2015 Ocean & Earth Surf Photographer Search: The Winners Announced

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2015 Surf Photographer Search Presented by Ocean & Earth

In 2014 we brought you 3 of the best surf photographers in Australia; Ming Nomchong, Holly Shoebridge and Mikala Wilbow. In 2015 we’ve opened it up WORLDWIDE and what a response we’ve had.

With 183 entries from Denmark to Russia, Barbados to New York, New Zealand to Western Australia we were faced with the task of narrowing the finalists to bring you the TOP 5 including the winner for 2015.

We are so overwhelmed by the breathtaking talents that were submitted that we will post a full gallery of images of our semi-finalists next week for you to view. We want to thank every single entrant and person who nominated a friend or family member to this year’s search. 2016 will be the most amazing search yet with sponsors already lining up to be part of the search!

Top 10 were voted on by our three, 2014 winners and the international collaborative that includes the 15 Mermaid Society Contributors.

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone and thank you! Here are your finalists.

You can also check out the TOP 25 GALLERY here!




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Georgia Matts is 22 years old from Wollongong on the South Coast of Australia.

She says “I make a living as a photographer for Fairfax media newspapers and Balanced Image Studios. My main passion is surfing and photography, as you can see in the photographs that I have supplied you with. They are my passion because they both create and capture memories that last a lifetime. I have my own freelance Photography, Business Advertising and Design business which I run in my home town.”

“When I’m not working or surfing I am at University studying Digital Media, to hopefully one day work for a major surf company, or potentially start my own that is purely a subject around women.”

‘Saying that my life as a surfer girl (Gurfer) is adventurous, is an under statement. Every week I am traveling down the coast in my spare time to explore and find the best waves along the coast. Majority of the time I am stuck between deciding if I should surf those waves, or if I should take photographs, because I love the feeling of looking back at those memories and sharing them with everybody. Because who doesn’t love getting their photo taken in perfect barrels?”

Georgia Matts Georgia Matts Georgia Matts



Grace Walden is 22 years old from New Zealand.

She says “I spend every spare second at the ocean. In New Zealand we a blessed to have it so close. I am always taking photos for the boys, getting dragged out of bed by them when I get the call. If only I could do it everyday for the rest of my life. I spend most of my time in Raglan or Piha shooting or surfing. On lay days I am watching the WSL, drinking coffee and editing images.”

“John John Florence is my boyfriend… He just doesn’t know it yet.”



THE 2015 WINNER #1


Fiona Mullen 18 and from New Jersey, USA.

She says “I have been shooting photos for a few years now, and it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean and loved the water, so surf photography happened naturally for me.”

“I started by taking a few photos of some family and friends surfing and eventually every time there was a good swell I went down to shoot. I grew up about an hour inland from the ocean so I never had it right there at my fingertips. I think being far from the water just made me appreciate it that much more.”

“Shooting in New Jersey is not the easiest. Winter on the east coast can be brutal on land, let alone in freezing water. Water photography in the winter is a whole new game, with 5mm of rubber head to toe and my two cameras, shooting in the winter isn’t exactly easy. Even though I usually can’t feel my fingertips and my toes start to freeze, the thrill of shooting in the winter is like no other.”

“There’s not many other types of photography where you are so completely engaged and dedicated to what you are shooting. That’s why I find it to be one of the most rewarding endeavours. There’s nothing better than coming out of the water knowing that you got that shot you’ve been longing for. Photography has allowed me to go on some amazing adventures, meet incredible people, and gave me a passion that will last a lifetime”

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