The Dish

 When I first started shooting surfing there was never a sliver of doubt in my mind that I could do it. “I’ve been swimming my whole life,” I thought, “surfing for over 10 years, this should be a piece of cake.” It wasn’t until I started telling others people I was going to get a camera and water housing that I began to notice the doubt.
The funny thing was, it wasn’t so much from men, but from other women. I began to wonder why? Why do women doubt other women, especially in a time of such rah- rah girl power? Fact is, your chances at finding a female shooter in the water or on the beach are slim to none -- the female surf photographer is increasingly becoming a rarity.
Not surprising considering what the surf photographer has to endure. Tooth and nail competitiveness among a field where secrets are protected and injury is very real, all for the prospect of a life promising travel and meager pay. It’s not for the faint of heart, and the high failure rate can be intimidating, for men and women alike. Who wouldn’t be undeterred by a profession where rejection and an overdrawn bank account are constants?
Good surf photography isn’t validated by gender. The truth is I didn’t even think about how I was one of the only female water photographers in surfing. All I wanted to do was take pictures. To be able to convey through my craft a perspective, a certain way of looking at a wave -- my way -- that’s all I really wanted.
    Just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. Hell, failure is inherent to anything new – it’s part of progress. Surfing, rooted in all its fraternal brotherhood tradition, is a new frontier for the female athlete – not as models or sex symbols, but as surfers, athletes, and women first. Women in surfing must work to uproot the stereotypes that plague our sport. In this industry we must work toward gaining accessibility, changing the way in which we are portrayed. Only then can we begin to deconstruct the way we see ourselves, and in turn change what we believe we are capable of. That’s the dish.
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