We had the good fortune of connecting with James Ferrell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi James, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My name is James Ferrell, and I am a 21 year old surf photographer/videographer from Southern California. I was born and raised here in Southern California, and I don’t think that I will ever leave. Around middle school, I was gifted a GoPro from my grandmother for Christmas, and from there on I was hooked with photography and videography. The ocean specifically was what caught my eye. Taking photos and videos of surfers in the water has been my passion for the past 5 years and there’s not one day that goes by without me thinking of the waves. Pursuing surf photography has been such an amazing journey for me and I have met so many friends and formed so many connections with brands and professional athletes. I can’t wait to see where my photography takes me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a 21 year old student, and photographer. I am currently in college studying advertising and communications and I will be transferring to Cal State Fullerton in Fall of 2022. Aside from school, I work as a videographer/editor for a baby product company called Joovy. Surf photography is my main passion, but I love shooting other lifestyle related content. My personal business James Ferrell Media is a photo/video service for any lifestyle/wedding/company and surf related content. I started my own content creation business 2 years ago with a hope in mind to help people create long lasting and high quality memories.

My main focus as a surf photographer however, has been the highlight of my photographic career. 2021 was a very influential year for me in terms of my career, as I was able to travel to Hawaii and Tahiti despite everything going on with covid. I was featured countless times in Surfline’s swell stories galleries, along with a full feature article “Photo of the swell: Tommy Cantrell, Wedge 04/24” and an article in the inertia “All time: La Bomba Dishes Out a Wedge Rarity.” I was also featured on Gopro’s main instagram with a photo I shot in Tahiti which was pushed throughout all of their social media pages to 10’s of millions of followers. To end out the year, I won the 2021 Wedge Awards clip of the year sponsored by Gopro. Overall, traveling to Tahiti and Hawaii last year really opened my eyes to the world of beauty outside of my home. I was able to capture the best images of my life with my friends, and accomplish a lot of my photographic goals of being published by major surf companies. I have been shooting with the same camera the Sony a6000 my whole photographic career as a surf photographer. I started out with horrible photos, and now I ended up on the front page of Surfline, GoPro, and other surf companies pages. I just want people to know that a camera is a tool, and maximizing it’s potential is what will make you a better photographer. Just because someone has a really expensive camera, doesn’t mean they are a good photographer. I think that I have proven this to be true.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite spots in Newport Beach would be the Wedge for sure. The waves there are big and heavy, and great for photographs. There is plenty of amazing food and activities down on the peninsula. Specifically Great Mex Balboa, with amazing tacos and burritos. After a great session at wedge, eating a breakfast burrito is always the move. Overall, Newport is an amazing place to grow up in because of how often you can surf and shoot. The waves are fun relatively year round and the water never gets too cold.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout all of my friends who I have met along my photographic journey through surfing and the ocean. Some of the photographers that I get inspiration from are: Owen Biem, Michael Tanaka, Charlie Hoberman, Bennett Lombardo, Maxwell Saurbrey, and Kalani Cummins to name a few. My whole life has been shaped around the ocean, and all along the California coast, I have created strong friendships with other likewise individuals. I just want to thank these photographers, as well and all of my other friends for inspiring me and pushing me to think creatively.

Website: jamesferrellmedia.com

Instagram: @jamesferrell_

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-ferrell-2808ba221

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPqpJgRWQHD0LB0s5vdM29w

Image Credits
All images were taken by myself, James Ferrell. Roof sunset photo was taken by Josh Tanaka.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.