In the second edition of our Photographer Profile series I had a chat with a friend of mine, Greg Heine. Greg started taking photos as a hobby after graduating high school while attending college in Boston and has since honed his skills enough that he started his own site, Northeast Sessions. Besides being a rad dude who surfs well and listens to the most G’ed up rap music out of anyone I know, he’s got a keen eye for photography and it shows. Take a look at some of his photos along with the short interview below.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Greg Heine. I’m 23 and I am from West Islip, New York. I grew up on Long Island, have been around the water my whole life, have been surfing for 10 years give or take, been shooting photos for about 4 years (you don’t want to see anything from the beginning), and have been an extreme deskrider for about 2 years now.
How did you get started with photography?
For my high school graduation I got a 4 mega-pixel point and shoot camera with a decent zoom on it. I started taking some shots after surfing and began sharing with friends and on a few local forums like newyorksurf.com and nesurf.com. A few years back there wasn’t as much photo coverage on both Long Island and up in New England where I went to school, so I think even though my photos weren’t really that great, people from the area enjoyed seeing local waves. After a bit, I started Northeast Sessions as a place to post shots, and I hope I have improved a bit from the time that first started up.
What inspires your photos?
I’d say a good amount of my photo inspiration comes from other Northeast surf photographers. Tommy Colla, Matt Clark, Brian Nevins to name a few. Those guys really know how to put together some incredible lineup/water shots and really bring out the quality of waves and landscapes the Northeast has to offer. Another great photographer who has some crazy shots is Morgan Maassen. Pretty much any shot you see from him is one of the best photos you have ever seen. I think he’s only 24 too.
Is there any one photo of yours that stands out as your favorite?
I think the first photo below is one of my favorites. I don’t think its a really good photo, but its one I really like. Aside from actually surfing, I’d say the best feeling is coming over the dune at your favorite spot, and seeing a “perfect” wave breaking as soon as you reach the top. I try to capture that feeling when I’m shooting. The photo below is from a freezing cold day in February, I think under 10 degrees with the windchill. I parked my truck on the side of the road in a snow bank and ran over the dunes to see this wave about to break, without anybody in sight. I got to surf this wedge for about 45 minutes by myself before a few friends showed up.
Outside of surfing, what is your favorite scene to capture with your camera?
I’d say sunsets. They are pretty romantic.
Where’s the one place you want to go to surf?
The one place I really want to go to surf is New Zealand. It would be awesome for shooting too, but eventually I’d like to get to Hawaii to spend some time shooting.
You recently moved from NY to Florida, how has that effected your photography?
It’s taken a pretty big impact. The waves anywhere near me are generally pretty bad, and even if they are fun, not very photogenic, so I have barely shot any surf lately. I’m a big fan of animals, so I’ve been doing some nature photography to keep me busy. I’m hoping to shoot a lot of storms this summer. The colors during summer storms in the afternoon down here are insane.
You shoot photos on land and in the water. What do you like and dislike about each?
On land I like the ability to switch up angles, focal lengths, and settings to compose a variety of different shots. The thing I dislike about shooting on land is not being able to be in the water. The great thing about shooting in the water is that it is almost a substitute for surfing. Its much more exciting than shooting from land, since you are right in the action. The thing that sucks is that you can shoot for 2 hours and get pure garbage, but it’s still fun anyway.
The rise of Instagram and similar apps has made it pretty easy for most people to take a picture, put a filter on it, and share it with the masses. What are your thoughts on that?
I know a lot of “artists” look down on it, but have you ever seen a photo that comes straight from a phone? Its pretty harsh on the eyes. Why not use some technology to get your fix of hipster for the day?
What music are you listening to these days?
I mix in some alternative and electronic, but mostly hip-hop. Lately, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, XV, and Big Sean.
What’s the best way for people to view your photos or buy prints?
Right now, you can view my photos on my blog, northeastsessions.tumblr.com. For now, if you are interested in prints, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I should have a new portfolio/online store up and running in the near future.
Anything else you’d like to tell the SURFBANG readers?
I go hard in the paint…
If you’re a photographer or an artist and think you’ve got the goods to be featured like this, send an email my way at jz [at] sufbang.com.