Dan Florez ; photographer
In some simple line, Akela surf introduce you to Dan Florez, a very talented surf photographer.
Where did you grow up and when/how did you get involved with photography?
Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills North Carolina, until I was 16. I've been in St. Augustine, Florida ever since (half my life, next year!).
Started with photography? I think like most photographers, there isn't a precise start. I recall being 7'ish getting a point and shoot for christmas, which was mostly used to take awkward photos of people as I surpised them from around corners. My mom would borrow vhs camcorders from work, which my brother and I would use to make stop motion films, and other cheesy videos that 12 year olds will do. I also had a few film classes in high school, but it wasn't really until college (fine arts major) that I actually started to understand it. I used a Pentax k-1000, entirely manual (no battery required) invincible brick handed down from my mom/grandfather. It really forced you to get it quickly. Also, working in a darkroom - every mistake costs hours of time, and equal amounts of money on paper/film, so I was further forced to speed up the learning process.
Now that I think about it, I also used a $20 Holga to take photos of people being surprised as I said "Hello!" and popped up in their face during the college years. Equal fun with a re-loadable underwater point and shoot, so I suppose not much changed!
What is it about surfing that makes it so visually captivating, especially for a photographer?
Honestly, I think it's more of a fun thing than a visually captivation for me. I love surfing, or just being in the water. I've been in/around the Atlantic Ocean (probably before I could walk) for as long as I can remember - so combining that feeling with a technical skill requirement, is just perfect.
Looking at others' shots though, the ones I find the most exciting are the ones where you wish you could be there, on that wave, or just to be in that water.
What’s the most challenging thing you face when capturing a surfer in action?
Besides possibly being run over? The equipment. Photography is mostly a rich man's hobby unfortunately, and being in the water makes it twice as expensive and cumbersome. You're usually limited in the choices you can make at any given time.
Life on the east coast is…
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Too hard to say, but best answered with a quote... "Life's a garden, dig it!" Y'all are welcome to edit for grammar/etc. Thanks again! Lookin' forward!
Here's some picture and video by Dan Florez