Not only does Morgan Maassen have a hard time staying still, he wouldn’t want it any other way. For ten months out of the year, the photographer is on the road, exploring beaches, inlets and the open water.
He heads to all corners of the world seeking haunts of the best surfers, whom he captures in action. Morgan considers his greatest achievement to be the pages of his passport, filled with stamps from exotic locales: Cuba, Greenland, Panama, Australia and the British Virgin Islands. Home is Santa Barbara, California, where Morgan grew up and now owns a house.
At night, he’s kept awake planning his next departure and adding to his list of places to visit, but while he’s away, his dog is all he can think about. These days, he’s learned to live with whatever he can carry in his pockets or in his ever-ready suitcase.
The nuances of the sport and its lifestyle don’t always make their way into mainstream media
Morgan is a surfer himself, but his love of the sport has found another outlet. Using his camera, he confronts the unique challenge of translating dynamic movements into expressive portraits, unpredictable action shots and atmospheric images that would be equally at home as high-end editorial work as they are on the pages of a surf blog. The nuances of the sport and its lifestyle don’t always make their way into mainstream media, partly thanks to the mass market surf films and one-dimensional stereotypes that have permeated pop culture since the rise of North American surf culture in the early 20th century.
But the real magic of life in and on the water isn’t lost in Morgan’s work. His photos avoid sensationalism, instead focusing on intimate details and the sensations of being closely connected with nature. The intelligence and thoughtfulness of his style is aligned with the way he speaks about surfing and photography: passionate, fearless and full of anticipation.
In a special photo essay feature, we take you behind the scenes with Morgan, paired with a selection of our favorite images from his body of work.
A big thanks to Effie Efthymiadi from www.freundevonfreunden.com for putting this together