Chris Hubbard

Chris Hubbard

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into photography?

I'm a Kiwi photographer currently based on Sydney's Northern beaches and I have recently returned from two years traveling throughout Latin America all the way from Mexico down to the Southern depths of Chile and Brazil. It was purely accidental how I moved into the field of surf photography. The addiction begun when I became frustrated with the growing crowds on Sydney's Northern beaches.

I quickly found myself getting over fighting heavy aggressive crowds for distinctly average waves and I was rapidly losing my motivation with the surf scene. To be honest I wasn't really having fun anymore and I had completely lost my stoke altogether. In an attempt to avoid the crowds I soon found myself shooting closeout slabs with my Gopro at Narrabeen one of the heaviest beach breaks in Sydney if not NSW. There was something I soon found addictive about dodging in and out of these heaving shore break kegs and I soon found myself wave riding less and shooting waves more and more.

Fast forward to a year later and I found myself standing on the shores of Puerto Escondido in Mexico during the 2016 Big Wave challenge with the waves obviously to big to swim and thus take photos... this promptly inspired me to invest in a Mirrorless camera for more versatility and to also help me capture higher quality images for my surf travel blog I haven't looked back since.

What excites you about getting out there escaping & creating?

I think for me it's not the photography itself but the thrill of the adventure and the chase of capturing a unique image of a wave in a country that has not been overly documented. The pursuit of the perfect image is what inspires me to travel to faraway lands in the search of new waves, cultures, adventures, experiences and most of all the stories and emotions they evoke. If it wasn't for my passion for surf photography I may of never of made it to amazing places like the Galapagos Islands, the Pacific coast of Colombia or surfing/living in Favela's in Brazil.

It's all too easy to play it safe and journey to tried and tested locations such as Hawaii or Indo but there is something much more exciting and rewarding about veering off the well-beaten path. Through my images and my blog, I hope to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and discovering unbelievable places that they may never have thought of visiting or even knew existed.

What fascinates you about the ocean?

I could rabbit on here about the beauty of the ocean and how every wave is unique but I feel that this is a lil cliché and I would say for me that the thing that fascinates me most about the ocean is that amazing relaxed and content feeling we all have after spending a few hours in the salt. I'm not sure exactly what generates this unique feeling, whether is scientific or spiritual but it almost has healing like properties. While I am swimming in the ocean almost nothing else seems to matter, my mind is clear, relaxed and totally caught up in the moment. When I scramble my weary body across the sand after a solid session I feel more grounded, content and happy. When they say only a surfer knows the feeling.... I think this is the feeling that they are talking about.

We had the pleasure of your company at our first Vagabond Escape & Create Gathering… What were your thoughts and how did you find the concept?
I suppose what really blew me away about the trip was the people. It was a rag tag bunch from an assortment of ages and backgrounds but I was just amazed at how humble, friendly, relaxed and approachable everyone was despite their amazing photographic skills and knowledge. Unfortunately in some walks of photography their can be cliques, elitism, and even arrogance but in this amazing group everyone was there for the right reasons their love for photography and they were happy to share this awesome experience together.

If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?
Oh man, that's a tough one, the list is far too long and I'm currently working on my shortlist for my next adventures as we speak but if I had to choose one I would have to say Easter Island. Unfortunately, I had to cancel my journey there during my last trip to South America due to lack of funds and it is something I will always regret. It is an intriguing place with a fascinating history and it just happens to have amazing waves to boot. There would be so many unique photography opportunities with those amazing statues scattered around the island in front of an assortment of surf spots....who knows they do flights from Tahiti to Easter Island so potentially two birds with one stone!


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