Flip flop kings Havaianas has teamed up with Bondi beach Aquabumps shooter Eugene Tan to bring us a limited edition run of summertime sandals…
UGE, thanks for taking the time, tell us a bit about your background, where you grew up …
I’m from WA originally (Perth). I love to surf and take photos. I am the founder and owner of Aquabumps – a beach life blog and gallery in Bondi Beach. I’m a father to two boys and husband to a wifey.
Were you always drawn to the ocean?
Yeah, I’ve always loved the beach – so I think when you have that early affinity with something like the ocean it sticks for life.
At what age did you take up surfing and what were your favourite surf spots when you were young?
I started surfing when I was 12 and that was it for me, I loved everything about it. As kids growing up in Perth we would always head down to the beaches around Margaret River my fave is Indginup carpark.
To you, what is surf culture all about?
It’s a lifestyle and attracts like-minded people who love the beach.
What did you do before you became a full-time surf photographer?
I was a creative director at a design firm.
What led to your decision to devote all your time to photography?
I started Aquabumps as a blog – well really just sending around some pictures to my mates of the beach and surf that morning. People started asking to buy the images and I thought it was a bit of a hassle, until I realised, “hey there’s a business in this”, and decided to leave my job and dedicate my energy into shooting full time.
We understand that you’ve probably shot more sunrise scenes at Bondi Beach – tell us what is so magic about the place …
Fifteen years of shooting sunrise at Bondi and I never get sick of it. Its magic at all times of year – the conditions are different every day. This morning’s sunrise was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Summer there is so much energy early in the morning and winter I can sometimes be the only person on the beach, and I love the desolation of Australia’s most famous beach in the middle of a city empty.
I wanted a unique name for the brand and a bump in the ocean is essentially a wave – so Aquabumps was born.
What is your most memorable surf shoot?
Shooting Pipeline, North Shore Hawaii with the best surfers in the world, Slater, Job, John John – I never get sick of that.
Have you shot on or around Bali and, if so, what do you think of the island and its waves?
Many times, we go to Bali at least once a year – I love Bali. My favourite place to shoot and surf is Keramas. I also love the blue water of Uluwatu and the waves are great up that end too.
You have been described as Australia’s most successful surf photographer – are there others you admire?
Richard Misarach, Jon Frank, Dustin Humpheries, Massimo Vitali, and Christian Fletcher.
What brings most joy to your life?
My children and my wife and being in the ocean with them.
Do you have a philosophy that guides you?
Consistency, passion and do what you love to do.