Surf Gallery: Bren Fuentes

Surf photographer and all around nice guy Bren Fuentes hustles like no other, waking up before daybreak for a surf, shoot, lesson, or all three within two hours. You’ll see him with his GoPro on the inside, cheering on his friends and capturing fun barrel rides. After a full day of work you might catch him in the water for a second session and then bump into him again at night when the weekend parties are in full swing, and surprise, he’s awake and in the line-up again at sunrise the next day.


Father and child duck diving, photo by Bren Fuentes

 He got hooked on surf photography by chance: “I did my first shoot when a friend of mine wanted me to take a photo of their group of [beginner] friends using their GoPro. I had some good lucky shots which encouraged me even more to shoot more ofen.”



Sunset at Cloud 9, photo by Bren Fuentes

Often a surf photographer who is also a surfer might be asked why they aren’t just surfing instead. Bren has a different take on that. “I love the fact that I get to capture that ‘stoked’ moment of a surfer when they're taking a wave, especially the ones in a barrel. Moreover, it's the feel of a thrill and excitement when you're in a gnarly position to take a specific shot.” 


Silhouette in a barrel, photo by Bren Fuentes

Being in the right place when the conditions align can be as rewarding as catching a great wave. “When I got my first ever perfect barrel shot of one of the really good surfers in Cloud 9, I was more stoked than him when I knew I was able to get the shot.” 



Longboarder Ikit Agudo on a fun one, photo by Bren Fuentes

The perfect shooting sessions for Bren are “when it’s pumping/barreling and of course perfect weather conditions.” Siargao would be one of the best places in the Philippines to shoot the surf. “The beauty of the island is undeniably awestriking. From sunrises, to sunsets, beaches, to mountains and most of all, the joy that you see in the faces of the people while surfing or who are about to surf for the first time or after having a really good session. Surfing just gives such unspeakable joy to everyone. I guess that explains the meaning of ‘stoked.’”



Sunny days and small waves, photo by Bren Fuentes

His advice for aspiring surf photographers? "Do what you love, and love what you do. You just gotta do it. Because effort, doing, feeds passion. And always give credit to God after taking such awesome photo.”

Photos by Bren Fuentes, interview by Sabs Bengzon

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