Photographer & PRESIDENT OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS SURFING FEDERATION
Dave Ferguson isn’t just an award-winning photographer for Jersey’s newspaper the Jersey Evening Post, he’s also president of the Channel Islands Surfing Federation . When he’s not on assignment, you’ll find him in his favourite place, St. Ouen’s Bay, either on a surfboard or behind a lens. Here’s why…
As a photographer, I travel all over the world but I always come back to the bay. It’s where my photography started, the colours, the moods, the landscape that forever changes through the seasons. It’s inspirational. As a surfer, it’s a magnet. When I hear the swell from my house at the top of the bay the night before, you just know it’s going to be pumping the next day. At daybreak, St. Ouen’s Bay opens up in front of you and you’re there looking at it with that excited anticipation. Not all days are the same which make the good ones special. Sitting in the line up with your family or friends and cruising on longboards is just as rewarding. If you’re lucky, you just may get it to yourself.
Islanders have been surfing here since the 20s, and the Jersey Surfboard Club has been here since 1959. For me, it’s a way of putting something back into the culture that inspired me. When I started the junior section, a whole load of groms discovered surfing, they’re now lawyers, gardeners, doctors, teachers, geologists and lifeguards - all linked by that love of surfing. The sea’s in our blood.
Am I a photographer that goes surfing, or a surfer that just happens to be a photographer? Both things are so much a part of my life I can’t separate them. Everything comes back to the bay. It’s that moment when you’re flying in over St. Ouen’s Bay, checking the surf and thinking - I can just pop down there in ten minutes. It really is one of the best places in the world.
What are the fondest memories of childhood/ upbringing that you feel impacted your life choices and lifestyle?: Building friendships within a surf gang from an early age and stay surfing for the rest of my life, My mother letting me be creative again from an early age, my dad buying me my first real camera
Are there any people who were particularly influential in your life or who inspired you?: Joe Bates (Pro photographer who tutored me not only in photography but life in general), Sir David Attenborough, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jacques Cousteau, Mick Jagger
What 'learning path' did you chose after school? What other career options did you take before you found what you wanted to do? : After a brief stint at Plymouth Poly I decided to take up professional photography and became assistant to Joe Bates.
How settled are you on your present path?: Completely settled.
What future plans do you have?: Continue to pass on my wisdom and experiences to all those that want it and continue to understand and pursue causes that affect our planet
What 'battle' have you fought that you consider being the most important? : Over the years, I feel protecting the environment has to be the most important as its taken over really 30years for the message to actually make an impact, putting all personal tragedies aside
What would you most like to change the world/environment? : Protect our coastline from over development, promote not single use plastic, find alternative farming methods to stop the out flow of nitrates into our oceans, sustainable fishing
What do you value most in your life? : Has to be my family
How do you assess the impact you have on the important aspects of your life? : To be able to share my passion for photography and surfing with my family and local community
What are the most important lessons you have learned?: Never give up. With determination and passion you will follow your dreams and have a successful life
Are there any books that have guided your thinking?: The Camera As Conscience -W.Eugene Smith, Mr Sunset The Jeff Hakman Story- Phil Jarratt, Genesis-Sebastaio Selgado, Don McCullin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Aaron Chang
What brings you the most joy? : Watching my family all laughing, joking and playing together
What legacy do you hope to leave?: Hopefully leave this planet in a better place.