One of my greatest passions in life is the ocean. Recently I came up with the assumption that actually it doesn’t matter to me whether I am in the water or out of the water contemplating its beauty from the shore. I like just being close to the ocean. Surely if I can feel its power and wave energy while swimming or surfing, it would add up the awesomeness of the moment.
This story is about a man who spends every day in the water, doing wonderful shots of the ocean, barrels, wave riders and surfing from time to time. He also lives the life to the fullest, sharing it with his sweet family on Bali Island. That’s all about him – Brad Masters – a well-recognized surf photographer.
Bali is where I call home nowadays. All the travelling around the world I have done, Bali is the place for me. I have been living in Bali now for 5 years but have been coming here since I was 5 years old. The only other place I could call home would be in South Africa. Every year I’m there for a month and love it over there.
I met my wife about 7 years ago in the car park at South Point in Gracetown WA. Having not many girls from that area, once you see a new girl in the bay you had to be very quick. From there it all started. We travelled together and lived in the mountains in France for a few years before settling in Bali. And that was where my son Kai was made and born. Being a dad not much changes but seeing him grow up always puts a smile on your face. The funny thing for me is my son Kai is 3 and a half and already speaks Indo, Balinese, English and French will come later. It’s funny to speak to your own kid in Indo. But I am so stoked that he speaks it.
Surfing for me is a lifestyle. I have been surfing since I was 8 years old. I’m 33 years old now and still can remember my first wave I ever caught. My whole life has been about living and spending as much time in the ocean as possible. I have made many sacrifices for it but at the end it has been for the best and to this day I’m still in the water every day.
All this eco-friendly stuff is a tricky one for us in the surf industry. As we drive and fly everywhere in the world and leave our mark in that way. Plus the materials we use aren’t the most eco-friendly. Living in Bali I deal with a lot of rubbish in and out of the water. But it’s really simple if you see some trash pick it up and bring your only trash from the beach. Everyone can do their own little part to help.
My first photo of surfing was taken in Mexico and that turned out to be my first photo sold too. After that something inside of me knew I was going to be a surf photographer.
As for inspiration in taking photos my style comes from me and just doing what I thinks makes a good photo. A lot of trial and error but over the years you really learn where to be in the water or what angle to look for on land. I do look at other photographers work as well and that does give you ideas but at the end it’s all about your style and how you want to show it.
I am a self-taught photographer. To me one of the best ways to learn photography is just to do it. Living in Bali you get to be around some of the world’s best guys as well and that really helps out to. Guys like Jason Repsor, Jason Childs and D-Hump just to name a few. It’s really amazing what happens and what you can learn by just sitting down and having a beer with one of these guys.
The most challenging thing about taking good photos to me is about having the right riders and good light to work with. Generally before you shoot you already have an idea on how you want it to turn out in your mind.
I love my work and my lifestyle and see myself doing this for the rest of my life. In my business it’s not the money that counts it’s the lifestyle you live and that means more to me than having lots of money and stress.
The only thing in myself I would change would be in my next life that I’m the surfer keeping the photos taken of me.
If you are afraid of something you just have to man up and get over it. When I was shooting free riding in the mountains I hate walking around those mountains on these little goat tracks. You look down and you know what will happen if you fall, but after you make yourself do it, it’s the best feeling in the world to overcome a fear.
Life is short just have fun!..