Where do you look for inspiration?
Surfing. When I see the surfers I shoot push themselves, it inspires me to do the same through my photography. If they’re taking risks and looking for a new approach, I should be too. Even when I’m out surfing myself, there’s so many moments that I wish I had had a camera for. It drives me to document creatively.
Describe one of your most challenging moments shooting.
Swimming in 6 degree (Celsius) water in the dead of winter for around 4 hours. 30+ minute waits between sets, and I was sitting in the channel listening to the sound of my own teeth chattering. I lost the feeling in my hands so I couldn’t feel my finger pushing the trigger anymore. When I came in, I blacked out. I came to when Josh Mulcoy yelled out “You’re gnarly!” as he walked up the beach.
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done for a shot?
I put on the wrong booties and swam out at this slab up the coast. It was a really long walk from camp, and the second I started swimming I knew I was in trouble. The fins were gripping my arches so hard that the pain screamed through my foot every time I kicked. But the waves were pumping, and I somehow ended up staying out for 3 hours. By the time I got to shore, I took off my fins and booties and just laid there. I was limping for the rest of the trip.
What keeps you motivated/ excited about life?
Traveling - I’m actually such a homebody, but I still really want to explore more of the world and all the waves they have to offer. I just got back from Portugal and Hawaii this past month, but I’m already excited to plan my next trip.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned since you started photography?
That it’s not about what equipment you have. It’s hard to keep up with technology and how fast it’s advancing, for a while it always seemed like I was a step behind in what gear I “should” have. Whatever you’ve got, it’s all about how you use it and how your eye sees through it.
Describe your favourite part of the world (aside from home) and tell us why.
Europe, probably because I’m half-Italian. France especially (don’t tell my dad) the food, people and culture there is incredible. I found that everything is a little more laid back and more calm than North America, but there way of living is so far advanced. We could learn a thing or two from them.
Who is one of your favourite people to work with and why?
Pete Devries. His work ethic is undeniable and he’s always down to shoot something. The great thing about working with him is that he always tries to see things from a photographer's perspective. Whether conditions are good for swimming, the light, or what he should be doing on a wave depending on the angle, he’s always on top of it.
What’s your favourite photo (ever / at the moment) and why?
The cliche answer is: my next photo. But if I had to pick one that really stands out it would be ‘Imitation Game’ - it’s one of those photos you can never re-create, just all about being at the right place at the right time. That is an aspect of photography I’ve always loved. There was a juvenile bald eagle eating a dead sea lion with a bunch of crows and ravens. Something must have spooked them because they took off flying along the shoreline, in perfect synchronization.
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who stayed humble and hustled hard.