The story of a photographer
"It was all a dream..." [Notorious BIG voice] well, not really- but now it is. when passion for the sunny California lifestyle & year round outdoor activities combine- you're #calitrippin. Starting as a surf & adventure photography hobby and then transpiring into whatever it is today, calitrippin is a blender full of chillin, relaxing and enjoying life for everything it has to offer. 100% good vibes as I like to call it.
calitrippin started as a means to share my drone photography on Instagram. I created the account in January of 2017 while taking photos in Playas los Cerritos, B.C.S., Mexico, a surf colony about an hour north of Cabo San Lucas. I continued to travel the world with my drone [and DSLR] and would post scenic aerial photos of beaches, mountains and everything in between.
A coworker had lent me a 100-400mm camera lens to play with- I went out onto Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, San Diego and started shooting surfers. I couldn’t believe the amazing action photos I was capturing- I was quickly addicted. I started posting surf photos to Instagram and people would recognize themselves and their friends- that's when word began to spread.
While taking photos I continued to brainstorm- how can I get these photos directly to the surfers. I’ve seen photographers do this before when I used to race motorcycles, so *ding ding ding* went off in my head- I found a wedding photography gallery website, bought the domains calitrippinphotos & sdsurfphotos.com and hung a banner over the pier. The 1st time I hung the banner was Labor Day weekend 2018 and I was shocked to receive over 500 hits to the website.
I thought it’d be a good idea to transition the calitrippin Instagram account to my surf photos so i worked on designing a new profile pic/logo for it. I received positive feedback about the logo and so I decided to get it embroidered on a hat just for myself. People would ask me where I got that hat or would comment how cool the hat was; I never imagined creating a clothing line but *ding ding ding* went off in my head- I trademarked the logo and stamped it on some hats and tank tops- my typical wardrobe. Apparel is not what I’m looking to pursue although it’s been fun and super rewarding to see people wear the items that I've created and to ship them all over the world.
The surf photography addiction is real- i'm always trying to get the 'next best shot' so I transitioned into the water. I continue to upgrade my arsenal of camera gear to equipment that shoots more frames per second, lenses for the right scenes and lighting, fins, wet-suits, locations, you name it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given me a push to get in the water more frequently. With most of life being shutdown I've been swimming out to my local surf spot (Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA) most mornings and afternoons and taking photos of the local surfers, giving the opportunity to capture some stoke without booking a private session.
Surf Photography has taken me to Hawaii, Fiji, Mexico, Portugal and parts unknown. I've been invited to shoot local surf competitions and pro surfers as I continue to pursue my passion behind the lens.
Like my photos? follow me on Instagram or contact me to book a session.
Do you also surf?
Yes, I picked up surfing when I moved to San Diego in 2008. After many years, I eventually realized that I'm better with the camera then on the board. lol. And what better way to integrate both. I still get out there and surf though, mainly when I'm traveling. The benefit though is that I know how the board works, how the waves work and respect for the ocean so that when I'm out there with the camera, I'm going to get the best photos.
Do you only shoot at the pier?
I shoot out at Crystal Pier because it's my home- there is always a warm shower and a cold beer close by. I do venture out for private sessions and leisurely with friends if there's a good swell. I am known to pop-up in Mexico randomly. Prior to COVID-19 I averaged 35 flights per year so I was always on the go and shooting all over the world.
Are you a professional photographer?
I like to crown that I'm 'amateur professional'. Photography is not my full time career, only freelance. I have been hired by surf companies, to shoot team athletes, pro surfers, competitions and product. My photo's have made it into magazines, product packaging and commercial building hallways. At the end of the day, I'm just a dude having fun behind the lens.