There’s a popular slogan that was trademarked by Billabong back in the 80s’ – “Only a surfer knows the feeling.” Well this is true for today’s guest on the THP blog, whose burning love for the ocean from a young age lead him to seek out a career where he’d never be too far from it. In fact, Adam Duffy has made it his business to be in the ocean, the acclaimed international surf photographer having travelled the world extensively in search for the perfect wave, at the perfect place, in the perfect light, to capture through his lens. Adam shares with us highlights from his career so far, as well as how he continues to stay true to his art and passion.
Did you always know that photography was your passion?
I first discovered the ocean as a surfer. It was then I realised I would always want to be in the ocean.
How did you decide to turn your passion into a photography business?
I would see beautiful surf images in the magazines and think, "wow, what an awesome job... that's what i want to do when I grow up!" I was 15 at the time. I decided to build my own waterproof case for a then film camera. It was quite the task.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would have to say my career has been full of highlights! The ability to make a living purely from my photographic art, with no other agenda than to capture the beauty and support my financial needs to keep doing what I love. Social media helped me a lot. I put my work out there when everyone else was worrying about people stealing it off the internet. This didn't worry me. I wanted people to see my work.
What’s the most amazing/inspiring place that your photography career has taken you to?
Tahiti is what Hawaii was like almost 50 years ago. Pristine and still full of culture, nature - an untouched paradise. The people are some of the nicest I have ever met. I long to be back there in the amazing blue waters that are full of life.
How important is staying true to yourself in following the path of your passion?
Staying true to your path and passion is at the core of my art. In this day and age it's also a very competitive field and you need to be constantly producing new and exciting imagery. This gets hard when you have already been to the most beautiful places in the world. How do you top that? Well, you need to capture it in different ways and present your work in a light that always seems fresh. You still need to run a business at the end of the day so that is a huge factor that you need to consider.
What causes are close to your heart?
I'm a huge advocate of conservation, be it ocean, or Earth. I want to see the next generations be able to enjoy and appreciate what I have seen. It's the core to our existence. Awareness is key, and standing up and not letting big corporations exploit this is a constant battle.
What is your favourite mantra or quote?
Live and let live. I think every living thing deserves respect.
What advice could you offer others looking to achieve heart-based goals, embark on a passion project, business idea or new career direction?
I would say follow you heart, and your head. It's a balancing act in today's world - you cant pursue your passion and make a living without some business sense. If i'ts something you really love, money won't be the only reason you will be doing it anyway. You would be doing it even if your weren't getting paid. That's true passion.