Almost all of my time being pregnant that was not spent at school or the gym was spent on North Shore. When October rolled around, I was about 14 weeks pregnant and I was advised not to surf after my first trimester (though I’m not sure how closely I’ll follow that advice on the next go around.) In a way, this ended up being alright because the spots that the guys like to surf during winter are a little too gnarly for me (and some of them are A LOT too gnarly for me). So naturally, I ended up the surf photographer.
I had just gotten my first DSLR and was learning how to get the hang of it (still am, really), and I was stoked to be able to put it to good use. I would set up my blanket and eventually beach chair on the sand and snap away at my friends, some random heros, and even some pros.
I would sometimes try and bring my law books to study, but when the surf came up it was too exciting to look at anything else. That, and there’s a lot of pressure when you’re on camera duty, especially when you have an attention span like mine (as short as it gets). You know that “fish that got away” story fishermen use? It can sort of apply to surfing and cameras.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I obviously never HAD to do it, but some days it wasn’t easy. Some days we’d get up at 4 and get to the beach before you could even see the waves. Dawn patrol is awesome when you’re the one that gets to surf, but not always awesome when you’re just there to take pictures on a chilly winter morning. A lot of times I’d get rained on and have to scramble (with my big prego belly) for cover. And then there were the days I’d be starving and it seemed like my friends were never coming in. All that, and it’s ALWAYS a little frustrating when you’re just sitting there watching people do what you love knowing you can’t participate.
The whole vibe of winter on North Shore can be pretty unreal, especially for a bunch of Texas kids. We used to watch surf flicks and dream of this life, and now it’s reality. The perfect weather, perfect waves, perfect scenery, and all the surf legends we grew up idolizing are right here in front of us, like it’s no big deal.
After surfing or between sessions we’d go to Breakers (a sports bar in Haleiwa) to catch up on the football games and eat some breakfast. We’d look through the pictures I took and the boys would get amped for their next sessions. Last winter in Hawaii was so fun. I’m a teensy bummed I’ll be missing out on it this year, but I’m grateful for the ones I’ve had.