I nearly got robbed trying to get a lineup shot.
I probably deserved it though. After all, I am exposing surf spots. And taking photos of a wave and making it look prettier than it is. The wind? It was onshore. The crowd? It was packed. But that’s the thing with us sketchy photographers, it’s all an illusion. A way for us to get paid to, well, surf. But let’s get back to the real story. The near robbery. Cause that’s why you’re still reading this.
Me and a few buddies went on a surf trip. Not to this crowded onshore wave you see in this photo. But to a beautiful offshore bay with no one around. Where’s the photos? C’mon, I’m not that stupid. So we surfed three times a day and after the second day we couldn’t paddle anymore so I decided to go and try and get my surf trip paid for. Take a few lineups and tell my boss (hey Travis!) that I was busy shooting this swell. The photo would look that good that he wouldn’t really notice the attached invoice for the rental car, hotel and gin and tonics.
We left in the evening on a Saturday night to drive to Desert Point (oops). A rental car guy from my last trip had warned me not to drive to this area at night. He didn’t even want to rent me the car once he heard where I was going. So I was telling this story to James and Scotty who were in the car with me. Not 10 minutes later I see a parked motorbike in the middle of the road. Then I see a person walking out trying to block the side of the road I was driving on. Already being warned about this area, I had planned in my mind what I was going to do if someone tried to block the road. So I sped up and drove directly at him.
My brights were on and as we got closer he started reaching around to his back with both hands like he was pulling a gun or knife out of his back pocket.
I sped up even more and at the last moment I swerved the car off the road and went around him. All of us ducked as we went by him as we thought there might be a bullet fired at the car.
I continued to drive super fast, not sure if he would follow on his motorbike. All of our hearts were beating fast. Was he behind us? Did he actually have a gun? 10 minutes later we reach our hotel and explained to the staff what just happened. They told us to hit him with the car next time.
I looked at them with confusion, then I looked at James…All this for an average lineup shot? —Nate Lawrence