About TrevorA recent interview for INCU Edition
Tell us a little bit about your childhood, we hear you spent a good portion of it on a boat in the Bahamas?
I was born in Calgary Canada. When I was 8 months old my parents decided they wanted to sail the South Pacific. They bought a 60 foot sailboat and we left Vancouver, not having any open ocean sailing experience. We sailed for 28 days to Hawaii, then on to Sydney via the Cook Islands and Fiji. My brother was born in Sydney. His citizenship would later be the key reason I was allowed to get permanent residency in Australia.
My first memories are playing on the beaches of Costa Rica and sailing through the Panama Canal. Most of my primary school years were spent on a boat sailing Central America and the Caribbean. I was home schooled, which explains why I’m super smart. Ha.
We moved back to Vancouver for high school. I left home soon after and travelled within Canada, spending snow seasons at mountains and eventually jumping on a plane to Melbourne when I was 21.
How did your experiences as a kid influence your taste for adventure today?
I was raised sailing, swimming, spearfishing, scuba diving, exploring islands, living on a sailboat and going through class 5 hurricanes. Not your average upbringing. I never used to think it was special but it was. What this has done for me as an adult has really made me hungry for more in life. I get bored easy. I’m pretty restless so I always need a surf trip or any trip in the pipeline to make me excited about the upcoming months. It is great that sometimes I can combine work with those trips.
We worked with you on the campaign for the latest collection from our label 'Weathered', with some really amazing results. When did you start taking photos, and what compelled you to make it into a profession?
Well thank you. Glad you liked them. I started taking pictures around year 11. I just went back to Canada last year to clean out my storage there and was so surprised at how many boxes of prints I had. I don’t remember shooting that much but apparently I did. I used to shoot friends snowboarding all the time and then when I travelled to Aus I bought an awesome Nikon kit with 4 different lenses and used that for a year but then sold it because that one bag was too much to travel around with. I really knew nothing those days. As I write this I’m in Lombok with 6 bags of camera gear on my own trying to get back to Bali to get on a flight to the Maldives this afternoon. I wish I had just one bag.
The first year I was in Australia, I travelled up the east coast and started studying photography near Noosa. I loved it and within the first few classes I decided that I wanted to seriously pursue it. The next semester I transferred my home and course down to Melbourne. I assisting lots of different photographers during study, learning a lot, getting to travel, and meeting tons of people in the industry. I started shooting after 4 years of assisting. Then 4 years later, I moved to Sydney to pursue a better lifestyle. I wanted to live near the beach.
Your job must have taken you to some pretty fantastic locations, what have been some of your favourites so far and why?
I travel tons. Last year I went to Bali, Canada, LA, Uluru, Broome, Byron, Melbourne heaps. I get to Bali quite often. I love that place. It is my second home, to Australia. There is just so much to do there, other than surfing. I have a few friends there and I love going to visit them. The local people have such good hearts and are always smiling. I’m actually having a reflexology foot massage as I write this in the Lombok airport. You have to have a few massages while you’re there.
Tell us about your most recent adventure?
Most recent adventure would be yesterday. I was on a small island off Lombok called Gili Tranganwan. Woke up at 5am to shoot swimwear on the beach and finished early. So the client and I went scuba diving at Shark Point looking for sharks. Didn’t see any. They should name that place Turtle Point, saw heaps.
… and your most memorable adventure of all time?
This is a recent one. Last October my lady Jesse and I went to Bali to relax for 10 days. Not much relaxing. Always did something weather it was going surfing or riding scooters to explore the island or hanging in the monkey forest. Bali is an adventure in itself. One night we organised to hike up the highest volcano in Bali, Mount Agung. The drive picked us up from the hotel at 11pm to drive us to the base of the mountain. Jesse and I started hiking at 1am with our guide, head lamps on and hiking poles in hand. Half of it was straight up through jungle and the other half was straight up untouched exposed lava rock. When I say straight up, I mean it, there were many parts where we had to use our hands to crawl up the incline. It took 4.5 hours up and we made it for sunrise. 10,000 feet up, and it was breathtaking. While we were there I asked Jesse to be my wife. She said yes, thank god. Would have been an awkward 4.5 hour hike back down, otherwise.
Have you ever found yourself in a particularly precarious or dangerous situation during your travels?
Heck yeah. Not often but yes. Surfing over shallow, sharp reef definitely keeps you on your toes. Also surfing big waves, I’ve had a few near drowning experiences. Last year when I was on a surf boat charter in Sumatra, I nearly drowned. After a lay day of waves, we soaked up the sun and some beers. That night I went to sleep in my bunk. At midnight I woke up to relieve myself on deck over the side of the boat. I felt a bit light headed and then... I was dreaming. I remember dreaming about how much my chest hurt and that I couldn’t breathe. There was a moment in my dream where I actually realised that I wasn’t dreaming. I woke up. I was under water, off a small island in the middle of nowhere, sinking, at midnight. I looked up and I could see the rays of shimmering light from the boat. For a split second it was magical. Then reality kicked in. I swam up to the surface, nearly drowned. I had inhaled quite a bit of water. That was the end of my trip. I ended up getting pneumonia when I got back to Sydney. I didn’t fully recover from that one for months. Scary, but after a few weeks of being better, I forgot all about it. Onwards and upwards.
Surfing is a big part of your world, how long have you been doing it for and what is it that you love about it?
Surfing has changed my life. I started when I got to Melbourne nearly 15 years ago. Although I was raised on a boat, I’m scared shitless about sharks or dolphins or the loch ness monster or anything bigger than me in the sea that might eat me. I have this phobia but for some reason the surfboard gives me a false sense of security. My first surf was at Bells Beach. I loved it and told my friend if he ever went without me, I’d disown him.
Surfing for me is my release, my meditation but also my main source of fitness. To go on holidays to tropical destinations with friends and get the waves of your life and then have a few beers on the beach at sunset, it sounds nice doesn’t it. On the other hand to go out near Sydney in the winter and hunt for big waves is equally as rewarding. It’s just you in a wetsuit in the cold water, wind and rain sometimes, battling the elements, trying to not die and loving it at the same time. Adventure.
If you weren't based in Sydney, where would you be living and why?
Probably LA or Paris. Both for different reasons. LA would be for that work/lifestyle balance. It has a similar vibe to Sydney but on a much larger scale. Paris would be for a completely different culture. I can speak a bit of French but would love to learn it properly. Apparently France is the place to do that.
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