I have been involved in love triangles before, mostly to do with men or what I want for lunch, but never have I experienced a dilemma quite like this. You see, surfing and surf photography have seeped deep into my heart and I absolutely can’t choose what I love more.
Balance is something I have always struggled with, but now it almost seems impossible. As I invest more of my time in surf and water photography, I find myself struggling to find enough time to get all the shots I dream of and all the waves that keep me inspired.
Don’t get me wrong—when I have my camera in my hands is still when I feel most alive. But, when I am looking through my lens, I am often detached from the people, landscape and beauty around me. Thinking in pictures, unfortunately, can prevent me from really living in the moment.
After nearly a year of taking as much time as possible to shoot, I cannot tell you how much of a dream come true it is to have the opportunity to express my love for the ocean and the sport I love through art. And although this is true, I love surfing too, since it is the reason I got involved in surf photography.
It always confuses people when they find out that I have traveled to over 40 countries, often without any professional camera gear. I need to make this very clear—I don’t bring my camera because I don’t love taking photos, I leave it at home because I love it too much. I have learned and been reminded by close friends and family that when I have a camera in my hands, I become hyper focused—only paying attention to what the light is doing, what I could shoot next and always waiting for the next explosion of emotion from a subject.
So, this spring, I went to Indonesia and Sri Lanka without my camera gear—only bringing my phone, for practical reasons, and my polaroid camera, with a limited amount of film. I left all my expensive gear at home, making my backpack load much lighter and allowing myself to travel carefree on sketchy public transit, without having to worry. I needed time where my surfboard was the only thing I had to reach for when the waves looked perfect, and I didn’t even need to think about it.
The best thing about giving myself the time I need in the ocean to express myself in different ways is that I left Asia feeling fulfilled and satisfied, completely re-inspired.
I left Asia craving my camera in the way you crave the embrace of a lover you haven’t seen in months.