We talked to Jeff Grant, the2sixteen, a rising surf photographer living in Jacksonville, Florida about his photos and inspiration
I’m originally from Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The smallest of states in the USA. I moved to Jacksonville, Florida several years ago. I began with taking sunrise photos at the beach with a Kodak. At the time, the pier was open. I was able to walk the pier taking shots of the beach and surrounding sea. I progressed to taking surf shots of the surfers on their boards. I enjoy their carefree lifestyle. They have a very relaxed, chill way at looking at life. I often said that if surfers were all this world had, their would be no wars. It would be a paradise. I do believe that.
After the last hurricane passed through, much of the pier had been destroyed. There was no longer that access to be out with the surfers. I’m not a surfer, though I love to show off their side of the world. There’s a true beauty to it all. So I upgraded my camera to a Nikon, with a 300mm zoom lens, to put myself back out there with them.
This allowed me to capture the surfers, dancing on the waves, far better than what I used to. It opened a door. I wanted to show the surfer off, as well as the surfers abilities on the water. I wanted you to know the surfer. I began candid/model shots of them off the board. In their habitat. On the beach, with a board, enjoying their surroundings. For me, it’s created a beautiful insight to what makes them unique.
Also when I do take photos of the surfers on land, I want them natural. Not so much posed. But to place the viewer in the scene with them. For me, this is taking off. I get messages from surfers asking when I’m available for some shots. I have a few more coming up that I’m looking forward to. Each surfer has a unique style about them. They bring something new. There’s no stress in any of this. It’s a beautiful world to explore.