Surfing Photographer Kenny Hurtado Captures More Than Waves

(photo by Kenny Hurtado of Derrick Disney)

When you're just starting out with a career in photography there comes a point where you have to decide what kind of photographer you want to be. This is not to say that you can't be a Jack of all trades and shoot what pleases you, but more often than not what pleases you ends up being a specific kind of photography. 

When Kenny Hurtado picked up a camera at a Junior College in Orange County when he was 18, he had no idea it would lead him into the world of Surfing. It was an internship at SURFING MAGAZINE during the last year of the Larry "Flame" Moore's 30 year tenure and the first with Steven Sherman at the helm that changed his life. 

Larry Moore, nicknamed 'Flame' because of his hair had shot more than 43 covers for Surfing magazine in his career, not to mention countless other covers for other magazines. He was the gold standard by which all other photographers were judged. His close-up, front lit, razor-sharp images were his signature, but he also took dark and moody images like this one. 

(photo by Larry "Flame" Moore)

Ashton Goggins interviewed Kenny for Surfer and he had this to say about his career: 

"I met Pat Stacy, who was on staff with Surfing, when I was at OCC [Orange Coast College]," Hurtado says. "He was shooting with Flame in the mornings, and he'd bring the slides to school and I'd just trip out on them. Eventually, he gave me a contact at Surfing to get an internship, and I went and met Flame, bought a housing, and started meeting him at Salt Creek at six in the morning to shoot Chris Ward, doing fisheye stuff."
Hurtado would absorb all he could from Flame in those early days, adopting Flame's signature crisp, high-action, wide-angle, brilliantly front-lit style that graced 432 Surfing covers and earned Flame his very own time of day: "Larry Light."
"I want more poetry in my photos," Hurtado says. "It's a subject-matter thing. I'm interested in surfers and the environment they're in. I wasn't going to be the guy on a tripod all day, nailing guys doing turns. I'm drawn to surfing's subcultural aspects, and how the environment, the landscape, and light shape that. I want to really capture the feeling of being somewhere, capture the personalities and the substance. I want my photos to tell a story."

(photo by KennyHurtado: British Columbia 2016)

(photo by Kenny Hurtado: January Storm - 2016)

(photo by Kenny Hurtado: Maui - 2014)

Hurtado is still drawn to surfing, but he too is now deciding what kind of photographer he wants to be. For more check out the full story on Surfer.

Source: SURFER