I haven`t actually met Sarah Lee in person, connected as we are through 2 degrees of separation, and narrowly missing each other as she arrived, and I departed, Byron Bay earlier this year. But I love the imagery this woman is putting out into the world – specifically her water photography. A stunning, clean, and natural light-rich aesthetic…Miss Sarah Lee we salute you.
She`s also been so very cool in offering you lovely Salt Gypsy readers a discount on any of her prints purchased through her website.
Read on for an insight into life as a very salt gypsy…
Hi Sarah! You`ve been busy building a photography portfolio that`s shaking up the surf photography status quo. Do you manage to plant feet on a board in between shoots?? Thanks, Danny! I like to get out and surf whenever possible. I go crazy if I don`t. At home in Kona, I`m lucky enough to be within five minutes of my favourite spots, so surfing at least once (or twice) a day is a necessity. On the road, it`s a bit difficult unless the conditions are not “good enough” to shoot in and I can snag a log from a friend 😉
Now, I`ve had a go at shooting with a water housing and it is hard yakka! Do you have to train or is it all on-the-job-super-fitness? I swam competitively all throughout my childhood in the pool and in open water ocean swims up until a few years ago, so now I just maintain it with lots of swimming, surfing and ‘on the job’ activities.
You`ve been touring with Alison Teal (of Alison`s Adventures fame, we Talk Story with this busy lady soon), what shenanigans have you ladies been up to? We`ve been all over the place and some of our shenanigans have included eating copious amounts of thai food, chasing kangaroos in Australia, teaching Aboriginal kids how to surf, trekking up mountains in New Zealand at 5am on horses to film the sunrise, spooning for warmth with a cowboy in a freezing cold cabin in the mountains of NZ, drinking chai, diving under 10ft+ waves in the way of the pro`s who were surfing at Cloudbreak (Fiji), drinking out of coconuts, getting stuck on a sandy island in the middle of nowhere as the sun was setting, and re-planting coral with Fijian villagers. You can read more about them on Alison`s blog. Video episodes coming soon…
Next we`re off to 21 days of camping and rafting down the Colorado River at the end of September. A completely “off the grid” adventure which I`m really looking forward to filming and photographing!!! Just pray we have some sort of power source to charge camera batteries and GoPro`s.
Surf photography isn`t the only genre you work in. What other aspects to your art practice do you enjoy and thrive off? Surf and underwater photography are my absolute favourite genres but I also do a fair bit of weddings, portraits, fashion and even film set photography…all of which you can check out on my website.
What have been some challenges to building a business and career around your passion? It`s been a challenge to look out of the box when it comes to the day to day photo/video work and figure out how to actually get my work out there. I tend to be way too laidback so proactively marketing myself has been my biggest challenge.
Through the lens of your camera, how do you see the current state of female surfing? When Alison and I were travelling around Australia/NZ/Fiji, we encountered very few female surfers…if any, out in the water. I was surprised to see a few girls were tearing up Raglan while we were there for a couple of weeks in April but other than that there was a definite lack of female presence in the water. (Author interjection – for two of NZ`s hottest female surfers, check out Raglan`s homegrown talents, Jess Santorik and Kelly Clarkson).
I`m quite a fan of your images, can we buy them anywhere? Yes! I sell them online through my website and here`s a 10% discount code for print orders for any Salt Gypsy subscribers, valid through the end of 2012: hisaltgypsy
Favourite place to surf or work…Current favs to surf – any long rolling rights! Maha’iulas (Hawaii) and Broken Head (Australia).
Words of inspiration for your fellow salty gypsies?
Those unintended moments are where the magic is at.
Sarah Lee is a young Hawaiian photographer and surfer currently travelling for various projects around the world. She can be contacted for more information and services for hire, here. To check out Sarah`s online gallery with images for sale, click here.
Photographic images courtesy of Sarah Lee, except for the cover image of Sarah, “hard at work,” taken by Byron Bay-based and very talented photographer (and our ex-flatmate), Alex Frings.