides both on wheels or otherwise...would love to see the one dealing with Chicks on scooters