Photographer Brian Averill: Top 10 Of 2014

"That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful." -Edgar Allan Poe

“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.” -Edgar Allan Poe

Brian Averill’s journey into the realms of photography started when he was just a child with a Kodak “Instamatic” camera given to him by his mother. He began shooting photos immediately, elaborate scenes constructed with his Star Wars figures and a great deal of imagination.

His somewhat eccentric behavior from the average child eventually ended him up in film school. After a successful stint in the world of film, we was left feeling somewhat unsatisfied, wanting to return to the simple beauty of capturing a photograph. Averill soon found a subject that captivated his visual desires, the underground surf and skate culture of Los Angeles, California.

Below is a short interview with Averill, along with his top 10 favorite surf photos from 2014.

Zappo: What elements do you think make for a good photograph?

Averill: I think a good photo makes the viewer react emotionally on some level. If it makes you feel something, be it awe, curiosity, laughter, or fear, then it’s done its job. Beyond that, I like unique combinations of creativity and technical proficiency, or something I haven’t necessarily seen before. I like to see a distinct point of view.

Zappo: When did you start shooting and have you had any formal training?

Averill: I’ve been shooting since I was kid. My mom gave me her old Kodak Instamatic when I was about 9. That road eventually led to NYU film school, long story short, in my previous life, I was a film director.

Zappo: What inspires you to shoot?

Averill: So many things. California’s surf and skate cultures are obviously pretty inspiring to me. There are so many creative, stylish, and talented athletes out here. I’m grateful I can capture some of what they’re doing and help them share it, hopefully adding my own personal touch along the way. Inspirations beyond that.. the work of photographers I admire… music.. and light itself.

Zappo: What are you looking to offer or convey through your photographs?

Averill: It’s a way for me to observe and reflect the incredibly vibrant culture around me and hopefully present it in a unique way that people respond to. One thing I’ll definitely never tire of is the expression on a surfer (or skater’s) face the first time they see a finished version of a great shot we got together.

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More of Brian’s work:

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Growing up in New Jersey, Shawn discovered and quickly immersed himself in the sub-culture of surfing and skateboarding in the mid 80’s. With a diverse and eclectic background, Shawn has walked the path of a competitive surfer, Hare Krsna monk, action sports industry player in NYC, DIY theology and religions major, and a touring punk rock musician. Now a father and self-proclaimed seeker of the “soul” of surfing, Shawn enjoys sessions with friends at uncrowded peaks along his home state’s shoreline and writing about his surf related experiences.



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