Tips from a professional surf photographer

Interview to To Mane

Hi Tó Mané first of all thanks for your time. It is a pleasure to talk to you. Can you tell us where you are located?

Thanks for having me

I was born and live in Porto, a city in northern Portugal

Oh nice!

And have you been on other spots?

As a surfer, I’ve been around all the surf spots in Europe

As a photographer, I’ve been In Asia, South America, Africa and Europe

When did you start surfing?

I started to surf in 1988

Which are for you, the best surf spots?

There are good surf spots all around the world, but Portugal have swell all the year and plenty of surf spots. Waves for beginners, Prós

And big wave surfers

 If the water was a bit warmer, it will be paradise

I see… hahaha

And how did you start into surf photography?

 I just loved surfing and I loved photography. I just put it all together. I just love to pass the days in nature (beach)

Your father was a photographer right?

My grandfather loved photography, but his profession was not a photographer

so, your passion started at an early age coming from your grandfather. Is that right?

For sure, I just started to take photos with my grandfather’s cameras. All analog and manual cameras.With that cameras, you need to know all about F Stop Speed and light to take some photos

During making photos do you have any special moments that you would like to share?

When we go making photos all are special moments. Knowing new people and knowing new places. Sometimes you make friends for life, and that is a great feeling. And you make special images that everybody can remember and see for the first time.

Have you encountered any dangerous situations?

Till now, some adventures on some surf trips but never life treating situations. Maybe my worst moment was the day that Maya Gabeira almost pass away in Nazaré


Where did you get the best photos?

For sure in Portugal, Nazaré, Ericeira, Peniche, Espinho, Viana do Castelo and Porto Matosinhos. In that places I have images that I love

and how do you monetize your photos?

I am selling prints on my website. I sell the stock photos for brands, surf camps and all types of services like bars and restaurants. And print publications all around the world. I sell photo rights for books, films and documentaries.

Have you been in any championship? How was the experience?

I’ve been shooting WSL Peniche events in Portugal for Surf Portugal and Surfing magazine in that type of service. I loved the experience. I just have the best surfers there, and the free surf sessions were just amazing. You just push your creativity to make better photos

Where I’m located surfing has increased a lot. Do you feel that this sport has been growing at your place?

When I started surfing in Porto, maybe we were like 20 guys. Now surfing is a big sport, there are many people. It’s A big business in my area, Surf Camps, Surf Schools, restaurants etc.

Any trouble do COVID?

With covid outdoor sports increase a lot. The surf schools are full and a lot of kids and older people start surfing


Could you share your best Photography equipment for surfing photos?

The photo equipment is changing fast in other directions, but now I prefer my fast and resistant DSLR. I use the Nikon D500 is fast, and the autofocus is great; never get me wrong in any type of light. I use the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR for surf action

What would you recommend to someone that is starting?

If you love surf photography and you want to became Pró, you must practice and always try better. Try to talk with someone experienced and do workshops on the field you will improve a lot. Go to the beach and try to pass your vision.


Ok, until here we’re finished with the interview if you want to share something else feel free

Everyone has their way of seeing things, Try to pass yours. Life is one, try to do what makes you alive, free and happy.

Thanks a lot!

Was a pleasure.