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Summer & the Sea: an interview with photographer Katie Rae

It's not often that we have women wear our swim shorts, let alone talented ocean photograhers. With a shared passion for summer and the sea, we're proud to work with one such muse and mermaid. Hailing from Leigh-On-Sea, a small town on the southeast coast of England, we'd like to introduce you to Katie Rae.



How did you get into shooting beautiful photos of the ocean?


When I was little I dreamed of going to Australia. After doing a foundation degree in Photography and working in London and not feeling fulfilled, I bought a ticket to Sydney. Photography was on my mind still, but I didn’t know what direction to go in. I remember sitting by the water one late afternoon watching the water lapping up onto the rocks and was hypnotized, it sort of hit me then. I was then very lucky to meet up with the photographer Ray Collins. I was completely in awe of his work, and he is such a lovely down to earth guy. I decided to pursue my passion and capture moments around the ocean, leading me to purchase my first camera water-housing.


A lot of your photography is shot in Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives - what’s your connection to these places?


My first job as a surf photographer was with Soul & Surf in Varkala in 2017. I worked there for 2 seasons, which was amazing. The Maldives was an absolute dream; one I never thought would happen. I went there on a visa run from India with my good friend Ellie and my partner Chris. We did it on the cheap, which at the time we didn’t think was possible. I went to Sri Lanka in March this year with Soul & Surf to provide them with content. It is such a beautiful country, I’d love to go back.



How has the ocean, travel and the environment shaped your view behind the lens? And how has being behind the lense shaped your view of the world?


It makes me feel so calm; it’s my way of meditating. I don’t have any worries when I’m with my camera in the water. It makes me see the beauty and simplicity of this crazy world.


Your work is very emotive and minimalist - how do you create this?


Thank you so much. I guess it’s how I’m feeling. I’m quite introverted and I find it hard to express myself sometimes, so I use photography to do that.



With so many ‘perfect’ pictures of wanderlust beach lifestyles on Instagram, do find this affecting your craft? How do you stay relevant or does it matter?


It doesn’t bother me. I think its great to see imagery from different perspectives. 

I try not to let it affect what I choose to shoot. 


As someone who like to collaborate with positive brands, how do you see your photography being used as a power for good?


To help promote what amazing things sustainable brands are doing (like yourselves!). I think and hope that my photography connects people to places and inspires them to travel and feel something for this amazing planet we call home. 




Do you have any advice for budding ocean photographers? 


Don’t give up! There have been so many times where I’ve felt like giving up on photography. Just remember why you’re doing it. It doesn’t matter about 'Likes'. If you’re wanting to get into photography, I’d advise getting yourself a film camera. It forces you to learn about settings, it’s all trial and error! 


Where's your favourite beach?


Arrifana on the west coast of Portugal. The drive from Lagos is so beautiful - it’s a long and winding road lined with eucalyptus trees. It’s a beautiful build up to getting in the water. The beach itself is wonderful: high cliffs towering over the sand which creates amazing light and shadows. 







Behind the Lens


For her latest trip to Sri Lanka and India, Katie test drove our latest men's Burgh boardshort below. It's wonderful to have women in our shorts!







To see more of Katie Rae's beautiful ocean photography, check out her website here > KATIE RAE PHOTO


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