Simon Perini is an Australian surfer / photographer who creates layered compositions that capture the emotion and feelings of sliding waves. We got in touch with Simon to learn more about his life and approach.
What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in the inner city ‘burbs of Sydney – skating, bikes and street footy. Good times!
When did you get your first surfboard?
Not growing up near the beach, I didn’t have a surfboard till I was 17. Before that it was just boogers and the occasional mates board.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood on a surfboard?
Head over heels!
Who did you look up to and admire when you were growing up?
Being a short arse I looked up to all my mates who were getting taller every day. My parents have always been two very admirable people who I really respect and who have had a major impact on my life.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
Africa — for it’s simplicity, beauty and danger. I was born there, but left too soon to remember it. When I went back as an adult, I felt this real connection and sense of belonging there. California — for it’s creativity, culture and In-N-Out burgers. If I had to leave home and move somewhere else, it’d be California for sure.
Who/what inspires you?
I get inspired by so many people and so many things — too much to say… Photography wise — Kyle Lightner, T. Campbell, Andy Mueller, Patrick Trefz, Matthew Allen, Kassia Meador, Drew Innis, Ron Stoner, and so many more. I really appreciate photographers who make there photograph a work of art, rather than just a good picture.
What do you look for in a good image?
Colour, context and creativity.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
One of the greatest things I have learned in life is the experience of grace. What it is like to have grace offered to me and then to offer that to others.
Do you have any regrets or wish you had done something differently?
No, not really. Nothing in life is ever wasted.
What are you most proud of?
Scoring the best girl in the world for my wife.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
Surfing is a gift that I am so thankful for on a daily basis. It keeps me energized and humbled and thankful to be alive and healthy.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
My relationship with God. My wife and the sound of her laughing. My family and friends. And a glassy Autumn morning.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
For me, it’s anyone who appreciates and tries to connect with the beauty and privilege of riding waves. I really admire guys like Dave Allee, Tyler Warren, and Derek Hynd. These are people who are not afraid to get a little creative in board design and innovation. I respect anyone who chooses aesthetic over aggro and advertising. Basically anyone who is having fun on any board, on any day.
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surfspot?
I don’t really have a favourite board, because they each offer something different on different days. My Almond ‘Kookumber’ is very sentimental to me. I can’t mention my recent favourite spot because the local crew will wail on me.
What’s your favorite meal?
My wife’s spaghetti bolognese washed down with an organic honey cola.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
Fleet Foxes, The Mattson 2, The Drums, Matt Costa, Cloud Control
What are you most grateful for?
This life that I’ve been so blessed with.
What’s next for Simon Perini?
I’m currently studying graphic design. I am really keen to grow more in a variety of creative mediums. I love photography, but don’t want to be confined to that. There’s so much more I want to explore and do. Stay tuned!
Find out more about Simon Perini here.