Interview by Glenn Sakamoto
Chris DeLorenzo is a talented surfer/photographer originally from New Jersey and now residing and working in California. Inspired by the human soul, nature, and the sea, Chris' work is both gorgeous in color and composition. We spoke with him to learn more.
What was your childhood like?
I’ve been exploring and creating as long as I can remember. Constantly curious. The beach was probably my first memory. I grew up in a rural area of New Jersey, about an hour from the coast, so I think a lot of who I am and the variety of what I shoot has been shaped by that.
Who did you look up to and admire when you were a child?
Family was and still is the biggest part of my life. My brother and parents were my biggest inspirations. To this day they are still 100% behind everything that I set out to do and for that, I’m extremely grateful.
Who/What inspired you to begin shooting images?
I can’t remember one specific moment or inspiration, but I started at 10 or 11 basically after I stole my mom’s camera. I used to draw a lot, but I realized it was much easier for me to create what was in my mind using the camera rather than paper and pencil.
What do you look for in a good photograph?
I think imagery that is visually breathtaking and connects to the viewer on an emotional level is a successful image. Art is extremely subjective so I really don't look at photos either being “good” or “bad,” but rather what intrigues me or not. If something catches my eye, I look deeper to see what inspiration I can take from it, if none – I move on. Of course there are technicalities and concept that go into the image too, but viewing imagery this way is way more beneficial in growing as an artist.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
California. It’s not some crazy far away land but thats why it stands out so much to me. Moving there this past winter has been the best decision of my life. I have met so many incredible people, and have been shooting more than ever before. Within the state, however, is one gem that really stands out to me – the desert. There is nothing more beautiful, tranquil and secluded. It is the alter ego of the ocean and you can’t beat beat the crowds (or lack thereof).
Who/what inspires you?
I take my inspiration from everything imaginable, and you need to spread your sources in order to create real and unique work. Music with the right vibe, composition within architecture, really anything that catches your eye can be inspiration. I shoot a wide variety of subject matter and I think, in a way, they all inspire each other. I could never solely shoot surf, people, landscapes, etc. because my images would start to become stale and uninteresting.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
You have to trust really your journey, and know what you are doing is right for you no matter what some people may think. There’s always going to be people who have your back, and people who question what you are doing. Surrounding yourself with those who are supportive is one of the best things you can do.
What are you most proud of?
Waking up in the morning knowing I have chosen to put my all into what I love.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
Creating. Absolutely nothing beats the joy I get from my work. Surfing is a close second though.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
Theres a ton of guys out there who are making waves, no pun intended. John John Florence progressing the sport, Kelly Slater showing age is truly nothing but a number, and Chris Burkard proving that surfing can be brought to the ends of the earth.
What is your favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
I love my 6’0’ fish right now, it’s insanely fun for a lot of spots here in Southern California. Malibu is by far my favorite. Lots of crowds, but the length of the ride makes up for it tenfold. I wish I could paddle out more, but when the waves are good I’m usually behind the lens.
What's your favorite meal?
Taylor ham egg and cheese on a real New Jersey bagel. :)
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
The Naked and Famous, Kip Moore, Phantogram, Coldplay, The Glitch Mob, and The XX.
What are you most grateful for?
My supportive family. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today.
What’s next for Chris DeLorenzo?
As far as I feel I’ve come in photography, I’m really just starting out. I am finally creating images with a style that I feel is cohesive. For me, surf photography is really the means to an end. It’s what I have fun shooting, but its just one piece to the puzzle. I think fashion/lifestyle and exploration/adventure photography are other fields I want to delve deeper into. I want to travel as much as I can. There is really no greater inspiration than the exploration of things unknown.
To learn more about Chris DeLorenzo and his work, visit chrisdelorenzophoto.com.