Woody Gooch – Young, Free, Alright!
The Rad and Creative Youth of Australian Surfing
Presented by Arnette
Interview by Dan Caban
How’s this guy? Woody Gooch has been taking photos for a little over five years now, and has made a name for himself both in and out of the surfing industry. He’s crossed the ditch 9 times, shoots with professional skiers and modestly doesn’t like talking about his own photos. However even though he doesn’t like talking about them, his shots can’t stay unnoticed for much longer and at Coastalwatch we were quite happy to give the legend a call and show you how good he is.
CW: Woody, you’re a Sunny Coaster and that area seems to be producing huge amounts of talent of late. What’s so good about the place?
WG: The Sunny Coast eh (laughs)? There is not much to offer, but I guess if you know the right crew and are with the right group of people you can make it happen. You just got to keep going and check out different placers to what you normally do all the time. You just have to be motivated to keep it looking different.
Have you got a few local setups that you have dialled?
I enjoy shooting all different types of spots now just so I can mix it up and it depends who you are shooting as well, you know. If the person is suitable for the area and the waves. I don’t really have one particular spot that I know, there are numerous little breaks that I enjoy shooting at but I’ve been shotting a lot of logging lately just out front and that has been fun. But I think if you can manage to shoot everywhere just as good as one spot you like, that’s a massive gain.
Who are some of the guys you are frequently shooting?
I’ve shot with Harry Bryant ever since I pretty much pointed a camera at the ocean and Dane Peterson, one of the best around. Zye Norris, one of the up-an-coming longboarders and only 19, Jake Vincent is sick, I’ve shot with Wade Goodall a bit, that was really good, sick experience to shoot with him and to step up for it and just trying to get stuff properly done with a big name, and also Harrison Roach. Besides that, those main three or four guys that I shoot with, I haven’t really shot with anyone else.
You’ve been killing it lately, getting run in mags and online, talk us through some of the work you’re most proud of.
I got a few galleries on Swellnet ages ago, and I guess that was a good basis to start from, I met a few people through that. But now I’ve had double-pages in Surfing World, and all my logging stuff gets printed. I shoot heaps of skiing, I’ve done numerous trips with a professional skier named Conrad Lucas, I did a stint down in Jindabyne with him for a few weeks and worked on some stuff to get a different vibe with. I think one of my first published photos was in a bodyboard magazine like two Christmases ago, but there has been bit in Surfing World, Surfing Life. It has happened really quickly though.
Do you have one photo that is hands down your favourite?
I hate talking about my own photos (laughs). I’ve had a few that I’ve really liked, and then a few months later looked at them and thought what did I ever see in those (laughs), but I think recently I’ve got some good stuff done with Harrison Roach which has been really nice. I have some stuff of him that is coming out in December that I really really dig and probably my favourite so far of anyone or anything.
How does social media and the online world positively influence what you do?
Well my blog is pretty much run through Instagram which is really good as everything is on Instagram these days. But I’m actually making a site right now, which is coming out probably within the next four to six months. I’ve been trying to build up a good amount of photos that no one has really seen yet.
Have you had many trips or other rad experiences?
I have a plan to go on a trip to France, but that hasn’t really been confirmed so I don’t know about that just yet. But now I’ll get a fair bit of travelling with the boys who I shoot with as they have all finished school now, and hopefully I'll get to see some rad places. I’ve travelled a number of times, I think like eight or nine times to New Zealand, and in I think 2011, I did a season with the family in Wanaka. That kind of built my passion that I now have for photography, seeing something really dynamic and different compared to the surf scene. Everyone was really chilled out and keen to shoot, not that ego-tripping minds that are so lame. But it was good, that’s actually where I met Conrad. It was weird actually, I’d never met this dude before, and I was talking to him on Facebook and we just met at the top of the hill one day and had a friendship from then onwards.
How long ago was it that you picked up a camera?
I’ve been shooting for probably five years now, but more seriously now for sure. Five years of bullshit basically (laughs). I shoot with a Nikon D700. It’s good with other guys because they use similar equipment and it’s sick to talk to them about it.
Young, Free, Alright! is a fortnightly editorial series presented by Coastalwatch and Arnette showcasing and profiling young and up-and-coming photographers, filmmakers, bloggers, artists, musicians, shapers, surfers or whatevers that we've been digging. The rad and creative groms of Australian surfing. Alright!
To follow the rise and rise of photographer Woody Gooch, add him on Instagram – @woodygphoto
To see more Young, Free, Alright! profiles click here.
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