The Joys And Hardships Of “Getting The Shot” With Brent Bielmann
“Everything has to come together perfectly”
Working as a surf photographer is life in constant granulation. Most nickel, dime and hustle their way through various surf media outlets. They work freelance, and the smart ones pull in their fortune outside of surf. Even the select few who’ve established themselves know that fashion pays way better. And although steady pay checks are the great desire and odd-jobs serve as their financial supplement, it’s difficult not to be jealous of the gents who’re paid to hop on a boat in the Ments and snap shots from the water… What most people don’t know is: camera lenses and equipment are costly. At the bare minimum to get shots of magazine quality you’re looking at: Water housing: $2500, Lens: $800, Camera: $1200. That’s ignoring years of practice and finding surfers that the media will actually publish. While Instagram’s slowly killing the surf cover shot and paying off the equipment is an extensive ave, there’s serious joy in what photographers do — it’s a passion project that doesn’t start as a means to make a living.
Brent Bielmann is Surfing Mag’s staff photog. He’s the nephew to the luminary Brian Bielmann, who has captured everyone worthwhile between his lens since the 70’s. Prior to Brent’s full-time gig at our competitor he’s shot with us a fair bit including Bruce Irons after sundown sporting a flair on his tail.
Here’s a glimpse into Mr Bielmann’s life, philosophies and how to keep hale and hearty enough to spend hours in the lineup at Chopes… If you think battling heavy surf is wearing, try taking bombs on the head while egg beating above sea level with a 15 pound device in your hand that if lost: you’re out at least four grand.
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