I Got My Portrait Took at the Beach
At last week's Paipo Stokefest #2, there were photographers in the water and on land. Just as I was about to get dressed, photographer Jeff Bertig asked me to stand in front of camera for a couple of minutes. I'd just handed off my mat to someone who wanted to try it. I was actually focused on finding my clothes, getting dressed and attempting to warm up. He asked that I bring my mat, so I had to take it back from the person to whom I'd given it.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't like having my picture taken. I'm not very photogenic. I don't consider the camera a friend. However, there is a camera trained on me during most of my surf sessions—which is why it pays to travel with your own "personal paparazzo"—and I've grown accustomed to being in front of the lens.
Bertig took portraits of quite a few of the attendees. I like that so many of these shots are photos of us right after we'd emerged from the ocean. We were all still in wetsuits, still dripping wet, still rushing to either grab another surf craft or get out of the cold. He managed to get a few shots of the mat riding tribe amongst the photos of paipo-wielding water people.
Right after he snapped the picture, I returned to the water's edge to loan my mat to a friend. That is the beauty of an event like the Stokefest. People don't take your shit. They try it out and give it back. You need not try to keep an eye on your equipment. It is returned to the beach with a smile.
Check out Bertig's shots.