Hayden Jackson - SEAduction Photography

Entering in to the surf photography world with the humblest and least selfish reasons, Hayden “Jacko” Jackson has slowly but surely made his mark on this oversaturated industry. With a love for the ocean and a fearlessness for the big stuff, he is never afraid to get into position to get the perfect shot. With a plethora of insanely talented surfers frequenting his home break in Merewether, Jacko has no shortage of talent to focus his lens on, gaining him recognition beyond the borders of Newcastle’s surf scene. A kind and generous family man, with the desire to develop his passion for capturing waves, all the while helping local QS surfers like Philippa Anderson and Jackson Baker, share their talents with the world. Jacko is grateful to call this little piece of wave-rich coastline home, but returns to Indonesia year-after-year to capture locals and travelers, professional and otherwise, at one of the most consistent and diverse countries in the world surf-wise. 

Where do you call home? And how did you end up there? 

Merewether, Newcastle NSW. After growing up around Newcastle, I knew I wanted to be close to the beach and it is an awesome area to raise a family.

What inspired you to take up photography, particularly surf photography?

I have been surfing since I was a grommet and I have always loved being in the ocean. I’ve always been interested in photography especially surf photography, from reading all the surfing mags as a grommet. After doing a bit of travel I started to really take an interest in getting out there in the water and shooting. It became a natural progression and I get a lot of joy out of it. 

What made you decide to take your photography to the next level, and start to develop your passion into a career?

After working in the mining industry for the last 10 and a half years I realised I was just going to work but I was not having any impact on the community. I wanted to try something different and I am trying to combine my love of photography with my passion of surfing and the ocean.

What’s your favourite wave to photograph? 

That’s a tough one but I think it would have to be Megatrons on the Bukit Peninsular in Bali.

In the same way we all remember a magic wave or session, is there an image that you’ve captured that sticks out in your memory? 

Last year when my family and I were travelling around Indonesia for 5 months a good friend of mine Todd Gisondi called me and asked if I would be interested in shooting himself and Marlon Gerber at a secret slab in Bali. There was only the three of us out. The wave had an awesome back drop and was throwing huge barrels over waste deep water. Each time I hear of Todd or Marlon I think back to the images from that session.

Water or land photography … do you have a preference? 

Definitely water photography, no matter the size of the swell I love to be out in the water. I feel that it makes for such a better perspective of the waves and you get to enjoy it as well. 

Tell us about the challenges of shooting from the water. 

Shooting beach breaks around home from the water can be very challenging to stay in the position you want to be in. 

Who inspires you in the surf photography world?

At this time where social media is so prevalent there are so many amazing photographers using all types of different equipment and producing amazing content. But definitely Bosko, his knowledge on surf photography is huge and he is respected by surfers and the surf industry all over the world. To me he is one of the photographers that I grew up looking at his images the most. I have also be inspired by Simon Dobb, Zac Heath and Magarita Salyak. These three have also given me guidance with my photography. And last but not least Bernie Baker one of the original surf photographers from the North Shore of Hawaii.

How do you hope to hold your own in an industry with an ever increasing number of aspiring surf photographers?

The industry is massive with so many amazing photographers surfacing every month. Being a surfer for a long time before being a surf photographer I feel comfortable in large swells and in adverse conditions so I’m hoping that this will give me a little bit of a point of difference. To be completely honest it’s definitely proving to be very difficult to break into the industry and make the vital connections that are required, but that has just given me more drive to achieve what I have set out to.

Tell us about your photography set up? What is your favourite piece of equipment?

I shoot with a Canon 7D Mark II and I have a Liquid Eye water housing. The lens that I have shot with the most is my 50mm. I recently did a trip with my family to Torquay whilst the Rip Curl Pro was on at Bells Beach and got to use my 70-200 inside my housing which was perfect for shooting down there. At the moment I have been shooting a lot with my 16-35 which I love to use with the big dome port. I love being up close to the surfers whilst they are pulling into barrels.


Get to know you:

What are you known for?

Locally I think that I am most known for swimming with my camera out in sizeable swells, but also the guy with the camera with the long hair, beard and tattoos lol.

What are you most proud of?

My two grommies and everything they do, they never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Defining moment? 

I don’t think I have had one yet.

Guilty pleasure? 

Beer and Pizza.

What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life? 

Manners don’t cost money, and swell forecasts cannot always be trusted.

Of all the places you have travelled to, what place in particular stands out? And why? 

When travelling last year around Indonesia with my family for 5 months, my favorite destination on that trip would have to be Rote Island. The water is crystal clear, the surf is amazing and the people are so welcoming and helpful. It is a very quiet island compared to a lot of the rest of Indonesia. I like to think it is what Bali would have been like 30 years ago but a lot less populated.

What brings you the most happiness in the world? 

Seeing the absolute stoke on my groms face when I take him surfing and you can just tell he is having the best time even if his teeth are chattering or he has just been “gobbled up” by a wave as we call it.

What are you most grateful for?

My family and being fortunate enough to live in a beautiful part of the world so close to the beach.


Surf Talk: 

Favourite surf spot? 

Bingin. Love the wave, love the locals and it just feels like my Indonesian home.

Most memorable session? 

At a spot that I cannot reveal, whilst traveling on the Bulan Baru back in 2016.

Where can we find you online?

Instagram: @seaduction_photography
Website: Watch this space - currently under construction




Posted by: Emma Gibbons, on October 9, 2019
Categories: Interviews