PHOTOGRAPHER INSIGHT: Johanna Brebner Up Close And Personal With Longboarding Photographs


Runner Up in the 2018 Mermaid Society Surf Photographer Search Presented by Braven

Interview by Fiona Mullen


Johanna Brebner, 24, was born and raised in the small coastal town of Ohope Beachin the North Island of New Zealand. The Sunshine Coast of Australia has been her home for the past six years. She has been surfing since the age of five, and not until a few years ago did she combine her passion for photography with her love of surfing. It was a natural progression that was bound to happen at some point for her. Her life consists of documenting sunshine and waves, while sharing her love for the water with fellow women.


The weather is always the greatest part of my area, making Winter always bliss. Coming from New Zealand I really appreciate the ease of surfing here in the warmer water!

I see other girls enjoying the surf everyday. The amount of women in the water here is crazy. Some days out at Noosa we will outnumber the guys! It’s awesome to see, and always such a fun atmosphere to shoot and surf in. There is no better feeling than watching and being apart of a lineup run by girls.

The waves in my area tend to suit longboarding the majority of the time. I end up photographing longboarding because that’s what is in front of me on more a regular basis. Although, I love all forms of surfing, The different styles, boards and waves, and how everyone applies themselves differently. Not many sports can offer that kind of individual diversity.


Sony A600
Meikon Water Housings
35mm – 600mm lenses


I’m still working on my individual style, I feel that it’s something that will continually change and grow as I try new things and new equipment. I’m working on keeping my photos simple and beautiful while not overshooting and losing my touch. It can easily be done these days with the constant push for daily posts on social media and online content. I recently completed a few shoots for clothing and swimwear companies and loved it! Totally different from shooting in the water, but it felt good to apply myself to something out of my comfort zone and have fun with it.


Shoot as much as you can! The more you shoot, the more you learn. Also, the more people you will meet means more opportunities.

Find someone to work under, so you can pick their brains and continue to grow and learn. Just have fun and enjoy yourself 🙂

Johanna was a runner-up in the 2018 Mermaid Society Surf Photographer Search presented by Braven. Her three images were selected as highly recommended by the seven judges including; Fran Miller, Brooke Farris, Leah Dawson, Cait Mears, Kirstin Scholtz, Amber Mozo and Fiona Mullen. View the 20 finalists HERE.

Check out more of Johanna’s work on her Instagram.

Johanna Brebner Johanna Brebner Johanna Brebner

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