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Shannon Switzer

Surf Photographer

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Shannon Switzer

San Diego, California

Living in, on, and near the ocean has been my life since birth. Diving and sailing around San Diego, Catalina Island, the Sea of Cortez, and the Florida Keys with my family established this intimate relationship early on. It wasn't until the latter half of my time at the University of California, Santa Barbara that I took that relationship to the surfing dimension.

Learning to surf there, and while studying abroad in Australia, I was moved to try my hand at portraying the ever-shifting dynamics of the watery landscape that is surfing. Since day one, I've loved shooting from the water best. I enjoyed the freedom it lent: to be able to submerge myself from head to toe in the very medium I was rendering.

I decided to take this fledgling love and invest in a "real" camera and heavy-duty water housing, as preparation for documenting the first six months of the Voyage of Swell and her captain, Liz Clark. This trip took me down Baja, Mainland Mexico, and Central America. It was an incredible time to hone both my photography and surfing skills and adapt to the changing environment we were at the mercy of every day. It extended and strengthened my respect for the canvas that I work with as a photographer as well as for the local cultures so intimately tied with the land and sea.

My time on Swell opened the door to being published in a wide variety of magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Surfer's Path, Surfing, FOAM, Outside, Latitude 38, and Splash!, for which I am very grateful. Now back home in San Diego, I am still sharpening my skills working with a variety of local surfers, eager to see where this passion might lead.

Follow Shannon on Twitter (@girlchasesglobe)