Hamish Lawson

My name is Hamish Lawson, I’m 20 years old and currently a student in the UK. I started learning to surf a year ago in Sri-Lanka, before that I had been a keen swimmer; introduced to a number of water sports by my parents; dabbled briefly with sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and body boarding on holidays to the coast. My passion for photography came alongside a passion for travel, starting when I was 16 and spent a month travelling around Brazil. Following that I have kept taking pictures of everything, always taking my camera on hiking trips or to skate parks and now surf trips and experimenting with different styles and editing. I love to document what I’m doing and where I go and love having a record for myself and others to look back on.

 

How did you get into Surf photography? I booked a trip to Sri-Lanka just before my 19th birthday, and spent 2 weeks teaching myself to surf in the south of the island, aided by the other surfers in the guest houses there. I wasn’t able to surf during the day however because I was two pale from a UK winter and would burn, so spent the morning and afternoon surfing and afternoons sitting out the back of my guest house photographing the guys surfing on the harder breaks. It just became something that I did when I couldn’t surf. Later that year I spent a month in Hossegor and Seignosse doing the same. Then in September I moved to Swansea in the UK and was finally living close to waves. I enjoy being in the water taking pictures on a good day as much as I do surfing, so I mix and match depending on what’s best for me.

Where’s your favourite place to shoot? That’s difficult because I haven’t been to that many places. It’s really fun when there’s a load of people I know in the water, cause then it can be quite social, and I love letting someone know when I get a great shot; ‘German Right’ in Fuertaventura was great fun for that reason. On the other hand, shooting ‘The Bubble’ in Fuertaventura was epic as well, because I’d never been around that kind of wave before, and I had adrenaline firing the whole time because it was a really heavy wave and I kept daring myself to get into better positions. I still love Sri Lanka though, it’s just an incredibly cool place.

Which is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken? That’s another really hard question for me because my style and photo’s really depend on the mood of the place or the session, so they’re all different, if you look through my photos of different trips, it’s hard to identify a specific style. I guess my favourite photo would have to capture the mood and how I felt at the time perfectly, it’s not so much about the technically perfect picture, but the feeling of the image and the emotion it reproduces. I guess it would have to be the one from Seignosse. It’s a lifestyle picture, and captures this perfectly sombre wistful mood, the sea and the girl just seem so connected and I think all the different facets of the picture compliment each other, I was so lucky that everything came together. This photo means a lot to me because I feel I really captured just the right feeling of a moment that means a lot to me.

Favourite surfer to shoot? Well they’re aren’t many surfers I consistently shoot with, so I guess it would have to be two friends from university Matt and Rosie. Without them my surf photography would never have been possible, because without a car I’m dependant on lifts to the waves and they’ve been so kind with the opportunities they’ve given me. That’s what surf sessions are to me, those two rattling up in their van, me hopping in and heading out the Gower, they’re really great creative people and have really interesting ideas about what surfing is and what it means to them, so I try and capture that. Matt has a really cool style to his surfing to.

A past surf trip? I guess I have to talk about Fuertaventura. That’s really been my only pure surfing trip. I got invited along by the University surf club to photograph the whole trip and produce a video and we scored so well with the waves. The canaries had been getting pumping waves for months and we were there at the best of it. That trip really allowed me to advance my photography substantially, and I was introduced to completely new conditions and waves on a whole other level to what I was used to seeing. Plus we were there with 30 of our mates so that meant big party surfs and big parties in the evening, it was pretty ridiculous to be honest but a lot of fun.

Instagram: Heymish96         Website: www.hamishlawsonthegoodstuff.com

Matthew Burtwell

My name is Matthew Burtwell, I’m 26 years old and from Cornwall, England. I’ve grown up in the South West on the Lizard Peninsula and living on the coast my whole life I have naturally developed an interest and passion for the ocean from a young age. Swimming turned to snorkeling and now I’m an active scuba diver and love spending my spare time in the sea. I studied Marine Science at Falmouth University and since leaving my main interest has been in photography, particularly from the air. Two years ago I started Aerial Cornwall, focusing on photography and filming around the coast of Cornwall and producing a new perspective of a very photogenic county.

 

How did you get into surf photography? I’ve always enjoyed watching surf whether it’s an empty wave or a surfer. After I started to fly drones I thought what better way to document surfing than to take to the sky. It’s a unique angle and surf looks amazing from above. I film a lot around the coast of Cornwall and filming surf is definitely my favourite thing to do.

Where’s your favourite place to shoot? It’s hard to say as Cornwall changes so much along each coast. But if I had to choose then it would be the golden sandy beaches along the north coast. Watergate Bay, Crantock, Fistral. But I also love the hidden coves and ruggedness in the far west. Porthcurno is a place that really stands out with its clear water and huge rock formations along the cliffs; it’s an epic place!

Which is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken? So far my favourite photograph is of Porthleven. It was a big winter swell, clean waves and light offshore winds. The wind is always a struggle to get right for flying so this was as good as it gets, everything came into place. I can’t wait for more big days like this.

 

Favourite surfer to shoot? I would say Alan Stokes; he’s quick, agile and puts on a great show! His aerials and turns look great from the air, and he’s almost too quick for the drone… almost. He’s a super chilled guy and very knowledgeable about what he’s riding to make sure he’s got the right tool for the job. Alan surfs all year round at home here in Cornwall and heads abroad a lot too. I hope to work with him again soon.

 


Website: www.AerialCornwall.com             Instagram: @AerialCornwall


 
 

Nicole Cooper

Nicole Cooper

Nicole Cooper

My name is Nicole Cooper, I am 19 years old and am fortunate enough to have been born and raised in the beautiful San Diego, California with so many photographic opportunities for me to explore. Currently a student at San Diego Mesa Community College which fortunately is so close to the beach that I venture there to shootd the surf in between classes. The ocean is my home and I try to capture it in all its beauty in my photography. When I’m not at the beach, you can find me hiking or at home hanging out with my dog, Salty, who also loves jumping in the ocean.

I view photography as a way to capture moments and communicate emotions. I love capturing images that make people think and feel. My goal is to have everyone who sees my photographs be inspired to go out, explore and appreciate the world we live in at least a little bit more.

How did you get into photography? From all the time I've spent growing up at the beach I've tried surfing and after many attempts I figured out that surfing isn't exactly for me, but capturing the stoke of the surfers around me is. I have always been fascinated by photography and the power images can hold as well as the power of the ocean.

Where is your favorite place to shoot? I have two favorite spots to shoot. The first is practically my backyard and that's pacific beach. I love getting out on the pier and being close enough to the surfers to practically talk to them. I also love shooting here because it is a relaxed place and everyone is always so positive, happy and friendly, you can really interact with the surfers. My second favorite place to shoot is a bit further and that's Cardiff beach. I love shooting here because I can get great angles and everyone really goes after it.

Favorite photograph taken? I don't have a favorite photograph because it's always changing. The photographs are always so different especially between different surfers. I can find something good in just about every photo; even wipe outs are interesting to me because it's a part of the progression of a surfer.

Favorite surfer to shoot? I couldn't choose just one in particular, I love change and being challenged so I guess you could say my favorite is the surfer I haven't photographed yet.

Favorite Surf trip? I did take a road trip all the way up to San Francisco the summer of 2015, and seeing the polarity from the surfers in my hometown and the surfers in San Francisco was really interesting. I love traveling and can't wait to explore more!

Instagram; @nicpicx

Michael Owen Jones

Michael Owen Jones

Michael Owen Jones

Currently an American transplant in Australia, it feels like I live on a never ending surf trip. I’m originally from the Bay Area in California and eventually ended up in Florida. Taking photos of action sports and building websites became a passion, and eventually led me to the University of North Florida. I graduated with a Bachelor of Graphic Design & Digital Media in 2011, and straight after graduation I left for a “gap year” in Australia to go see the Quicksilver Pro in Coolangatta. 5 years later I’m still here running Tides Creative, a marketing & media company based in Byron Bay.

 

How did you get into surf photography? I grew up around some very talented surfers, skaters and skim boarders so I started taking my parent’s camera to the beach and posting photos on a crappy AngelFire website.

Where’s your favourite place to shoot? Fiji without a doubt. I’ve only been twice, but the clarity of the water breaking over 2 feet of water on razor sharp reef makes for dramatic photos. Cloudbreak and Restaurants are just insane waves to surf and to photograph.

Parko celebrating in Snapper Rocks parking lot!

Parko celebrating in Snapper Rocks parking lot!

Which is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken? When Joel Parkinson won the 2012, he decided to throw a huge party in the Snapper Rocks parking lot. This photo captures the emotion of Joel ending his title of “the best surfer to never win a world title”. Here is that moment, Parko crowd surfing with the ASP World Title trophy while Wolfmother rocks out.

Favourite surfer to shoot? That would have to be Mick Fanning, he is always out and he surfs so fast that he draws completely different lines from everyone else in the ocean.

A past Surf trip? If I had to pick one, it would have to be my first trip to Fiji. All my friends had excuses and so I went solo. I ended up scoring perfect Cloudbreak 10 days in a row and made some new friends with people from all over the world. Travelling by yourself forces you to be friendly and step out of your comfort zone.

Website: https://ridethetides.com                Instagram: @RideTheTides

 
 

Joel Sharpe

Joel Sharpe

Joel Sharpe

 I’m a 28 years old from Melbourne, Australia. I studied Film and Television and have spent the last 10 years travelling at every possible opportunity. I’ve spent the past 3 years in Central America making a feature length surf documentary and taking photos along the way.

 

How did you get into surf photography? My passion for surf photography grew out of a love for filmmaking and surfing. I’ve always made films but never really took photos until filmmaking became more of an occupation. Photography started to interest me because it was another reason to be in the water and it forced me to dig for inspiration and capture something interesting with every frame. I like the way it makes you focus on every beautiful detail out in the water.

Where is your favourite place to shoot? My favourite place to shoot is Salsa Brava in the caribbean of Costa Rica.

What is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken? This barrel has to be my favourite because I took it on one of those days that don’t really look like much. My expectations were low but I went out and had a bit of fun, then the light became really nice and the wind went a little offshore and suddenly I had this shot. To me the shape and clarity of the image is just so beautiful. It just simply makes me fall in love with surfing again and again.

Favourite surfer to shoot? My favourite surfer to shoot is Juan Hernandez of El Salvador. He rides a boogie board standing up on his feet and he shreds super hard. Plus he’s a really chill guy and super happy to be in the water. I made a film about him which you can see here below

 

A past surf Trip? Probably the craziest place I’ve ever shot was at Puerto Escondido, Mexico. I got Dengue Fever upon arrival, which knocked me out for a couple of weeks. The worst was trying to swim out with my camera after I had recovered. I probably didn’t quite have my strength back and those waves were brutal.

 
 

Neil Purdy

Neil Purdy, Cornwall, UK

Neil Purdy, Cornwall, UK

I am a photographer and an environmentally friendly beach artist based in Newquay, Cornwall UK.  I live close to good quality surfing breaks including Fistral Beach, the home of British surfing.  

The BBC and ITV have both used a number of my photographs in news reports and I also promote my work through social media.

 

How did you get into surf photography? I was born in London and moved to the south coast when I was 12 years old and have resided by the sea ever since and will never leave its side.  I've been living in Newquay for the past 3 years and rain or shine I'm on the beach every day either collecting materials for my art works, surfing or photographing surfers.

The Newquay Harbour Wall Jump

The Newquay Harbour Wall Jump

My Favourite Place to Shoot? The Cribbar, Newquay, Cornwall.  Although its a rarely seen wave the Cribbar wave can be found when certain Atlantic swell conditions are right, at the north end of Fistral Beach approximately half mile off shore.  Only occurring a few times a year the Cribbar waves can reach heights of 20 to 30 foot.  According to surfing folklore it was first surfed in 1966 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  

My Favourite Photo? The Newquay Harbour wall jumper would have to be my favourite photograph to date, not many surfers jump but there are a few that do.  I know my best picture is still out there!!

What else motivates you to take great photography? I use my photographs and artwork to promote UK surfing and have been featured by several charities such as Surfers Against Sewage and Fistral Beach Clean in local and national press.

 
 

Bobby Schaub

Bobby Schaub

Bobby Schaub

Born in Cheese land...Wisconsin, living in Southern California, I am a surf photographer, but first and for most a Surfing Fan.  I spend my weekdays working with students with special needs and when the bell rings I am out at my favorite surf spots looking for those moments to capture.  I was trained as a classic painter and fine arts artist at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  With my training I focus to incorporate those classic elements into my surf photography.  I like to use depth of field and light along with various shutter speeds to add life to the surfers I photograph.   

 

How did you get into surf Photography?  I got into surf photography several years ago when visiting San Diego, probably 2011.  I caught the surf photography bug immediately and have never looked back.  I am a fan of all styles of photography and I try to challenge myself to try a different technique each time. Surf photography allows me the subject matter and setting to take these chances.  Pass or fail I make the most of each time I am out.  My focus is on the body language of the surfers I shoot.  I try to position myself where no body else is to try to separate my images from the rest.  I prefer shooting from the shore, but my goal this year is to work from the water as well.

Where is your favorite place to shoot?  I enjoy both San Diego County and Orange County.  Oceanside has some great sandbars and surfers.  Salt Creek always has amazing waves and talent.  Both places are close by and never disappoint.  I am always learning about other spots, but SD and OC really have a wide range of conditions and talent that have kept me busy daily. 

Tilor McGinty's front side air

Tilor McGinty's front side air

Which is your favorite photograph you've ever taken?  That's a hard question, why not ask me what's my favorite Beatles song!! 

My favorite photo is of my friend Tilor McGinty surfing a stellar sunset session swell in Oceanside, CA.  The light was gone but the afterglow from the sun and the cool blues of the water enhanced the moment when Tilor defied gravity, launching into a beautiful front side air.   

Favorite surfer to shoot?  My favorite surfer to shoot is Tilor McGinty.  He has a simplicity to his style.  He was the first surfer that I witnessed being one with his board and the ocean.  I look forward to watching him surf.  His fluid connection with his board is art in itself.  He can grab mass air or carve a turn with such ease that he makes surfing look easy. 

A past surf trip?  traveling to my wife's homeland of Japan.  Surfing is huge in Japan and seeing Shonan, Kamakura a popular surf spot going off blew my mind.  Not only were the surfers and waves amazing the backdrop of Mt Fuji made that trip unearthly.  I can't wait to go back for years to come.

 

Website: http://thesurfiety.link/BobbySchaubPhotography

Instagram:@bobbyschaub_photography

 
 

Jakob Gjerluff Ager

Jakob Gjerluff Ager

Jakob Gjerluff Ager

My name is Jakob Gjerluff Ager, I am 24 years old and from Denmark. I grew up on the danish west coast, surfing and sailing, spending more time on the water, than at home. From an early age I got into instructing, teaching in the local sailing club. Then after I finished college I quickly moved to Norway to live out a life long dream of living in the mountains and skiing every day. I joined the Norwegian skiing Academy and got a job in the mountain town of Trysil, eastern Norway, where a one-season idea became a 5 year life based around skiing, river kayaking, hiking and the all round mountain lifestyle. During these years of teaching and guiding, I developed my photography as a way of expressing my passion.

I felt a need to tell and inspire people about all these magical things we can experience if we step outside our comfort zone and seek out adventure. It does not have to be a 10,000 dollar trip to a far away corner of earth, as I often find my best adventures are never that far from home. 

 

How did you get into surf photography? Surf photography was really a natural path for me to follow. Growing up on the coast, surfing and sailing really shaped me as a person and the ocean will always be one of the places i feel most at home. I have a lot of friends in the local community at my hometown, Ringkøbing, and through my work im getting new friendships and contacts all along the coasts of Denmark, and now more and more of Scandinavia - it is just great. 

Where’s your favourite place to shoot? Ohh it is hard to say, i like to keep my shoots different. I love Canada though, my girlfriend lives there, so i go often. Canada is Denmark and Norway on steroids. The same cold climate, the same nature - just different. I in love with the people there and the whole atmosphere. I blends perfectly into my style of photography and passion for skiing, cold water surfing, the outdoors and so on. 

Jakob's breathtaking shot in the Lofoten Islands

Jakob's breathtaking shot in the Lofoten Islands

Which is your favourite photograph you’ve ever taken? My absolute favorite shot was one i took a year ago. I only first got into the work of famous Chris Burkard a little more than a year ago and he has done some amazing shoots at the Lofoten islands in northern Norway. Last winter i found my self in that area, and luckily i stumbled upon some swedish surfers who new the place, and could take me to the exact spot of my favorite picture from Burkards trip. A couple of days later we where there, conditions were mind-blowing and the guys suited up. We stayed there for 5 hours, in freezing conditions, and i got my version of that picture to hang on the wall. It would later kick start my whole career and inspire me to continue - i am not sure where i would be today if it were not for that session. 

Favourite surfer to shoot? My favorite surfer to shoot is defiantly Pontus Hallin from Sweden. He is by far the most stoked, heartwarming person i have ever met! He is out of this world. Every surfer in the cold water society in Scandinavia knows him. He has this vibes around him that no one can resist. The first time i met him was in the world smallest car where we packed 5 guys and 4 surfboards on icy roads. He talked for an hour about how he loved the carpet on the insides of the car - too great, to stoked - cant wait to hang out with him again! 

A past Surf trip? I really have not been on too many pure surfing trips. Other than Norway and Denmark i have surfed in Sweden, Peru  and Australia. My favorite trip is still my trip to the Lofoten islands i mentioned earlier. We sailed the island for 5 days on the “Skydancer” - a 72 foot sailboat captained by the danish viking Nick and his norwegian wife Turril. We skied some of the most amazing terrain on this planet and surfed some of the most rough shoreline i have ever seen. It is impossible to plan anything up there, do to the atlantic winds changing the weather constantly. You are really in the arms of mother nature - and that is really one of the most inspiring places to be! If you go there, be sure to stay the Lofoten ski lodge - some old fisherman's cabins right by the water. They have the best accommodation, great food and the best staff and guides you could ever ask for.

Instagram: @gjerluff

 
 

Mitch 'Waxbeard' LaFleur

  Born in Florida, living in New Jersey, I am a surf photographer with a coffee habit. Capturing the surfing lifestyle is how I spend my days with my nights spent working as a registered nurse in the emergency department. Growing up on and photographing along the East Coast there are plenty of days when the waves aren't firing and so my style has evolved into a more artistic representation of the surfing lifestyle.

In using a more artistic approach, you'll notice that many of my photo's are black & white, abstract feeling, or have unique angles and lighting. I prefer to be shooting from the water, which I believe creates a connection with the viewer that many photo's from land just can't accomplish. And yes, it is VERY cold swimming around in the 38 degree water during a New Jersey winter.  

When the waves go flat I can be found exploring the inter-coastal waterway's on my stand up paddleboard, perfecting the peanut butter to jelly ratio of my infamous triple decker PB&J sandwich, and riding my beach cruiser on the boardwalk at sunrise. I am lucky to have a beautiful & supportive wife, Jamie, who is a talented portrait photographer (check her out at Jamie LaFleur Photography) and two labradoodle dogs, Sadie & Oakley. 

 

How did you get into surf photography? I began shooting surf photography in college on an unofficial basis. My days were spent as an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard so I was on the beach constantly and when talking to surfers I would always hear the same thing: “I just got the best wave of my life and there was nobody here to get the shot”. Thus, I figured, I could be the guy to get the shot. So for years I sort of did the photography thing as a hobby, and it wasn’t until I met my amazing photographer wife, Jamie, that I began taking my passion for surf photography more serious. 

Where’s your favorite place to shoot? Although I haven’t traveled extensively due to my academic endeavors, my favorite place would have to be Oahu, Hawaii. The brilliant colors and unique ocean environment provides endless fodder for photography. My second favorite place to shoot is my home state, New Jersey. There are a bunch of great breaks, most of which start firing during the fall and winter months. Although cold and with less of the natural beauty, the breaks are less crowded and most of the time it’s just a group of friends trading waves and getting shots.   

Which is your favorite photograph you’ve ever taken? My favorite photo was of a friend Sean Taylor as he was paddling back out into the lineup. I remember him stopping to talk for a few seconds about the wave he just caught, and as he began to paddle I snapped a photo. The water flow off his gloved hand made for the perfect artistic visual of fluid motion.

Favorite surfer to shoot? My favorite surfer to shoot is a local guy by the name of Kevin Dewald @surfer_dewald. He is a performance longboarder with endless amounts of stoke. 

A past Surf trip? One of my favorite surf trips was to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire when I was in college. It was early October and we heard the waves would be firing, so we packed the truck and headed north. The reports were spot on and the waves were head high, long period, and peeling. There were only about 10 guys out -because the water was already down in the 50’s- and we just traded waves all day. 

Website: www.Waxbeardimages.com         Instagram: @waxbeardimages