Where are you from originally?
I was born in Laguna Beach, CA, and raised just a few miles inland from there.
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography as a way to ease the pain of not being able to surf, after a series of knee injuries sidelined me from surfing for much of my twenties.
What is the inspiration behind your photography?
I’m continually inspired by the people I meet, and the places I am fortunate enough to visit, though my photography. Life is all about experiences and relationships.
You shoot a lot of different subjects, which is your favorite and why?
Landscapes are my favorite things to shoot, because in order to shoot a landscape, I have to be there, not just an observer, but an active participant. Soaking in the atmosphere, feeling the wind on my face, listening to the bird song, hiking or climbing to find my desired angle...it can be an immersive and zenful experience, and one of the things I treasure most about photography.
Where did you learn to surf?
I learned to surf at San Clemente Pier, in the Junior Lifeguard program. Most of the time, the pier is a dumpy closeout, so it's not the best wave to learn on. In Jr. Guards, there were always more kids that wanted to surf than there were (good) surfboards, so they had a no-leash policy. If you lost your board to the beach, someone waiting for a board could grab it and paddle out. So I think that helped to teach us a bit of board control, and taught us to fend for ourselves in and around the ocean.
Wave to surf:
The White Buffalo
Live for today, because there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
Place to travel to:
Anywhere hot and humid
Means of Transportation:
My trusty Tacoma
A hearty salad. Mexican food. And BBQ.
What is the future looking like?
Epic dad-ventures with my two daughters, surfing till I’m old, and staying creative though photography and art.
Any cool projects we should check out?
In addition to working on a variety of freelance photography projects, I’m also the Assistant Photo Editor of The Surfer’s Journal. For many years, it has been my favorite surf publication, so to work there as part of the team is truly amazing.
Where do you live now?/ Is it RAD? Why or why not?
I live in South Orange County, a bit further from the beach than I would like, but in a great spot for kids and families. So it’s rad in that sense.
Shawn Parkin Website HERE