You can tell a lot about a person by the way they respond to a random DM on Instagram from someone they don’t know asking them to answer some questions for you.
Andrew Semark’s words were “Hey ledge, happy to help, whatever you need”
These words sum up all the other contact i’ve had since with one of Australia’s best ocean photographers.
Just a really welcoming, good bloke who’s incredible photography is only exceeded by his humbleness about what he does.
Predominantly, seeking out and capturing spots up and down the amazing coast of Western Australia, Andrew’s portfolio is image after image of “wow” and “holy shit, look at that!” or sometimes “what is that and how??”
If you are familiar with his work you will know exactly what I mean, so check out the interview to find out more about the great human behind those stunning images.
If you haven’t seen his work, please just don’t leave it at the 9 images below - go and check out his instagram @anjsemark immediately and be transported to a world you may not know exists.
As a fun side note - He also hails from Vasse, in Southwest WA - the namesake town of my favourite wine!
Welcome to the world of Andrew Semark. You may not be the same once you’ve visited…
A small country town in the Southwest of WA called Vasse
Was photography always the plan or what first made you pick up a camera?
Photography wasn’t my first choice. I am a dual qualified tradesman, who specialised in the power generation industry. I always loved shooting photos on my mum and dads film camera setup when I was a grom. I bought my first camera setup and would just experiment shooting everything and anything. I eventually invested into a housing and the rest just came together bit by bit.
You have an insane collection of images. How often is it on over in WA? Are you constantly having to be ready for when the right conditions come together?
WA always has waves somewhere. It’s a big state so if you are willing to drive you can always find something unique. Desert up north to forests down south, there is always an option. I do spend some time watching forecasts but I think just trying to be consistently shooting helps most with just keeping the skills sharp. I try be in the water at least 3 times a week.
Being a surfer before you got into photography Is it hard to choose between surfing or shooting perfect waves?
Not anymore. It was at the start, but I still enjoy my surfing just as much. I will just choose my sessions for surfing or shooting. Its always nice to put the camera away and enjoy the ocean.
I understand you like to go on missions to search for waves. Obviously, you don’t have to name locations, but is there constantly new spots being discovered over there with such a massive coastline?
WA has a big coastline and still plenty of waves to discover. Guys put in hard yards to search it out and it can be a fine line between getting skunked and scoring.
Do you have any particular physical or mental preparation practices for swimming and shooting in potentially dangerous conditions?
I just try to stay consistent in the water and shoot regularly so i’m ready for when the conditions turn on. When its big it’s a mental game. Shooting and trying to be in the right spot when you have a lot of water moving is a challenge, but its also super fun.
Can you make a living from surf / wave / ocean photography in 2019 and do you have any specific goals / plans you are working towards?
I believe you can do whatever it is you put your mind to. If you have the passion and the work ethic you can do anything. Time is a big part of what we do. Just got to be patient. My plans for 2019 is just to be consistently producing the best images I can and enjoying life.
Where is the one place you would love to shoot that you haven’t been to yet?
Tahiti is high on the list. Tassie would be another spot. Cant go wrong at home though.
Are there any photographers that have inspired you along your journey?
That’s a big list.
Any other parting advice for creatives who are looking to turn their passion into a career?
Always remember why you started. Art is subjective so it may not be for everyone, but if you are enjoying yourself and smiling, you have already succeeded.
Dive into Andrew’s world further here