Quest For Freedom by Tom Woods
A chance meeting with a second hand Surfing World magazine when I was 14 years old is what got my imagination ignited.
It gave me an over whelming sense of Freedom while flicking through the pages of this life changing magazine.
My highest value to this day is Freedom and my soul was pulled firmly into the surfing lifestyle. This sense of freedom is something that I could really resonate with, it felt right, even before I knew how to surf.
A short time after that I rode my first green wall and before that ride came to an end I knew what sort of life I wanted to chase, I was well and truly hooked.
I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, not exactly a surf destination. It was hard work finding waves in Adelaide with lots of travelling, braving cold water and surfing in 50-knot gale force winds, but I didn’t mind one bit. This was something I was going to do forever.
A few years down the track, surfing got me into travel. Without surfing I don’t think I would have gone down that path. Travel opens up a whole new world and with that I wanted to record it and a camera was the obvious tool of choice. After all it was surf travel photos that got me started and now it was my turn to inspire, create and show others the beauty of a travelling/surfing lifestyle.
Photography was another pathway that screamed Freedom to me. It was a lifestyle and occupation outside the normally 9-5 grind. I knew I didn’t want that life, so photography I chased. I shot for 5 years as an enthusiast while working in camera shops and printing labs. During this time I started to get loads of pictures published in surfing magazines around the world, mainly Australian mags but also Japanese, New Zealand and USA publications as well.
By 2004 my life partner Sherrin and I decided to never work for anyone again and start our own photography business and we have been full time photographers ever since. We shoot jobs all over Australia and New Zealand with our commercial photography for various brands and businesses. It has given us a ticket to travel and live a life outside the norm. Something I always craved.
Surfing and Photography led me to Freedom in many ways, although I now know freedom is just a state of mind and most people have more freedom than they believe.
I am now enjoying teaching others how to create a dream life through photography; this has been my most rewarding process in my career so far. Surfing and Photography is so Rad and I’m happy to share and chat with anyone who also loves a simple photography and surfing lifestyle.