Fred Mortagne, better known as ‘French Fred’, is a filmmaker and photographer based in Lyon, France.
If you grew up skating around the 2000 era, you will have definitely heard of French Fred. Fred Mortagne is the creative genius behind the first Flip Sorry video. With skaters like Arto Saari, Tom Penny and Geoff Rowley this was for sure a milestone within the skateboarding video days.
Fred grew up skating mainly at the famous Hotel de Ville plaza in Lyon which is where in 1993 he started filming his friends. His main motivation to start filming was to help some of the locals to get sponsors. Only later in 1996 did he decide to start taking pictures with his fathers Nikon camera. He soon realised that taking pictures was quite challenging and that his main interest was still videography. He didn't take any photographs for some years and turned his focus back to creating movies. Only later while filming for the Flip Sorry movies did he get himself a camera to shoot with. He developed a certain connection to architecture which brought a different perspective to skateboarding.
He quickly realised that he noticed things that other people didn't, which gave him the opportunity to create some of the most unique shots in skateboarding photography. Fred believes his love for shooting black and white photos come from his childhood. When he watched the black and white Charlie Chaplin movies on TV, he believed that colours did not actually exist in reality in the early 1900s.
French Fred says: "Everyone has the potential to be a photographer, because we all see the world from our own unique perspective". After 30 years of traveling the world and capturing some of the greatest skateboarders, he decided to go back to his hometown of Lyon. To this day, he still shoots photos down at the HDV plaza!
To see more of Fred Mortagne his work you can check out the links below: