My photography career was born out of the ashes of the death of my best friend, Jim Campbell, a burning passion for the ocean, the sport of surfing, and the spirit of Aloha. ￼ Jim, a truly hot unknown surfer and great human being, died in a car crash in the spring of 1978, six months before we were going to do our first surfing pilgrimage to the North Shore of Oahu. When he died, it seemed my dreams died, too.
I remember sitting in my truck outside the hospital, tears streaming down my face, as I pondered what had just happened to my best friend, a man who will always be remembered. He was a man of his word, a free thinker, and a guy who wasn’t afraid to stand out. He was the kind of person you could depend on. From saving someone’s life as a paramedic, to helping someone move, to shaping a board for a friend, Jim was always right there to help.
Rick Doyle - Smashed WaterHousing Mexico
I couldn’t believe someone so good could have been taken from us. It was at this very moment that I decided not to go to North Shore to surf. I decided to dedicate myself to my budding photojournalism career. Jim had inspired me to make something out of myself; I didn’t think that he would want me to blow my career bumming my way around the world on surf trips. I decided to quit my job as a carpenter and go to school full time. I applied for admission at San Diego State University and started school that fall. Two years later I applied for a photographic internship with Surfer magazine and was accepted. At the end of my internship during my final semester of college, I sold my car to buy a round-trip plane ticket to Hawaii and twenty rolls of film. Unfortunately, two weeks before I left for the North Shore, I tore the medial collateral ligaments in my right knee surfing Windansea I was extremely disappointed because the accident meant that I could not swim out to shoot water shots on the North Shore of Oahu. However, I decided to leave for the North Shore of Oahu as planned. I headed over on crutches and shot my twenty rolls of film. Upon my return, Surfer published my first photos from that trip; a two page spread of Pipeline and a full page color of Brian Keaulana at Makaha. And the rest, as they say, is history. ￼ As for bumming my way around the world on surf trips, I ended up getting paid (not alot) — most of the time — to travel the world and do what I do best.Surf photography has inspired and elevated me to levels I never dreamed of. It’s launched me into other areas of the film industry and art world that I never thought were possible. I’ll never forget my surfing roots, because without them nothing else really matters. There’s absolutely no other feeling in the world that comes close to being locked into the heart of a wave. I owe Jim, the ocean, the sport of surfing, and the spirit of aloha, my life. As this site grows and prospers, I plan on giving back to the ocean and to the sport for which I’ll be eternally grateful. With this in mind, I’m moving forward into the next century with a renewed spirit and passion for my renewed work in the field of architecture, interior design and real estate photography. My clients can count on working with me and a crew of people with vision, passion and integrity. Special thanks to all of those people who have helped me get to where I am today, and to those who are helping me move towards the future. And wherever my future may be, I hope it’s sunny, the surf’s good and the water is warm and I've got a great start on that since I live in Hawaii.