Russell Ord

Please introduce yourself in 20 words or less
Surf and Lifestyle Photographer based in New Zealand with the family living the gypsy life.

Was photography your first career choice? I started photography later in life after a semi-professional Rugby League life and also as a full-time firefighter.

How did you go from photography being a hobby to doing it full time?
That was certainly a tough decision especially having a family that depended on income from my fire-fighting work, however, I could not be a full-time dad/photographer and fire-fighter and something had to go. Making that big step into what I feel is uncertainty, changed our lives in so many ways and in the end being a better father is my number one goal.

What is the favourite part of your work? Meeting such a diverse range of people while travelling or doing certain assignments that revolves around the ocean.

Over the last few years, what type of photography work have you been doing?
It used to be just surf, surf and more surf, however, I needed to diversify my work and I have been shooting far more lifestyle, community projects, artists and peoples stories, this developed through Elements Margaret River (Mark Boskell and Paris Hawken) and now the work I am doing for Rankers NZ.

Are there any projects you are working on at the moment?
At this very moment of writing this, I am in a campervan travelling through the North Island of NZ creating content for Sunrise Holidays and also Rankers NZ, this is certainly the type of work I love doing.

What type of gear are you using at the moment and what is the one piece of equipment you wished you had. I use exclusively Fuji Film equipment being an X-Photographer and would love to add their new medium format to my kit, I have played with it a few times and the files from the images are incredible.

What excites you about travel and photography? 
When I get away on my own it allows me to reflect more on my own life, where I am going well and where I need to improve, time to think, that’s why I am attracted to places of solitude.

What are your sources of inspiration and do you ever go through times when you think let's move on from this type of work?
I remind myself every day I need to improve and come up with other concepts, photography is changing so fast from equipment and also business-wise, if I want to keep attracting the work I am currently shooting becoming stale is not an option. I do play around with creative direction and that’s something I have been working on with several long-term clients.

What is the worst piece of advice you have heard given to a someone that wants to make a career out of photography?
There is so many better photographers than you...

What is the one aspect you find the most difficult about running a photographic business?
Years ago it was letting go and not comparing myself to others, these days I just compare myself to the past self and how I can improve my own work, the uncertainty of the next payday can be difficult at times however on the other hand it makes you come up with new ideas and think more outside the square.

If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be?
I know it's been done and done very well however I would still like to go to Antarctica to document an explorer's journey from start to finish. 

Where can we follow your work?

Web:  ,