From stunning seascapes to fleeting moments captured on the road and evocative portraiture, Woody Gooch provides a unique perspective on what it’s like to be caught amongst the calm and chaos of nature. We take a look at life behind the lens and where his early inspiration began.
Australian-born photographer Woody Gooch cemented himself as a creative 'one to watch' from an early age and as we’ve seen the growth of his work across travel, lifestyle and surf culture photography, the same could still be said for now. We first interviewed Woody back in 2015, at just 20 years old while he was living in a small town, south of Noosa Heads. Now, we take a look back to where it all started and what has led him to build a life and continue his craft in Tokyo, Japan.
Where did you live for most of your early years and how did that impact your craft as a photographer?
I actually grew up in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. My family moved from Melbourne to Noosa when I was two years old. Regarding the particular impact growing up in Noosa had on me, I strongly believe being home-schooled with my younger brother changed the outlook on what was achievable - freedom, curiosity and persistence. My curriculum was in front of me. Luckily, my parents made us aware of this and gave us time to discover what interested us.
How long have you been practising as a photographer and what motivated you to start?
I started taking photos of friends at my local skatepark when I was around 14 years old. It stirred a new interest and became a daily thing for me to do. I’ve been photographing for 9 years now.
What is it you hope to capture through your coastline and surfing photography?
The essence of then and now. I try and bring to life the feeling of being a third person in most of my situations. To be amongst chaos or to be in incomplete chaos in and out of the ocean.
There is a lot of shadow play and a dark, moodiness to some of your shots, what draws you to presenting your photographs this way?
My photography plays a big role on how I’m feeling; that day, that moment, this feeling, it’s never planned to be dark or shot specifically moody when I’m physically photographing. It somehow changes in post or taking the photo.
When you’re not surfing or photographing, how do you like to spend your time?
Spending time with friends, or being in the ocean, as it always changes. It’s always creating enthusiasm and inspiration.
When did you relocate to Japan and what inspired you to move there?
I used to live in Japan a few years ago, but I have recently moved back. It’s purely based on a lifestyle change. The purity of the culture and constant stimulation my friends and the city give me.
Name three places you have travelled to that really inspired you visually?
Haiti, Morocco and Mexico. Three both extremely beautiful countries that provide so much diversity and substance.
Where do you hope to explore next?
I’m in the middle of the organisation for a trip to Kazakhstan this autumn and winter for a personal project.
Photography by Woody Gooch