Catching up with Photographer Tom Young
Luck is often confused with hard work and ambition.
Some would call 26 year old Tom Young lucky, growing up in West Cornwall and spending a good proportion of his adult life floating round the ocean in various corners of the world taking photos for surf and clothing brands. It’s not luck that has bought him to this point, it’s a passion for the beauty and simplicity of travel, and the desire to record it in photography.
From as young as possible Tom surrounded himself with kindred spirits, those strong willed types, the ones happy to get in the sea with little encouragement, even in the depths of the frigid North Atlantic winter. This on it’s own is not easy, sure it’s fun, but it requires commitment. It is this commitment that enables him to frame perfect moments in precarious, water-based line ups.
After college a period of adventure and discovery led to stints in Indonesia, Australia and the Canary Islands. Returning with eyes wide open the only option was to start saving, grab a water-housing and start shooting. A fresh vision breathed new life into the old, inspiration abound from familiar surroundings and a true zest for life driving the limits of imagination.
Tom draws inspiration, in his own words, “from everything”. Although it may sound corny it’s inspirational and infectious, even his Cornish homeland providing secrets yet to be discovered. There is beauty in everything, and the rangefinder is the holder of the key. If you can appreciate the people and places around you then you’re there already, ready and willing to savour the moment.
Despite living on one of the most desirable thimbles of land on the planet Tom has cast his net much further, traveling extensively from the moment his parents would allow. Over the years he seen the shores of Nicaragua, Indonesia, Australia and Tasmania, all incredible places and helping to stoke the fire.
You’d think it difficult to nail down a “favourite”, but Tom can. Tasmania is the place for him, spending time with his other half off the grid in a camper van looking for waves and fluid perfection. The Bay of Fires in the North is a special spot. A friendly approach garnered the secrets of the loose tongues of the locals, the great islands secrets revealed and swells foretold. Up and down the coast you can park the van up, with a view of a new line up and a pre-prepared fire pit, just add fresh fish and cold beer. It’s an area that is almost man made in appearance, the perfect backdrop to surf brand video, but just you and a hardy crew of like-minded adventure seekers.
Tasmania wasn’t all chilling and relaxing, the island hosts some pretty heavy reefs and slabs. Figuring out how to best shoot them is tricky, but the practical act of taking photos in the water is a whole different ball game. Tom cites the power behind the water as a real eye opener, but each beating was seen as a learning curve, a commitment to learning his craft. Nobody ever said that surf photography would be easy.