Unveiling Surf and Art: An Exclusive Interview with Simon Fitz
Discover the journey of surf photographer Simon Fitz. In this exclusive interview, Simon shares his unique artistic approach, the allure of capturing perfect moments, and his love for Portugal and Morocco. Join us as we delve into the world of surf photography and explore Simon's creative vision and passion for the waves.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in surf photography?
My name is Simon Fitz. I'm originally from Germany but moved away 8 years ago to pursue a life I thought was the better choice for me! I spend most of my time traveling through France, Portugal, Indonesia and California to capture the classic surf scene around these countries.
Surf Photography wasn't really a thing for me for a long time. The ocean and traveling just seemed more exciting to me from the start! I've always been curious about all kinds of art and music! Looking at paintings, artworks and LP covers has always been my biggest inspiration and has changed me a lot as a person. And because I was surrounded a lot by Surfing Culture, I started to pick up a camera to try to express the ideas I always dreamed about! Like Youth Culture, Alternative ways of surfing, and the fine differences about each individual.
What initially drew you to the world of surfing and photography, and how did the two passions converge?
Surf photography was an excuse for me to be able to live at the ocean and surf... but after a while, it turned out that surf photography gives me way more excitement than surfing itself because I always had the urge of needing to express myself. But I never really found the right tool! When I started to shoot, I could tell straight away that this is what I want to do! I've been very lucky to meet some incredible people all over the world who helped me make all of this possible. Introducing me to the ideas of surf culture, why we surf specific types of boards, and what style means to each individual. It was just the first time in my life I could properly identify with someone else's ideas too, and so over time, I could transfer my ideas into photographs that represent all the people I met. I'm never 100% satisfied with it, but I think that's part of the game!
How would you describe your unique style and approach to surf photography?
I feel a deep rooted connection to certain moments, people and experiences in my life. Photography is the language that I communicate best with and a tool to transform these moments into an artistic approach. My goal is to place my inner vision in the intersection between the classic surf culture and modernist interpretations. I want my audience to feel different about surfing after they had a look at my photos!
I try to never tell myself that I am a photographer as I want to be an artist one day! The good thing is that no one can really tell you what to do... You can paint photographs or make videos that are not moving and so on. So it's totally up to you and your brain! My style is just the accumulation of experiences, moods, and music, and I can't really pinpoint it. I like space for sure. In my work, I want to find this moment where my emotions match a certain situation and feeling and just click... Taking the photo is easy but getting to the point of being able to take it is very hard for me! So I always try to create moments where there is a chance of a good shot!
What's your favorite shot and why ?
“Moroccan Highways” is my favorite. You know how it is on surf trips!! This time I went with Eurico to Morocco... one of my best friends and most talented surfer I know! We've been insanely unlucky with the waves and basically only had 2 surfs! And maybe 6 Waves in total! I took this shot from one of those waves… It's a satisfying feeling when, on the last day of the trip everything comes together! And of course I like simple photos: no crazy foreground, just a perfect wave, surfing, bottom turns or highlines, and that’s about it ;)
What kind of equipment and camera gear do you prefer to use for your surf photography?
600mm I would say is the only thing I would recommend… The rest really doesn’t matter at all...
The bigger my camera box gets, the more I realize that you don’t need it..I'd rather spend the money on trip to somewhere ;)
How do you adapt your photography techniques to capture the dynamic nature of waves and surfers?
I don't have much formal education in techniques... I'm simply trying to let go and do my best. And I always keep in mind the importance of embracing imperfections... I don't really try to take the perfect photo, but rather the perfect blend of mood, space, and emotions :)
What are the most rewarding aspects of being a surf photographer?
The most rewarding aspect is definitely the moment when you capture a photo, and later, when you develop the film or view it on the computer, discovering the outcome of your work! I absolutely love this feeling.
Favorite surf spots or destinations ?
I love Portugal! It’s something between rustic and beautiful. Morocco is also great for this... I love nature and landscapes so I'm super drawn to those places.
Are there any surfers you enjoy photographing the most?
The feelings of seeing things in individual ways and with a wide range of emotions is my highest priority! I try to give every subject I shoot the same amount of energy so I can start to see things from different perspectives and bring everything back to myself!
Shooting with Eurico Romaguera has been an incredible experience. It's always cool to shoot with good friends because it adds an extra layer of enjoyment. It's about being together and creating moments more than anything else. But I also love having new experiences with new people. It allows me to discover new ideas and styles.
SEE ALL PHOTOS FROM SIMON FITZ