We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Robusto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I initially used surf photography as a way to stay active in the water after an injury kept me from surfing for over a year. When I did finally rehabilitate my injury I found that I wanted to keep shooting and to get better shots. I decided to start my own business as a way to justify buying an expensive camera with a water housing with a goal of paying off my camera equipment to keep shooting and selling photos to surfers in the water.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an ocean enthusiast who tries my best to translate through photography, how it feels when the waves are pumping, you’re just paddling out and you see someone getting the ride of their life. I work hard to find new angles that evoke these feelings for most surfers so they can look at an image and have it resonate with an experience they’ve had burned in their memory bank. The days when most people would prefer to stay on the beach and shoot are when I excel. I challenge myself to swim when most won’t and my biggest accomplishments professionally have come as a result of pushing my mental limits. When I can conquer the hurdle of that voice in my head that says I can’t do this, that’s when I’ve seen the most growth. Whether it’s swimming in a chaotic ocean or submitting photos to company or publication, belief in myself goes a long way. The biggest lesson I’ve learned has been my biggest challenge as well, and that’s to promote my work while believing that my photos are desirable. However my work is perceived or if I make $100k or $10, I will continue swimming out with a camera on the best days of the year for the rest of my life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Straight off the plane I would take my friend to Pt. Loma seafood for the squid sandwich extra sloppy. Being outdoorsy my favorite place in San Diego is Cabrillo Monument. Besides daydreaming about living in the house down on the point, it gives you a glimpse of what the San Diego coastline must’ve looked like 100 years ago. I’d drive back down Talbot st to give them that insane skyline view of the city before hanging on the beach at Kellog. Regardless of the time of year hanging out at Tony Gwynn park is a fun way place to entertain the kids and listen to the sounds of the city. I’m also a big fan of Scripps aquarium for the views, hopefully the swing is there, which it hardly ever is, and check the glider port at Blacks at sunset. Swing by Permiscuous Fork and order the Salmon tacos! I would eat at Panama 66 for lunch and cruise all around Balboa park. MOPA is donation based and worth every penny. One of my favorite seemingly forgotten beach towns is IB, go to the pier, have a drink at Coronado brewing and walk as close to the border as possible.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My story wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of my loving & patient wife Hannah. Surf photography involves fleeting opportunities depending on swell, wind, light and subjects. Hannah has encouraged me to capture those images when the conditions align and understands how much joy I get from being in the ocean. The numerous photographers and surfers who have given me tips and paid for my photos over the years are why I continue to do what I do. Meeting people opens more doors for me than social media or my website ever has. Mattson Culbert is one such person I’ve met at the beach that I have to give a shoutout to for allowing me to share on this site. Cheers mate!
Photo #3 – Dylan Sims Photo #4 – Alan Machado Photo #5 – Andrew Matthews Photo #6 – Jake Halstead Photo #8 – Tristan Sullaway