Tom, Hawaiian surfer
I wanted to talk more about my new project: Surfers. As I said in my previous post I’m working on a series of portraits of surfers, mostly in California. This is not the usual tribute to pro surfers, or to the cool surfing spots in the world, or to the surf lifestyle, which is beautiful, of course, but not always true.
Surf is a lot more. And this project is my tribute to this MORE. Surf is made of real people, like you and me, who share the same passion. This passion makes them wake up in the early morning, maybe on a cloudy day, in winter, and drive two hours to get to the right spot. It’s very different from the idealized sunny day, where the water is warm and the girls are pretty. Most waters in California are cold, especially considering that winter is the best season for surf. So you have to wear your wetsuit, and maybe you can consider the water to not be “that cold” (I still can’t). Anyway, these people make a lot of sacrifices to fulfill their passion. For these reasons I’ve decided to do these series of portraits with a different style from my own, which is usually clean and polished. I wanted to be able to show the realness of these people. So, to capture it, I had to shoot them when they just came out of the water. I wanted to get the EXPERIENCE they had that day, surfing. If anybody of you have ever surfed, then you must know that the experience stays alive for a couple of hours after it: it’s a feeling of peace and accomplishment, that I’ve only experienced when surfing or swimming. There something magical in being in the water for long, the mind gets clear, and everything vanishes.
This is what I wanted to capture.
So, this is how I met Tom, from Hawaii, where the water is really warm compared to here. I’ve seen him coming out of the water, and I rushed to stop him. We started chatting. He was visiting a friend, and on this cloudy morning, he decided to grab a wetsuit and a surfboard, and went to Emma Wood beach, close to Ventura. There’s something really cool in his story, in the fact that even if he was travelling outside of his country, he decided to go surfing, alone.
That was the moment. Can I take a few portraits of you, Tom?
Tom, Hawaiian surfer
P:S. In the next weeks I’m going to post more photos from this project, and I’ll also go out shooting again, stay tuned.