We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Davey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always had a deep connection with the ocean. I seized the opportunity to be there every time, I could as a youngster. I’ve lived by the sea since a young age and spent a lot of time photographing it over the years. I used to work in high-end commercial color labs back in the day to supplement my bills and such, but what ultimately drove me to go out on my own was being stuck in traffic for 15 hours every week, going to and from work. I figured if I went out on my own, that’s an extra 15 hours a week that I have to be productive. That was around 1990 and I’ve been self-employed ever since.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been an active photographer since late 1977. I spent the 80’s largely honing my craft, so to speak and then became not only an active contributor to surf magazines, mainly, but a leading name in the business by 1990. I traveled a lot for the magazines through the ’90s which allowed me access to a great number of amazing places, to shoot incredible scenery, much of which ended up in my image archives.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them along on my pre-dawn shoots for sure. I know some people are not early risers, but when you’re with me and seeking a cool experience, it might well involve the pre-dawn shuffle. We might start the morning with a shoot in the water, using probably a fisheye or a 100mm lens to photograph the interaction of ocean waves with the light of dawn. There’s nothing like it really. Have some breakfast, then swim maybe somewhere like Waimea bay, to photograph some Hawaiian sea turtles, perhaps some schools of baitfish or even a pod of Hawaiian spinner dolphins. You never know what might show up. It’s just a matter of being there in the first place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
All those great photographers who ultimately inspired me from some such a young age. Max Dupain was a great Australian photographer who used to shoot a lot of high contrast black and white images of Australian beach life. He was the first to get my attention. then there was American Pete Turner who worked so well with large blocks of color, along with contrast as well. Many other photographers, particularly in the surf field have also been major sources of inspiration. Names like Ted Grambeau, Warren Bolster, Peter Crawford, so many more. Those are just a few…
Picture 1 (Opening image) by Erik Ippel
Picture 2: (golden image) by Christian Dahlbec
Picture 3: (Shiny image) by Zach De Lacruz