William Aliotti, shot by me for Monster back end 2014.

This Is Me…

Most websites* have an ‘About Me’ post, especially when said site is for someone who does something creative for a living.

I take photos, write gibberish and film stuff. Generally surfing related.

So. I guess you could call me a creative. Not that I ever would. And I don’t produce content. I abhor that word as it reduces artistic visions and hard work to something that’s only there to generate clicks and stats. I think of myself as more of a tradesman using the correct tools to do a job. An illustrator as opposed to an artist.

I do what I do because I enjoy it. And after many years of sweating at various ridiculous temp jobs including:

  • Prawn cocktail production line operative
  • Deep freeze order picker
  • Bread factory cleaner
  • Large print works supplies manager
  • Tesco warehouse night shift picker
  • Avon rubber engine mount tester
  • Brewery production line bottle pallet mover bloke

I just about make a living doing what I love. Sure all these jobs, whilst fun, were a way to make ends meet to buy gear and more importantly air fares. As being a surf photog is all about experience. The more you shoot and the more places you go the more rounded your vision when it comes to new work.

It’s this love of travel and appreciation of the all-rounder greats of my generation like Grambeau, Morris, Shield, Flindt that I ended up here. I edit Carve magazine in the UK and do shoots for clients like O’Neill, Animal, Fourth Surfboards and C-Skins to name a few. My images have appeared in the Observer, the Times, Daily Mail and more.

I write words, sometimes in the correct order, not always grammatically spot on (grammar rules aren’t rules, they’re suggestions, so feel free to blow them off if it doesn’t suit what you are trying to say … I wouldn’t know a dangling participle if it bit me on the arse (or ass if you is an Americans)) which have appeared all over the shop.

Oli Adams, Ireland, shot for Carve Surfing Magazine.

As for a bio? Well. I gestated in my biological mother in a house perched on the cliff at Watchet in Somerset. So sea air is in my veins. Her family name also has a proud maritime tradition, which seeing as the house is in sight of the harbour makes sense. From there I was adopted and dragged to inland Somerset as a baby. I made my way back to the ocean whenever possible and first rode waves in an inflatable canoe with my brother at seven at Port Eynon on the Gower. From there on I did more growing up and thanks to older friends with cars was in the brine regularly from the age of 15. Did a Geology degree in Aberystwyth, chosen because, whilst inconsistent, there’s epic surf in the town and you can see the ocean from the university. It was here I learnt the dark arts of the dark room and got my first SLR: a Zenit 12XP for £22 from the junk shop below my condemned student house. The camera with which I got my first image published in the national magazine press.

From there on I was meant to do a PhD studying micro-continental collision zones in Greenland but I went around the world for a year surfing and forgot to go back. Turns out people at magazines gave you money for decent pictures and whilst I wasn’t making bank I was making enough for a light bulb to go that there was something in this if I kept progressing.

So I did. The temping/travelling era stopped when I got the job at Surf Europe (RIP). Replacing Derek Reilly as the editor as he’d swanned off back to Australia. Which was all kinds of fitting as it was Derek that encouraged me to write more and taught me the valuable skill of photo editing.

I spent three happy years in Hossegor with Archie, Quirin and co running the joint working with a global team before home beckoned. I did my own magazine, Slide, for a couple of years before the big crash in 2008 rendered it one of the first mags to go bust. I guess it was better that way than being killed by the internet. I’ve been editor of Carve since 2010, I think, it’s been a while now anyway and folk seem to like what we do. Which is nice.

As for the now I’ve just passed my UAV exams, we prefer not to use the word drone, and I’m looking forward to shooting more, writing more, editing more Carves and filming more like the guff below:

Run and gun single crew, just me covering a lot of ground to get the angles on a day when the best wave in Cornwall did it’s thing.
A trip where I really had to polish a turd, we had a set time window, rather than going when the conditions were prime. Did pretty well all things considered.
Moody meanderings with Oli Adams, made the shortlist for the London Surf / Film Festival and shown on the cinema screen.
Just ridiculously good waves at Thurso and I swam for five hours straight to film them…

So. That’s me… A Somerset bumpkin with a camera or three that likes being in the sea.

If you want more you can follow me on Twitter, I don’t do Insty or FB personally (but do the carvemag accounts) and have no idea how Snapchat works…

*I use Medium as my blog and default website now. Mainly because it’s so flipping easy to use, looks sweet on mobile and I don’t need to faff with Wordpress or anything else.

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