What it’s like traveling the world as a surf photographer

There are few jobs in the world that sound as dreamy as “surf photographer.” And even fewer are those who make it work for them, blossoming while getting to document the world’s best surfers.

This is the case for one Todd Glaser, staff photographer for SURFER and a long-standing favorite of legendary surfers like Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Jack Johnson. Glaser has been on-staff at SURFER since 2008 and has nabbed more than a dozen covers for the iconic magazine over the years.

Glaser often captures Rob Machado at home in San Diego. Photo: Courtesy of Todd Glaser/SURFER

San Diego born and bred, Glaser travels four to six months out of the year. Arguably one of the premier surf photographers in the world, Glaser is certainly the one to ask for advice on photography and traveling. Which is what Shelby Stanger did for an episode of her podcast “Wild Ideas Worth Living.”

In the episode, Stanger picks Glaser’s brain on how he stays healthy while traveling, how to deal with the tropical sun while being fair-skinned, how to become a surf photographer, the philosophy behind a great portrait and some advice for aspiring photographers.

The June 2017 issue of SURFER, which Glaser talks about lining up this shot with Kelly Slater for three years. Photo: Courtesy of Todd Glaser/SURFER

The entire episode is definitely worth a listen, as Glaser shares some incredible nuggets of wisdom he’s acquired throughout his many travels around the world.

Glaser also mentions two very important things to keep in mind while traveling:

“My most fun moments happen when I turn my phone off,” he says. And then Glaser finishes with, “A lot of times, home is who you're with.”

Glaser also self-published his first book recently, a coffee table book in conjunction with Taylor Steele’s recent surf film “Proximity.” You can get your hands on a limited-edition copy of the book over on Glaser’s website.

And be sure to check out more episodes of “Wild Ideas Worth Living” with Shelby Stanger.

Dave Rastovich in Baja, Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Todd Glaser/SURFER

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