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Surfers of San Diego background:

In addition to my photography work, i have a background in counseling, social psychology and diversity/equity/inclusion work. These passions are never separate for me. Whenever i photograph, i am usually thinking deeply about who the person is and the intersection of their identities, while reading their energies and pulling a bit of their stories through their eyes and expressions.

i also love the ocean and admire the power and strength that lives within. With surfers, i have always been intrigued by the connection to the great powerful force of mother nature that is the ocean AND what keeps them inspired to take such great risk and be vulnerable to this great force. i have been most fascinated with surfers and photographing them as they are leaving the water after a session, usually against a glorious sun setting backdrop, or as they are entering the water.

While photographing surfers in these moments, i quickly learned there is no such thing as the stereotype of a surfer. Surfers surf for wildly different reasons. For a surfer, going into the water- contemplating their fears, the risk and courage involved, their perseverance and growth as a human. And when leaving the water, deciding that they were ready to close out the session with perhaps a sense of satisfaction or a drive to come back again for the next surf.

i photograph precisely in these moments...
*With the pause- a still shot before a surfer enters the ocean, or just as they emerge after a session.
*Acknowledging the reflections - in the water and in the mind.
*Admiring dreaming into the unknown -the wistful clouds and dreamy colors of the sky.
*Respecting the silhouette- the darkness against light, and perhaps the contrast representing an emotional battle within.

Stay tuned for hearing these surfer stories through recorded conversations and dialogue!

FOLLOW this project as it launches: Instagram @surfersofsandiego
Concept and all images @ eeman agrama,