About four years ago, I was swimming around the lineup in Panama City Beach, Florida with an iPhone in a Lifeproof case. I had a newly discovered interest in photography, and having grown up surfing on the beaches of Long Island there was a natural draw to surf photography. One of my challenges, aside from knowing nothing about photography, was that cameras are expensive and water housings are usually even more expensive. I decided before I was going to invest the money, I would start out with my iPhone 5S and Lifeproof case. I wasn’t ready to open up my wallet just yet. I wanted validation that this was something I was good at.
Enter, The Inertia. I sent my brand new (and in hindsight very rough) portfolio to a number of surf media outlets. The Inertia was the only one to get back to me about publishing some of my images. I was so stoked to see someone show interest in my work and it gave me the confirmation I was looking for to pursue photography.
Four years and tens of thousands of shutter clicks later, I decided to leave my desk job to pursue photography full time. I thought it would be fitting to reach back out to The Inertia for my first collaboration as a full-time photographer to bring this full circle, and let them know what I’ve been up to.
A few months ago, I found myself in a dark, cold, and remote part of Iceland with Chris Burkard. I’d come over for a week-long workshop put on by Chris and a couple of his team members, Russell Holliday and Mikey Sandifer. We worked with the guides from Arctic Surfers, Ingo Olsen and Elli Thor Magnusson, another super talented photographer. It was a once in a lifetime kind of trip and was the catalyst for me to take this leap of faith and make photography my full-time focus.
Editor’s Note: You can find more from photographer Rich Brooks on Instagram here.