"The Transition" with Jesse Little
We finally caught up with Jesse after a long while between drinks and asked him a few questions about the recent Cyclone Uesi swell and about the vibe around the Goldy during times like this. Jesse is legend to the Goldy and is currently making the slow transition to video after perfecting his craft with photography. Enjoy a selection of his images from recent times, featuring lords such as Mick Fanning and Wade Carmichael.
Hey Jesse! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Stoked to get back in touch after a good while. We’ve noticed you’re making the transition from stills to video. How are you finding this transition so far?
Yeah I've slowly transitioned into doing more video lately. I've always liked putting together clips and playing around but I never really offered that out to clients. It kinda just made sense when I kept getting asked if I do video as well. So I just thought of it as a better opportunity to make more money within the industry.
Are you enjoying doing more video content now?
Lately yeah I have been enjoying it more. Don’t get me wrong I still love taking photos just as much but at this time in my life I’m leaning more to video. I still find myself going for a swim out front at Rainbow Bay and just shooting all the loggers and playing around with slow shutters. The photography side of it will always have a spot in my heart because it's where it all began.
Your content from the Cyclone Uesi swell looks seriously epic. How did you find this cyclone swell compared to others of recent history?
It was one of those swells where the forecast kept changing, people were saying it’s too close to land. So, leading up to it I was a bit sceptical but kept an open mind because it was the first proper cyclone swell we’ve had all season I'm pretty sure… I've never seen a swell pick up and disappear just as fast in my life. Thursday morning it was a barrel fest behind the rock at Snapper. Built throughout the day and Kirra had some solid waves by the arvo but wasn’t very lined up. Friday was pretty ruler edge and the swell had maybe dropped a tad but it was hitting the bank a bit better. It wasn’t the best cyclone I've seen but there’s was still some pretty crazy freight train barrels coming through at Kirra on the Friday.
For those who weren’t lucky enough to witness themselves, how big did breaks like Kirra and the Superbank (and even Sunny Coast) get during this time? Describe the vibe around the Goldy when a swell like this hits.
I'd say it was around 5-6ft range but around the peak Thursday and Friday morning it was definitely bigger up behind the rock. Haha the vibe around these swells is pretty strange. You’ve got every man and their dog coming into town to try get some waves. Everywhere's busy, not just the lineups. It's so hard to find a carpark sometimes it's ridiculous!! I'm lucky I live 100 metres away from Snapper so I generally just walk.
But I heard that the vibe in the lineup sucked this swell. I heard there were heaps of blow ups out in the water and a couple fights. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many drop ins in my life haha. I really wanted to surf Kirra on the Friday but I had to film, but yeah going off what I heard I probably would’ve just got dropped in on or vibed out haha.
Have you always lived on the Gold Coast? How did you get into photography/videography?
I was born on the Gold Coast, but moved to South Oz when I was 12 and stayed there all my teenage years and into my early 20’s. I just got into photography through surfing and taking photos of mates just for the fun of it.
What’s in your camera quiver (both photo and video) at the moment?
I've just recently made the switch from Canon to Sony.
I'm running a Sony A9 and Sony A7iii.
The A9 is crazy fast. 20 frames a second. It's almost too many photos haha.
And the A7iii I use mainly for video.
Do you find time to surf in-between all the shoots?
Yeah I'd say I almost surf every day. If it's small, I'll just take the log out at Rainbow. It can be painful watching everyone get waves and get barrelled while I'm behind the lens. But usually on days like that I'll film for a few hours and then go for a quick surf then go back to filming. All about balance haha.
What are you favourite places/things to shoot?
I recently went to the CT events in Europe with my mate Wade Carmichael and we went to Ireland afterwards. That place was pretty insane. I wouldn’t say I have favourite place I just enjoy going to new places. A lot are within Australia. We have a pretty insane coastline with so many waves. We’re pretty lucky.
Who inspires you?
I get inspiration from so many people. Local crew who film on the Goldy. International photographers and videographers there’s too many to name. It's not even the big names sometimes either. Social media is such a crazy little tool you stumble across so many other creatives. Sometimes I'll stumble across a page and I'm like wow this guy’s next level. Then I see in his bio he’s 14 or something haha. It's nuts.
What do you do with your spare time?
I'd say mainly surf. When I'm not filming, I'm wanting to be surfing. But lately me and the boys have got a bit of a golf bug. Good little hobby to play when the surf sucks.
Plans for 2020?
I'm doing a couple months in the Maldives this year. I usually only do one month a year but I had an opportunity to do more and I just thought I'd do it. Other than that, just a few other little Indo boat trips and stuff at home.
Thanks for your time brother!