Well, after almost four full months, our Photo of the Day feature is doing quite well: tens of thousands of views plus hundreds of potential gems streaming in daily from photographers up and down the East Coast and across the Gulf, Caribbean, and Great Lakes (along with around the world). That’s added a rad #liveaction component to our website and social media channels, and gave us numerous Photo of the Day recap galleries that continue to blow minds. For January 2017, our winner is Florida photographer Jacob Strahlo, whose barrel shot of Logan Hayes taken in late Jaunary won a commanding percentage of the online voting. Read Jacob’s short interview below and scope out a few more of his beautiful Sunshine State perspectives. Go follow Jacob on Instagram, too — you’ll appreciate every post, just like we appreciate every submission. then make your voice heard. Oh, and photographers — keep those potential #photooftheday shots coming!
Name: Jacob Strahlo
Hometown: Melbourne, Florida
Years shooting: 2
Preferred gear: Nikon D5200 and SPL Waterhousing
ESM: What is it about this winning shot that really captured your attention and your imagination, Logan?
Jacob Strahlo: I really like this shot because it shows the beauty of the water down south, and I’ve always loved what offshore winds do to the top of the wave. This wave was one of the better of the day and I feel like Logan and I really linked up on it.
ESM: What is it about the shot that you think proved to be so popular with viewers and surf fans?
Jacob Strahlo: I think this shot resonated well with the community because it has some really vibrant colors that draw anyone in. Both surfers and non-surfers can look and feel like they’re getting a little glimpse at paradise.
ESM: If you could have done one thing differently with this photo, what would it have been?
Jacob Strahlo: I would have liked to have been a little further inside so I could have had a frame a little later in the waves’s break.
ESM: What is it about Central Florida that makes for such beautiful photos?
Jacob Strahlo: Central Florida isn’t always picture perfect, which actually makes it perfect for producing really cool shots. The conditions require you to work, experiment, and put time in the water in order to get something worth while.
ESM: What three photographers have influenced your work the most and why?
Jacob Strahlo: My three favorite photographers are Morgan Maassen, Woody Gooch, and Corey Wilson. They’re young guys who produce some really artistic and unique photos that motivate me to get outside my comfort zone and try new things with photography.
ESM: As a photographer, how do you navigate the challenges and demands of social media and web vs. your work as an artist?
Jacob Strahlo: I try my best to maintain a light outlook on all of it. I look at social media as a platform to get my photos and art to a broader audience. Instagram in particular has introduced me to a lot of wonderful people and great opportunities, but at the same time I realize it will run its course and will eventually be a thing of the past.
ESM: Words of wisdom for new/young photographers?
Jacob Strahlo: I’d still consider myself a young photographer, and I think being humble is one of the most important things you can do. Never let ego or experience hinder your creativity or open-mindedness to photography. I’ve found so much joy in photography and a few key parts to finding that joy was through being open minded, trying and learning new things, and keeping an optimistic outlook on life.