Words: Matthew Walsh
One of the best ways to learn about surfing and it's different cultures is on Instagram. Online, we can find what waves people are surfing in Bali, where the spectacular hidden spots are in Northern California, or simply see life through the eyes (and lens) of a particular individual.
We get a look into a photographers perspective and can become enraptured in their way of seeing the world. Learning about a culture is possible from the assemblage of images that pass our eyes as we scroll the endless depth of our Instagram feed, yet we have to question who is taking the images that make up our feed. For surf photography, that is too often predominantly men.
At WSPC (Womens Surf Photography Collective), we seek to make women surf photographers visible to a wider audience. Throughout surfing’s history, women’s perspective of the culture has been overlooked and forgotten behind that of the male viewpoint. As result, our image of surfing history has been skewed towards that of what men have thought is important.
With Instagram and other visual social media, we have the chance to change how surfing is seen. No longer should women’s perspectives be blocked, we now have a choice to follow a female perspective of the sport and follow the stories being told by women across the world.
The list below features women surf photographers that have few followers, but have exceptional skills behind the lens. If you want to discover the world of surfing from a woman’s perspective, visit our website and follow us on Instagram.
Surf photography comes naturally to Olivia. At the age of 14, her eye for quality matches that of an experienced photographer. On her local Northern California breaks, she swims close to the barrel and captures images that radiate with confidence. Olivia Doan is THE upcoming surf photographer to watch.
Based along the south coast of France, Claudia’s photography exudes an aura of exuberance and style. Her vibrant colour palate coupled with uncluttered images, the people she meets and places she has been makes it feel as if you’re there, or at least wish you were there.
A post shared by Bryanna Bradley Photography (@bryannabradleyphotography) on
Swap palm trees for pine and swimsuits for wetsuits and you have surfing along the Western coast of Canada. Bryanna’s photography captures the culture from a country not often seen in typical surf magazines. Upon a backdrop of pine and fir trees, Bryanna captures the scene around her with an elegant flair leaving the viewer constantly in awe.
Lucia’s follower numbers by no means reflect her experience. Having migrated from Cornwall to California, Lucia has been capturing surfing for the past decade creating some of the most memorable shots of the noughties. Nothing makes you want to go surfing like Lucia’s photography does.
Sasha shoots with energy and verve and is not afraid of capturing surfing from an oblique angle. Being situated in Bali, Sasha’s photography is awash with flawless blue skies and crystal clear waters. Yet it is her artistry and style that will leave you mesmerised and wanting more.