by Ben Horvath
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Andy Potts is an emerging professional surf photographer from the Gold Coast, who is spending an increasing amount of time in Indonesia each season. Andy spent much of the 2012 and 2013 winter on location in Mentawai. Andy shoots individual and group photography packages for surfers and is looking at spending much of his 2014 Mentawai season on land as the resident surf photographer at the comfortable Aloita Surf Resort and Spa, as well as aboard The Oasis shooting photography packages.

The Perfect Wave’s Ben Horvath caught up with Andy to discuss the highlights of the 2013 Indo season and Andy’s plans for client photography packages in 2014. You can book Andy to photograph or video your dream surf experience at Aloita or aboard The Oasis via The Perfect Wave.

Q – How did you get into surf photography?

What can I say, the Gold Coast is a crazy and very busy place, I guess the crowds and my selfishness pursuit of barrels became too much. I could either get inside 90% of the waves that came through with the lens, or hassle 90% of the crowd to get dropped in on anyway. After the first year of shooting I was hooked, the rest of the story can be seen in my images.

Q – Who and what subject matter do you enjoy shooting the most?

I am all about composition, a story within the image. Nothing beats scoring a solid shot of pure technique. Regarding surfer subject matter, I love shooting airs and watching crew push their limits when learning new manoeuvres.

We have some great talent on the Goldy right now. During 2013 I spent some time shooting and working with Ash Keillah the friendly pirate with one eye, has been shredding apart the coast lately.

Q – You are based on the Gold Coast. How do you find living on the Goldie and how is it as a base for an up and coming professional surf photographer?

The Goldy is great, especially at this time of year with some big cyclone swells expected, the opportunities are endless with riders, shapers and a recent influx of young entrepreneurs all giving it ago. If you have the time and patience and are not afraid to fail and get back up, it’s the perfect place to showcase your work as a photographer.

Q – Tell me how you got into travelling and where have you been in recent years?

Travel is amazing. I urge anyone that has not yet made the pilgrimage to their favourite OS break, stop what you’re doing right now, gather the coinage and start planning the trip of your life.

After a few Hawaiian seasons back in 09/10 everything just started to come together for me regarding the travel scene.  The Perfect Wave have been incredible, offering me killer opportunities to shoot on location over the past two years and with that experience and some great support at home, i have been lucky enough to score epic Indonesia, pumping Maldives and some next level Hawaii too. The East Coast of Australia is also a world class stretch of coastline with crazy waves and amazing beaches. I have scored plenty of action during the last year or so.

Q – I know you spent pretty much the entire season in The Mentawais in 2013. How were the waves?

The waves last year were great, I spent the majority of my time on the southern end of the islands and scored some epic sessions at some locations I was really keen to see fire up.  The end of the season slowed down for sure with a persistent southerly wind that seemed never ending.

Q – Where did you see the best waves?

Greenbush and Macaronis delivered the goods for sure; crowds were relatively low considering how consistent the waves were. HT’s never disappoints and we even got an epic 6-ft perfect half day to ourselves, but in typical fashion, once the word got out it got busy.

Q – Who was doing the best surfing you saw?

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Dane Reynolds and Nat Young at Macaronis which was epic, both of them were charging before Dane unfortunately did some damage to his left arm and their trip was done.

Mitch Coleborn and Chippa Wilson also put on a show for a few boats here and there. That was easily some of the best aerial surfing i have witnessed anywhere.

Q – What are your plans for the 2014 Indo season at Aloita?

My plans will be revolving around shooting video and stills at Aloita Surf Resort and Spa. Aloita is located right in the heart of Mentawai. They have 2 high powered speed boats that ferry you to all the best waves in The Ments twice daily. You can pretty much surf anywhere, there are two surf transfers a day. The speed boat can take you and your buddies to HT’s in the morning and anywhere the Playgrounds area in the arvo or vice versa and I can shoot it all.

Q – Tell us about your photography packages and a bit about the Oasis?

On the Oasis we have some great video/photo packages available, prices vary to fit the surfer’s requirements and budget. I am currently shooting with a Canon 7d, various lenses for all angles and I also shoot a lot of water with my Aquatech housing, I am also available for video clip editing.

The boat is amazing; it is super wide which really allows for a comfortable trip, not banging your body to bits up and down corridors.  The food is great and seems endless, plenty of Bintangs, all the extras you could possibly need for a Ments adventure and a crew that will ensure you’re waited on hand and foot.  The captain and surf guide have been working together for many years now, so as far as the surf finder missions go, so just make sure you’re fit and ready!

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For more on Aloita Surf Resort and Spa click here.

Written by:
Ben Horvath

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