Stuart Gibson - Photographer

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Hobart, Tasmania. I love Mexican and Japanese food. I’m a photographer and I’m lucky enough to travel all the time because of my job, so for the last 10 years i have been all over the world with my camera.

I’m passionate about my what i do, it really doesn’t feel like work!

How did you get started in photography?

I didn’t really realise when it all started until I looked back in time. I was into all type of action sports when I was young and I would always be keen to film everything, edit it and explore different possibilities with the camera. I was completely obsessed! I also started surfing from a young age, and really focused on it around the end high school. I started making a few local surf videos and chasing a few heavier waves with a bunch of friends.

I remember the day i got completely hooked to photography: it was during a heavy swell at Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania. I swore i wouldn’t miss a shippies swell ever again! For the next 5 or so years i did exactly that, working odd night jobs to pay my way to chase big waves.

I sold a footage to Billabong for the first time and got excited to get some better equipment. I started to look into shooting 35mm stills, and bought a housing and a lens to use on my friend’s camera. All I wanted was to shoot a huge swell from the water! It took me two swells but I ended up getting the shot that became the cover of the 200th edition of ASL. It was then when I realised I could make a living from surf photography. My friends were the surfers, getting sponsored by big brands, and I was the one taking the pictures and getting paid by magazines!

What inspired you to do what you do?

My introduction to photography was one of an accident, quite literally. A car smash left me hobbling on crutches and plastered up to a dangerously itchy level. Because I couldn’t surf for a good while, I took a camera and start shooting from the beach. I then realised that I had stumbled onto a good thing, capturing powerful images and sharing them with surfers and friends.

A Sunny Disposition - Rip Curl - Full from surfstitch on Vimeo.

You do different types of photography, which one is your favourite?

It depends on what I’m shooting, I shoot a range of different things, but where i’m most comfortable is in the water, chasing big waves. I get so excited in big surf, it’s just as fun as surfing!

How does a typical day look like for you?

A lot of my work is overseas or traveling somewhere to take photos. Most of my work is directly related to the ocean, so I spend a lot of time in Namotu island, Fiji. I could say that a typical day for me is the one spent in the water shooting.  When i’m home in Tasmania, i’ll be catching up on editing, or doing drone photography jobs.

From the places where photography has taken you, which one is your favourite?

Shipstern Bluff in Tasmania will always be my favourite and the place where it all started for my photography career. I also love Namotu island in Fiji.

Photographing big waves, have you had a scary moment?

I had a really scary moment in Mexico once.  I got smashed and washed to the beach after about 5 waves on the head. I couldn’t get in or out. I was so exhausted I almost collapsed when trying to stand up in the shore break. It was definitely a bit of a wake up call.

What makes your photography different than the rest out there?

I think that there is a lot of great photographers out there. It seems that everything has been done and it’s getting harder and harder to take an impressive shot. I think that nowadays people are almost forced to change things up - maybe a unique location, maybe a different perspective…

Staying current is a huge thing. I’m heavily into drones these days, aerial stills and video, which has definitely given me more chances to be hired.

Where can we find you online?


Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on August 1, 2016
Categories: Interviews