Russell Ord | Award Winning Ocean & Lifestyle Photographer
From Rugby League player and Fireman to award winning Ocean & Lifestyle photographer, Russell Ord found his passion through adventure and the discovery of the untouched, unseen wilderness.
Russel has a enjoyable passion for the Ocean through surfing, body surfing, ocean photography and free diving.
What's a typical day like for you?
Being a freelance photographer, it certainly changes from day to day. This month (January) I have been hitting the ocean for a surf around 5am and will surf until roughly seven followed by a strong coffee. If the surf is pumping I have been backing it up and going straight back, out otherwise I will get into some photographic work, editing, business, content creation, hustling for work (the photographic grind). If I have particular photographic assignments, the surf takes a back seat and it’s all about making sure my clients are happy with the services I provide. I am pretty lucky having my wife run the business side alongside Vagabond Photographic which allows me to concentrate on creation.
What are the fondest memories from your upbringing that you feel impacted your life choices and lifestyle today?
I can't remember my dad ever missing a day of work; his work ethic and drive has filtered through anything I have ever done. There have many times where I have wanted to throw in the towel so to speak, thinking ‘It’s all too hard, maybe I should give up the dream of supporting the family as a professional photographer…’ Then I think back to the ‘no-quit’ attitude of the old man, so I soldier on and force myself to come up with new ideas, re-evaluate my goals etc.
What/who currently inspires you?
A good part of my work is documenting peoples stories, I get inspired by the 'HOW', the stronger the hardships to success, the more inspired I become. I have met so many amazing people that have made many sacrifices so they can enrich other peoples lives; I have been very lucky to document those stories which I call ‘Projects Of Purpose’, which is when one of my photos could actually make a difference. To me, that's truly rewarding, plus I am receiving a social/environmental education along the way.
What path did you choose after leaving school?
My life revolved around Rugby League back then, that's all I ever wanted to do. So I left school in year ten, did a trade in screen-printing (my boss was president of the leagues club) and I put all my focus and efforts to becoming the best footballer I could be.
What have been the biggest challenges you've had to overcome?
My own mindset, which to me is being true to myself and my family, believing that I can achieve realistic goals and only ever comparing my past self with my present self (not getting caught up with what others are doing or achieving, which is easily done in the social media world we live in.)
What would you most like to change in the world/environment today?
I dreamt the other night I had this magical power to control peoples 'wants or so-called needs'. That endless list of environmental/social issues created by humans greed changed for the greater good and next generations. (Me included, I am always evaluating my own life because in the end, it starts at home.)
What do you value most in life?
My family and time.
Are there any books/documentaries that have guided your thinking?
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by the: Dalai Lama. I read this book every few years to give myself a good old-fashioned reminder, plus it was the first book I read because of a girl, who is now my wife…Long story.
What brings you the most joy?
Family and being in a nice balance between work and lifestyle.
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I want all my kids to be a better person and better parent than me.