A lot of good photographers on the east coast.. i have a few qeustions if any of you guys linger these forums.
Is taking surf pics just a hobbie for you, or is it your career? is it just a side gig, if so how does that work? what type of camera equipment is best for surf photograpghy? any other input is appreciated.
Last edited by staystoked; Mar 5, 2013 at 01:33 PM.
I've been shooting surfing for the past four years and as much as I would like it to be a career it is just a hobbie. A lot of guys sell prints to try to make some money off it either that or its a check here and there from editorials but they don't amount to much unless you are getting published consistently and even that isn't really enough to make a living for most. I think the total amount I've made off surf photography is like $30, $20 from a friend who wanted photos and $10 for a picture published on the internet. For camera equipment it is best to have a camera that can shoot a high frames per second, I use a Canon 60d and get about 6 frames per second. You want either a water housing with a wide angle and mid range lens or from land you want as much zoom as you can afford which can cost anywhere from $300- $10,000.
I post most of my work here if you would like to take a gander, https://www.facebook.com/#!/davenilsenphotography
I'll chime in, even though I'm a bit south of Jersey.
I shoot surfing/bodyboarding as a hobby right now, and I have not delved into shooting from the water yet. I also shoot landscapes and insects, and to me, surfing is the most challenging aspect of my photography. Proper equipment helps, but that said, if you can get your hands on a DSLR (or SLR) that can do at least 4fps and a body that can track AF then you're set. But whatever body you get, you really have to learn the AF system and how it works with whatever lens, and sometimes that can take a bit. If you're shooting from land you can get by with a 180mm lens, but the 300mm range will get you in closer. Lens speed (ie f4,f2.8,etc) doesn't matter so much if you're shooting digital because most cameras can get that extra stop from iso.
iv been thinkin the same thing about jersey photogs.i dont know if these guys charge for their work or they all happen to be on the same beach at the same time.iv been taken pictures for a long time but donnt consider myself anything special.some of them are great,and others are the same as paparazzi.thats what i call them the surf paparazzi.the only thing i dont get,which i see from time to time,is someone who takes pics of jersey pros,and later asks others can they identify this surfer.i seen this 1 bit on the snapt 2 dvd,u can probly find it on youtube.some kook photographer is at lower trestles talkin smack about andy irons.then the surfer asks the cameraman ok whos that right now your taken pictures of?turned out to be dean dingo morrison,photographer had no clue,bet he feels stupid now.the only thing i ask is know who your taken flix of.
and ps. dont get all apeshyt when u see someone repost your pictures on facebook.i see it all the time,oh thats my picture,u didnt give me credit,when in reality its someone like sam hammer finding a pic of himself and some idiot is talkin smack to him over it.who the hell cares
Here is another suggestion that I know some photographers in New England do. I think the website is "Smug Mug" or something like that. I do not know any details on how to get a page or if its free or not.
You take a bunch of pictures of people during a session. Walk around and look for cars with racks or piles of clothes in the back seat and put your business card on the windshields to have them check out their pictures on your website. Post the pictures on your personal page. People will not be able to download the pictures without buying them. People can also opt for purchasing various sized high quality prints, even coffee mugs.
Your not going to get rich on it, but it gets your name out there and people are going to look at your pictures. Some people may buy them too. A family member purchased a photo of me once after I showed the picture to them.
If you enjoy taking surf photos and want people to look at them I think this is a great option.