From Liverpool, England to the USA and now a Bali resident, Jason Reposar has spent 20 years in photography. From pursuing his love for surf photography early in his career, the man has gone on to become one of the best surf photographers in the world and after falling into the fashion industry, the unique work of Reposar has turned him into an internationally recognised creative. With a wide portfolio including shooting and following Metallica as well as Queens of the Stone Age, ICON’s street editor Roberto Malizia sat down with the photographer for a glimpse into his career.
Jason, what were you doing and where were you living 15 to 20 years ago, and what are you doing now?
“I was living in California and working as a surf photographer with Transworld Surf Magazine. Due to unforeseen circumstances I ended up moving to Bali in 2007 and I’m now shooting fashion, portraiture, music and surf both here in Bali and Worldwide locations.”
Why photography and why surf photography?
“I don’t really question why photography. I just kind of found this and it was such a perfect match for me that I just went with it and gave myself to this career. It’s a natural extension of who I am. I tend to photograph the things that I love. Surf, music, women….”
You were a pioneer in surf photography, being the first one to get away from the usual way of shooting to going into the action which is insane, what made you do that?
“I think as my own person I only have to offer what is genuinely myself. I search for imagery that pleases myself. I know that if I stay true to this than it will be something unique that I have to offer and it’s not going to be something contrived or superficial.”
How did your career shift from surf photography to fashion photography?
“I moved to Bali to be in the epicentre of surf. I wanted to tick all the boxes as a surf photographer and go to all the spots in Indonesia I had been dreaming about since childhood. While doing all this I was being asked to shoot lookbooks and campaigns for clothing designers. I really enjoyed this and signed up with an agency and ended up moving into this area of photography.”
Who has inspired you in the last 20 years?
“Helmut Newton, Ellen Von Unwerth, Eugenio Requenco and many many more!”
What motivates you on a daily basis, what keeps you going?
“Light motivates me the most. I see myself shooting light rather than people or garments. Also meeting new and interesting people. These things never get old for me.”
Your lifestyle and career fascinated me since the first moment I met you. What’s happiness for you?
“Happiness is sharing time with friends and family. Simple things.”
Bali for life? Or somewhere else on the cards?
“I’m not sure to be honest. I love Bali and I’ve made a nice home here which I truly love. But you never know. I’m open to everything in life. Let’s see what happens.”
To check out more of Jason’s work, check out his Instagram here.
You can follow ICON’s Street Editor, Roberto Malizia on Instagram @this.is.malice