We were recently connected to photographer Pedro Gomes through the unmistakable and far-reaching power of the Internet.
Um yep, he DM’d us.
Anyway, Pedro sent over a packed file and upon review, we realized we had some gems and quickly went about creating a home for them on whatyouth.com.
We caught up with Pedro and asked him a few questions about his photography, the North Shore scene, as well as his current residence in Japan.
An interesting and talented cat. Have a read.
What Youth: Where were you born?
Pedro Gomes: I was born in Brazil, extremely south Brazil in Porto Alegre city. Down there our culture is more similar to the Argentine and Uruguay than the rest of Brazil, we are called “Gaucho” people ( kind of south America cowboys)
Currently, I live in Chiba Japan. I’ve lived in Japan for 20 years now.
How did you get into photography?
Since I can remember, I liked to take photos. At a young age I was kind of the official photographer of my friends. I started using my mother’s Nikon 35mm film camera and never stopped shooting. My uncle is a professional photographer based in Sydney, Australia and was very important to me to make the change from an amateur photographer to a professional photography career.
Surf photography came later in my life. When I moved to Japan I faced some hard times in my professional career and a new start was needed. Using my photography skills, combined with my large experience in rough seas ( I am a bodyboarder and ocean swimmer since I was a kid), I was able to create some cool surf and seascape photographs, bringing a new fresh start to my career. I just became more and more interested in taking surf photos, especially from the water. I could feel that was my calling and I am so fortunate to work and making my living from photography.
When was your first trip to Hawaii?
Winter of 2010-2011, but my first 2 or 3 seasons I was more focused on getting waves myself than shooting! Once I earned my reputation shooting in the water, and it became a real job, things changed and I started to focus more on taking photos. Since then I go every single season for 2 or 3 month stays. Hawaii is part of my life now. I have a good relationship with the people and feel very connected with nature over there.
Favorite waves to shoot?
Pipeline and Jaws
Hard to tell in Hawaii because the locals usually get the best waves, so naturally, they have the best photos. Over the years shooting there, I can say John John Florence, Jamie O’Brien, Kelly Slater, Mason Ho, are my favorite surfers. Also, I think Italo Ferreira and Medina are almost a guarantee of a sick photo for some barrels and killer action. It’s hard to tell, all guys out there are pro or semi-pro, there are just some many good surfers everywhere in Hawaii.
Will you be attending the Olympics in Tokyo this summer?
Yep, I will be working for Globo TV from Brazil during the Olympic Games in Tokyo. I’m not sure yet if I will be able to shoot the surf event as my contract is to cover all of the events and we are working with a big team for the Olympics. Once they know about my surf photography hopefully they choose me to be at the surf event day too!
Any thoughts on surfing in the Olympics?
I think it’s a great opportunity for more people to know about surfing. but unfortunately, I can’t see it resulting in better sponsors for surfers or a bigger demand for the surf-specialized media. I just hope something exciting happens in the last minutes and the surf community gets some advantages from the huge exposure. Different from other sports, surf is not only about competing and getting results, its about a lifestyle. Be connected with the ocean, preserve nature, build friendships, travel and live a free lifestyle where the small and basic things are more important than money or success.
Any trips planned?
Besides the long stay in Hawaii, I also do a yearly trip to Indonesia. I have been in so many parts of Indo but I still wanna visit some places I haven’t been yet. Also, this year with the Olympics I wanna try to do more road trips inside of Japan too. I have surfed and shot some incredible uncrowded waves and still, there are a lot of locations to be explored. Besides that, I am always ready to go even when I’m not planning something. That’s the best part of my job as many times there is no plan and great things happen. I can be in Tokyo one night and the next day in some local village in Taiwan or a remote island in Micronesia.