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  • Writer's pictureTom Vaughan


A welcome to my website and a little bit about myself and my relationship with photography.

Enjoying a cold one on Gili Meno, Lombok

It's strange to think it's taken me this long to create a proper website. I started to take photography more seriously a few years ago when a part time hobby evolved into a passion but it never really occurred to me until recently to create a website portfolio of some of my work. I guess it didn't help I was borrowing my girlfriend's Mac to edit photos until last year (saving up to travel after university hit hard on the wallet) but here we are, a collection of some of my images which mostly covers surf but also some lifestyle and travel. I'll try and rotate images and keep it fresh as well as occasionally post on here when I feel like I have something worth saying.

I actually studied A Level photography back in 2012. As you can imagine I am not prepared to give examples of any work I produced for that as it doesn't even bare thinking about for me. At that time I just didn't feel the desire or creativeness to pick up a camera on a daily basis, I was limited by my equipment and at the time couldn't justify spending the money on a DSLR, especially when in my head I was essentially buying it for school work. I felt like I was pushing the boat out enough when I spent about £120 on compact Pentax system that I still have at the bottom of a drawer somewhere. It's not to say I didn't enjoy photography at that time, I found the darkroom stuff and film photography quite interesting, I just think my priorities were elsewhere and at that time my sole focus was on becoming a music writer.

"Thousands of shutter clicks and few times around the sun later and I feel like I'm at a point where I'm proud of my work"

I can still remember being given a solo project and immediately thinking "water photography". My whole life I've been drawn to the ocean and spent a lot of time bodyboarding and surfing, and although I was somewhat oblivious to the world of surf photography I can still remember picking up a back issue of Carve magazine and thinking how awesome it would be to take photos in the water. A quick online search and more disappointment followed as I discovered the financial side of funding this dream.

I spent a few years away from photography, I reluctantly picked it up a few times as part of me journalism foundation degree at Exeter College but apart from that I didn't have any desire for it. Flash forward to 2015 and I had moved to the place I still call home, Falmouth. I could talk about uni forever as it was probably the best time of my life and without doubt the most expensive holiday I've ever had, but it was worth so much more to me than a certificate at the end.

Xander post-surf last summer

I have my good mate Xander Ettling to thank for truly getting me back into photography I think. He studied Press and Editorial Photography and borrowing his equipment and access to the university stores was just amazing. We spent as much time as possible surfing and linking photography to this past time was just seemless and endlessly enjoyable for me. Xander was a great mentor for me and taught me more about photography than anything I learned during my A Level course (sorry Fi).

Thousands of shutter clicks and a few times around the sun later and I feel like I'm hitting a point where I'm proud of my work. I feel like I'm still learning everyday and the more I invest in photography both financially and mentally I feel like the more I'm getting out of it. That's a saying isn't it? I think it's pretty accurate anyway. I still have so much more to learn especially now my girlfriend and I are doing wedding photography as well.

The most amazing weekend of sun and waves has just passed and I'm massively feeling the stoke. I've had back problems for the last five months (I'm old now okay?!) and yesterday was the first time in a long time I managed to bodyboard and get some really fun waves. Spring is in the air and I can't wait for more!



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