INTERVIEW WITH SAM BREEZE, CORNISH SURF PHOTOGRAPHER
BY STANLEY MORRIS
Bio: Sam Breeze, age 22, from Penzance, Cornwall.
Profession: Surf Photographer.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile: 07506925451)
Photo: Sam Breeze. Caption: ‘Huge air from Seb, during winter at Sennen.’
Sam Breeze, 22, the Cornish surf photographer speaks exclusively to Stanley Morris. Sharing what he loves about his work, how he got started, and how you can make a name for yourself across the surf industry.
What initially got you interested in surf photography?
I started off shooting surf at home with my friend Seb Smart back in winter 2013, he’s a good friend and pretty well known in Europe with all of the surf magazines and companies. Seb was planning on doing a three or four month stint that coming January and suggested I come with him. So I went with him and spent the next 4 months shooting video out in Bali and South Sumatra, and I made a couple of videos that were quite popular at the time. And have been doing it since…
What was your first commercial surf work? What was your first piece of work you got paid for?
The first time I got properly paid for anything was just after I got home from Indo in May 2014. We went to a bit of a secret spot on quite a big day; it was one of the first surf shots I took. Seb did a massive, massive air in front of some crazy looking cliffs in about 1 foot of water! And it scored a double page, I was fucking chuffed when it out!
For you, what is it about surf photography that you love?
I think one of my favourite things is that no session is the same. The waves, the light, the style of surfing, are always different. I like working with Seb because he doesn’t just stick to doing the same manoeuvres, every session he does something different and new. Which stops your shots becoming stale and keeps people interested in your work.
Photo: Sam Breeze. Caption: ‘A clear day in winter, 2015′
My favourite place in the world to film is at home, in West Cornwall. During a clear day in winter, the sun sits real low all day and on the south coast, it backlights the waves and turns them mental greens and blues. I found that out in Australia and Indo the only time to shoot would be at sunrise, the rest of the day would be way too hazy.
Do you have any tips for young aspiring surf photographers?
I would say, like anything, just keep at it, try and find out if there are any pro or sponsored surfers in the area and find out where they are going. Try and make friends with them and just keep sending out and producing content. Keep your name on the tip of everybody’s tongue when they think about surfing.
Photo: Sam Breeze. Caption: ‘Backlit summer shore break’
What issues have you been faced with during your career? Are there any harsh truths in the surf industry you’ve had to learn the hard way?
I think one issue, not just with surfing but also with other sports and the creative industry, is that there will always be somebody who will do your job for free. Which is tricky if you want to make a living out of shooting surf. Especially in this country where surfing isn’t as big as in Australia/USA, I don’t really think there will ever be a way around that, unless you make a solid bond with a company. People always want something for nothing and sometimes they think because you’re having fun, it’s not really work. But I think one thing that you should always remember is that it’s not always about money, otherwise it might stop being fun and it will become a chore.
What kit are you using at the minute?
I’m currently shooting on a Canon 7D mk2 with a 300mm prime and a 24-70L. I’m also using an Atomos ninja star recorder for when I shoot video.
Are there any projects you are currently lining up? Are you off anywhere to film in the coming year?
I’m hopefully going to be going out to Sumatra again in February, and I’m always shooting new stuff at home, both stills and video, but nothing commercial planned. Just havin’ a bit of fun.