Kirstin Scholtz - ASP Photographer

Where and when did you learn to surf?
I started surfing when I was about 13 in Muizenburg, Cape Town, South Africa.

What was your first board?
It was a 5’11 Town & Country Dean Geraghty. I was 12 and had no idea what I was doing, I think I bought it because I liked the spray and no one told me you had to start on a bigger board.

What do you love about surfing?
I love the sense of freedom it gives you being out in the lineup, feeling at one with nature. For me surfing is happiness in it’s purest form. It can make you feel on top of the world after an exhilarating ride and humble you on a heavy wipeout, all in the same session.

You’ve travelled a lot, is there any place that really sticks in your mind?
There are a lot of places that excite me and there are different times of the year were my mind wanders off to the next stop on tour simply because I have become so in-sync with tour stops almost as if they were seasons. I must say though that Australia is one of my favourite countries, it has so much natural beauty with untouched wilderness and perfect waves.

How did you first get into photography?
I always wanted to be a journalist and while studying a Bachelor of Journalism degree at University I became intrigued by visual storytelling. I decided to specialize in Photojournalism and was lucky enough to work my way into my dream job.

Do you have a favourite photograph? What is it and why?
I have a few favourite’s for different reasons but I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one. You’ll find many of them on my website.

What do you love about photography?
I love the creative process, the ability to translate your worldview into a single frame. It interests me how you can create meaning in your images and the way in which other people interpret that meaning based on their own interest, taste and culture. I love creating art from the real world and being able to freeze it in time.

Besides photography and surfing, do you have anything else that keeps you busy, or that you are passionate about?
Traveling and spending time with the people I love. Since I am always on the road and away from the people I care about, I try to find time to connect with them whenever I am and whenever I have the chance.

What sort of education have you had?
I completed a four-year Bachelor of Journalism degree.

What was your very first job?
I was a conference producer for five months.

What is your current job and what does it entail?
I am the Principal Photographer and Digital Imaging manager for the Association of Surfing Professionals. I shoot the Men’s ASP World Championship Tour full time as well as manage the ASP’s Digital Imaging content which includes scheduling and training contract photographers for events, managing our image library, image sales and social media content.

How did you get into the position you are today?
I was lucky enough to meet Pierre Tostee, the world’s first digital surf photographer who was the official ASP photographer at the time. I worked under him for just over three years learning the ropes and improving my craft. In 2008 Pierre stepped down from his position on the ASP World Tour and I stepped up as the principal shooter.

What advice would you give to up and coming photographers?
Find your niche in photography whether its water, portraiture, fashion, women’s surfing etc and own that niche. There are so many surf photographers out there so you need to be the leader in at least one aspect of surf photography, to set yourself apart from the rest.

What’s it like working for the ASP?
It’s amazing! The tour is like an enormous travelling family. I’ve made some amazing friendships over the years and I feel really blessed to be part of this organization and to have the opportunity I do, to photograph our elite athletes in some of the foremost surf breaks in the world.

What do you like most about your job?
I like telling professional surfing’s story and documenting the careers of the world’s best surfers. I love engaging with and inspiring surfing fans through my images. I love travelling the globe and experiencing different cultures meeting people from all walks of life.

Where can we find you online?

Instagram: @kirstinscholtz

Posted by: Matthew Ryan, on August 28, 2013
Categories: Interviews