Surfing, Skateboarding, Music, Photography, Travel, Culture and general antics of the youth on the run.

Photo Credit: Chris Peel Portfolio 040: Three Phones, One Camera

06.19.19 – TAGS: , , ,
Photos: Chris Peel

Although Chris Peel has been around for a while, more and more of his stuff was beginning to find it’s way over to What Youth. The man definitely has talent and a very unique eye. His subject matter is as diverse as his travel itinerary and his list of frequent shooting locations is mind-boggling. We can’t imagine the frequent flyer miles this guy is backloading.

We became intrigued with just what “Peely” has going on these days so we sent off a few questions and he sent us a few photos. Please enjoy both below. – What Youth


What Youth: Where are you originally from?

Chris Peel: I was born on the Sunshine Coast and at the age of four we moved to Byron Bay, and I have called that home since. 

You have three phone numbers from three different countries! Where do you currently reside?

I guess I spend most of my time onboard The PNG Explorer in Papua New Guinea, which is about five and a half months of the year. The rest of the year depends on what I am shooting. If I am on a break from the boat I could be in Hokkaido, Japan shooting snow sports. Part of my family lives in Niseko at the moment and I have had a long connection to the snow culture there. Sometimes I even head up there to the river mouths in the Northern Hemi in autumn if the sand is right. Southern Hemi winter it’s hard not to try and do something in Indonesia as I have a pretty, connection with a couple of different families there and I love the Bukit. US, Taiwan, and Canada can all get a start too. Right now, I am on Vancouver Island for a bit. So I don’t really reside anywhere at the moment. I have a bunch of surfboards in a storage shed and mail at my Mum’s place in Byron, if that counts, haha.

How did you get into photography?

I would have to say my Dad definitely lit the spark on it. He is a surf photographer so I was around it quite a bit. I was shooting from a really young age as well as all the equipment was there to use. I got to use film a bit so that whole process of exposing the frames and then sending it to the lab, or processing it in hand tanks at home. Right through to looking at the chromes or negs on a lightbox sort of drew me in and that’s what made me continue with it. Once I was able to use a camera as a tool, I realized I could get the opportunity to travel to places and waves that at the time would have been impossible otherwise. These days, the lab is a laptop and all you need is a camera. A computer and a connection to the net is a way to earn a living; traveling with it was a logical thing.

We’ve seen some of the outstanding surf photos, what else do you enjoy shooting?

I enjoy shooting anything and anywhere that other photographers are not. If that means deep in the mountain ranges of Hokkaido or the untouched islands of PNG, I have a goal to create something that tells a story people haven’t heard. So if I can do that I’m usually pretty stoked. My favorite subject would have to be empty line ups, those days you’re like, ‘holy shit look at these freaking waves and no one is around’, I love that. As a surfer it’s good to know that whole discovery thing is still out there for our generation.

How did you get hooked up with Sepp Bruwiler and the Pacific Northwest scene?

I finished up this one season in PNG and got offered a trip to go to Indonesia to shoot that huge swell a few years back. I think everyone was going to Nias. Anyway, I spoke to a few crew and saw that everyone was going so I thought about it for a night and then just said ‘bugger it’, I’m going to go somewhere with no one. I researched some cold water spots and Canada looked epic. Not new, but still not as worn out as other surf destinations. My buddy Shreddy B (Teddy Navarro) gave me Sepp’s contact and said ‘he’s the guy.’ I reached out to Sepp and then Sepp did what Sepp does, and took me on some of the craziest adventures I have ever had. I’ve only met a few people who are down to try any idea you come up with no matter how crazy it is and he’s one. Usually, Sepp’s input just makes it definitely gnarlier. After that trip, I think I was left just wanting more. I guess that’s why I have been coming back here every year since. 

Any future travel plans?

For now just Indonesia and North America. The Pacific is obviously where all the discovery is waiting, so I am really into the whole Melanesian area and my work on the PNG Explorer is all about that. There is some talk of a trip to the southernmost tip of South America… I guess I will just go with the flow and keep focused on trying to get better at what I do with a camera.

alec castillo photography

Photo Credit: Alec Castillo Portfolio 029: The epitome of youth on the run

Alec Castillo is the bassist of self-proclaimed “boner rock” band The Nude Party. He’s also a photographer dedicated to depicting the world and lifestyle he inhabits. Whether capturing antics on tour or portraying the most intimate of moments amongst friends, this dude’s eye has our attention. And he’s only just begun. “I use photography to…

what youth photo credit tobin yelland

Photo Credit: Tobin Yelland Portfolio 028: San Francisco skateboarding in the late ’80s

Tobin Yelland picked up photography early. And it was skateboarding right away. The subculture and lifestyle surrounding it especially. He was first published in Thrasher when he was only 15. We caught up with him below to learn a bit more about his path to being a revered skate photog. WHAT YOUTH: How old were…

what youth michael cukr photo credit

Photo Credit: Michael Cukr Portfolio 027: A look back at Michael “Horse” Cukr’s year

Michael Cukr works here at What Youth. He’s a horse. We call him that because of another Warren Smith quote moment, but beyond that he’s an incredible filmmaker and happens to be ridiculously good at photography. Which we benefit greatly from. In fact, he’s so good that he shot the following over the course of…

what youth photo credit molly steele

Photo Credit: Molly Steele Portfolio 026: Train-hopping, fantasy and photo journalism

Molly Steele’s photography caught us off guard. Poetic, playful and beautiful but also tough and raw. This Girl We Adore from a few weeks ago submitted a batch of photos so good we had no choice but to feature them in a new Photo Credit. She’s a badass train hopper with an affinity for getting…

what youth photo credit hunter martinez

Photo Credit: Hunter Martinez Portfolio 025: In a busy California winter, this young photog’s work is a step ahead

Hunter Martinez is 21 years old and from Pasadena, California. Not exactly a spot many of you would know if you surf. But that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a major standout in what has become an overwhelmingly well-documented California winter. Hunter has the eye. And the hustle. And our very own Nate Lawrence saw…

what youth photo credit monroe alvarez

Photo Credit: Monroe Alvarez Portfolio 024: Studio, lifestyle and maybe the world’s most legit “selfies”

Monroe Alvarez might take some of the world’s greatest “selfies.” She once did a road trip solo just to shoot them. But her portfolio and website are filled with incredible lifestyle and studio images. We recently chatted to her about her style and got this impressive sample of images. Redefining “selfie” series included. What Youth:…

Photo Credit: Skyler Dahan Portfolio 023: Paris, LA and how to take a strangers photo

Skyler Dahan is a Los Angeles based photographer who we were introduced to through industry legend and RVCA founder Pat Tenore. When he looped us in with Skyer, we were immediately blown away by the imagery and how evolved and intimate they were. We hit Skyler up and realized we all could learn a lot…

what youth photo credit wiissa

Photo Credit: Wiissa Portfolio 022 features an exotic photography duo

Wiissa is photography duo Vanessa Hollander & Wilson Philippe. They have roots everywhere from Minnesota, Brazil, France and Miami. And have photographed just about every strange subculture and genre you can think of in music and fashion, as well as mainstream outlets like The Huffington Post. But the thing that we love is their ability to take…

what youth photo credit cory hansen surfing photography

Photo Credit: Cory Hansen Portfolio 021: Classic Santa Cruz, flash, stars and Dane

When Nate Lawrence rings and recommends a photographer for a Photo Credit feature, we know we had better answer. Because it’s going to be a doozy. Especially when the name comes from Santa Cruz. We called up Cory Hansen and his submission blew our mind. A mix of beautiful and retrospective moments that define an…

what youth photo credit cole barash creed mctaggart

Photo Credit: Cole Barash Portfolio 020

Cole Barash photographed one of our favorite things we’ve ever printed in What Youth. You can find it in What Youth Issue 7, it’s called 6 Girls, 6 Cities and features 6 beautiful girls in London, Tokyo, Paris, Sao Paulo, Moscow and New York. It’s beautiful photography and it was no easy feat to juxtapose…

Photo Credit: Alana Paterson Portfolio 019

Alana Paterson is a reminder of the great things in life. The great outdoors, great times, travel, drinking beers and skateboarding with friends. Captured in such a transparent, honest way. She currently lives in British Columbia, and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver B.C., as well as The Lesley University of Boston….

photo credit what youth girls

Photo Credit: Terence Connors Portfolio 019

WHAT YOUTH: “Terrence M. Connors has been recognized by his peers as one of the pre-eminent trial attorneys in the state.” How do you feel about that being the first thing that comes up when you google your name? TERRENCE CONNORS: [Laughing]. That’s awesome. Where did you grow up? How did you end up where you are…

Sign up for letters from What Youth

By enabling this page, you are acknowledging and accepting our privacy terms and conditions.