To be successful as a surf photographer in the digital age you need to be able to shoot more than surf action. Surf mags want dreamy line-up shots and engaging lifestyle photos that give a trip context and narrative. Brands want killer portraits of their athletes in next year’s boardies/sunnies/wetsuit. The resort may want some property photos in return for a sweet deal. Some of the most successful surf photographers do all that and still work other jobs. Ord was a fireman before biting the bullet and going fulltime with the camera. It’s almost impossible to make good money shooting surf exclusively. You need to be versatile to make it all work financially. And you need to remember to put down the camera and enjoy the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to attain. In Fiji that isn’t hard to do. Fijians are renowned for their good humour and hospitality and the Aussies formed bonds over the kava bowl. “The Fijians always look after me whenever I’m there,” says Ord. “We played footy with them one day. It was a school oval, but it looked like it’d been hit with asteroids, it had the biggest potholes and these guys were running across it like it was a running track. Barefoot and just shorts, no shirts, no shoes. I did my hamstring chasing down a Fijian. Thought I could get him but nope.”
Main: Dead tree walking. Insets: Fiji holiday – Kava, rugby kicks and camera clicks.