Juan Medina, Venezuela to the Gold Coast!
Posted on March 14 2019
Juan was born a very active, passionate and creative person who grew up in the city of Caracas in Venezuela.
At the age of 13, a friend took him to a beach called "Playa Los Cocos" and taught him how to surf. From there began the life long relationship between Juan and the ocean.
Juan's journey with surfing took him from the beaches of the Caribbean in Venezuela to the heavy coastlines of Puerto Escondido and Pascuales - Mexico, to the perfect reef breaks in Bali - Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Mentawai Islands, Bahamas and to the world's famous beaches of Gold Coast - Australia.
Photography comes as naturally as his passion for surfing. Juan bought his first digital camera in 2010 and hit the ground running ever since continuously learning and growing with photography and it's technological advancements.
At the moment he's living in the Gold Coast - Australia being at the perfect beach and perfect time to find the perfect shot. Nevertheless, his photography has extended towards wildlife and fashion photography as well.
Tell us a little about yourself, sounds like you have had an amazing adventure and ended up in the sunny Gold Coast?
I grew up in Venezuela and travelled to the Gold Coast in 2009 to do a little English course since then I can’t bring myself to leave this place.
I started taking surf photos for fun when I moved to Australia. I always wanted a camera but never had the chance to get a one, in 2009, I finally bought my first camera ever but just the body. One year later I sold my car to buy my first lens, 600mm canon.
I started taking photos of everyone surfing (really bad photos haha) I used automatic mode because didn't know anything about photography. A couple of months later I made a Facebook page to put the photos on. Slowly I got to know and recognise the local surfers and tag them. Photography was just a hobby, I did it just for fun, I never thought of it as a real job or way of earning money. I'm a chef and that was my job at the time.
In 2012 I bought my first Aquatech housing, that was the beginning of my love for water photography.
I never did a course or any photography study, everything I know about photography was through practising and trying new things.
At some stage, I was given the opportunity to start shooting sharks, a thrilling experience which gave me a new perspective on water photography.
The last two years I have been doing a lot of campaigns for Swimwear brands.
2019 has been so far one of the best years, I become an Australian citizen and a father.
How often do you travel and your favourite place away from home that you have photographed?
I travel 3-4 times per year to shoot other tropical coastlines and yet my favourite place is still Australia, we have everything.
What would you say is your most significant achievement to date?
The opportunity to shoot a number of the best surfers on the planet.
What have you been working on recently?
This year I’m very focused on surf photography.
What equipment do you shoot with currently?
Canon 5D4 and 5D3
Canon lens : 16-35mm, fisheye, 24-70mm, 50mm, 70-200mm and 600mm
Aquatech camera and flash housings
Lighting: Litra gear
Drone: Mavic pro
What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?
I stopped working as Chef 3 years ago to put all my energy focus into my photography, being a freelance photographer is not easy but it is what I am passionate about and love doing.
If you could only take one camera and lens on your next job, what will be your go to set up to get the job done?
Definitely 70-200mm lens and Canon 5D4
Your dream project?
To travel shooting the best waves in the world.
Your biggest inspirations?
There are so many talented photographers that inspire me every day but these legends have something unique:
Favourite surfer to work with and why?
Mick Fanning because apart from being my hero he manages to make every wave look good.
Best photography advice/tip that you have been given?
Do it for love and dream big!