Eden Pogonoski - 21 years of age and residing between the lush green escarpment and some of the most pristine beaches in Wollongong. Unfortunately for some close by who have endured hard times due to the recent bushfires, life is not so great. For anyone looking to help out the bushfire affected south coast, you should spend some time and money down there and help rebuild these communities.
Hey Eden! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Let’s kick it off shall we – tell us, where are you from, age and when did you pick up your first camera?
Thanks for having me.
I'm currently living in Wollongong which is located about an hour south of Sydney on the East coast of Australia.
It was actually my birthday a few weeks ago, I'm now 21 years of age.
I have my sister to thank for getting me into photography as the first camera I ever picked up was hers. I would have been about 11 and can remember vividly the first photos I ever took on it. Like many younger surf photographers, I started out with a GoPro. The Hero 2 I believe which is probably going back about 9 years now.. Moving forward a couple of years came my first AquaTech water housing and 7D.
From this point did you know that you wanted to pursue photography as a career?
I wouldn't say that it is a career just yet. I'm still hopeful but there are so many talented photogs out there. Even in my area alone I do find it hard to stand out. I'd definitely be keen to chase it someday. At the moment I have a great job with AquaTech (company that makes the water housings I use) and am quite happy shooting when ever I get the free time. I feel like if you're going to do it properly then you need to be able to drop everything and just go for it, hard and put everything towards traveling and finding the best waves possible around the world. In the future I hope to have the finances to do just that.
What’s it like living in Wollongong, NSW? Paint us a word picture for those who have never been.
I'm very lucky to live where I do. We're situated between the lush green escarpment and some of the most pristine beaches. Despite the weekend crowds, we have some really nice beachies that in the right conditions replicate some of the worlds best waves. The most common scenario here is an offshore morning followed by a Nor-Easter in the afternoon which the south facing breaks love. Wollongong is my home. Unfortunately for some close by who have endured hard times due to the recent bushfires, life is not so great. For anyone looking to help out the bushfire affected south coast, you should spend some time and money down there and help rebuild these communities.
Where has your camera taken you? Travel-wise.
Trips that I have gone on purely to shoot photos? I went to New Zealand with four of my mates in 2018. We shared two camper vans and travelled around the south island in search of those picturesque offshore pits that we had seen in mags and clips. Unfortunately we weren't so lucky on the waves front. A couple of fun days but nothing quite like what we had hoped for. It was still two of the best weeks of my life and I can't wait to return. More recently I was on a boat trip in the Ments. Another great two weeks with some amazing waves and company. Plenty more boat trips to come I hope.
Do you have a favourite image you’ve ever captured?
That is a hard one. Probably would have to be this moment of Josh Fuller.
What’s are you shooting with at the moment?
Still rocking the Canon 7D2 and the latest AquaTech housing. A switch to mirrorless is imminent. That new Canon R5 looks amazing.
Favourite place/things to shoot? No need to name specific breaks.
The ocean obviously is a big passion of mine and is what has shaped me as a photographer. I lived in London for a brief period of my mid-teens which forced me to experiment with other types of imagery. I noticed a big change in my work when I moved back to Aus. My outlook on photography changed and I was able to apply the things I learned over there to shooting in the ocean which I think a lot of people here miss out on. I haven't taken a lot of time to shoot different subjects other than surfing while I've been back but I'm very eager to start. I'm shooting my first wedding towards the end of the year so we'll see how it goes.
As for locations, your local is always a favourite right? Thirroul beach is where I grew up shooting and where I spend most of my time now along with a few slabs down the coast.
What do you do in your spare time?
Normally I'm editing work or spending my spare time down at the beach. I also do a bit of DJ'ing on the side which is tough as it is a very different lifestyle to shooting surf photos. Usually you're home late (or early) at the same time you'd be waking up to shoot if the waves are good.
Travel as much as possible. I have a few trips that I really want to get done.