On his path to becoming an internationally acclaimed photographer, Russell Ord has squinted down the lens at an intriguing mix of subjects over the years. He’s shot magazine covers of world-class surfers and helped deify celebrity chefs. He’s roamed with Uunguu Rangers in the Australian outback and mingled with bridal parties on their big day. He’s island-hopped across tropical fantasylands and followed his photographic instincts through urban meccas. Meanwhile, his ocean images are celebrated for simultaneously implying the cruelty and majesty of the sea.
As one of the world’s leading surf photographers, Russ’s unique talents culminated in his documentation of a violent twist of Indian Ocean known simply as ‘The Right’. In pursuit of a unique, career-defining angle, Russ put himself in a situation where the ocean’s most powerful forces converge. The hard-won image served as the focal point for his celebrated documentary, ‘One Shot’.
While he remains a passionate and astute chronicler of the ocean’s moods, Russ suggests that evolving and diversifying is the key to a long and stimulating photographic career. “I realised very quickly if I wanted to keep working as a photographer I would have to develop other skills. Most of my work now revolves around capturing people’s stories, along with tourism and brand work.”
While professionally driven, Russ is very much the type of person who thrives on the opportunity to share his extensive knowledge. “It just about works in reverse,” he states. “By sharing my experience/knowledge, it inspires me to pick up the camera and shoot for the enjoyment. Watching someone develop a new skill and how ecstatic they are when the shot works out serves as a true reminder of why I started photography in the first place.”
Russ’s diverse range of experience, superior technical knowledge and gregarious nature mean he is uniquely placed to act as a mentor to other photographers. Time with Russ is not simply a tutorial; it’s a rollicking experience that ensures you come away both entertained and educated.
Gravy Gallery, Nedlands.
Raw Motion, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury.
Yallingup Surf Film Festival, Dunsborough.
Deep Water Series, Margaret River.
O’Neill - Loose Yourself Somewhere National Exhibition.
3 Masters of Surf Photography, Witzig Gallery, Maclean, N.S.W.
Emptiness, Team Digital Perth WA.
Moments, Sean Doherty.
Australia’s Century of Surf, Tim Baker (Cover)
Incredible Waves, Chris Power
Surf 100 Greatest Waves, Transworld U.S.A.
Surfing WA 50yrs, Margaret River Press (Cover)
Advanced Surf Fitness, Lee Stanbury (Cover)
Water Is Freedom, Russell Ord, Anthony Pancia
K38 Heavy Water Award Saving Jacob Trette, California, U.S.A.
Letter from Consulate General of the United States of America for Jacob Trette rescue.
Oakley Big Wave Awards - honored award for rescue efforts, N.S.W.
Top 20 Finalist Nikon Surf Photographer of the Year
ASL Oakley Big Wave Awards - Finalist Photography Competition!
AIPP Awards - Illustrative
Ion; The Barrel Competition, 1st place
3rd place, International Loupe Awards
2016 International Sports Photographer of the Year.
As a surfing photographer, Russ is a special kind of maniac. He lives out there on the boundary between shootable and deadly, and too often has risked his neck to swim out and immortalize some of the heaviest water ever shot. But plonked out there in the middle of a wild old ocean, he also has a subtle skill for giving that chaos certain poignancy and feeling, and that skill doesn't come easy.
Sean Doherty, Editor & Journalist.
When water gets rough, Russell Ord gets going. A fireman by trade Russell knows risk management better than most, yet he will still happily lay his body on the line to get the shot. It’s for this reason alone that companies like Red Bull approach Russell first for serious water shoots with no room for error. It’s why Hollywood came knocking when Drift was filmed in Western Australia. And it’s why you can pick up any surf magazine in the country and find Russell’s work on the front and back covers, and filling spreads and adverts in-between. A laid-back cat from Margaret River Russell’s ability to understate what he gets up to in waves of consequence is, like his photography, incredible. Not just a one-trick pony, Russell is also a fine shooter of lifestyle and portraiture on dry land, when not saving cats from trees or off surfing himself.
Chris Binns, Editor & Journalist.
Russell Ord's spectacular images have won him worldwide recognition, and deservedly so. Based in Western Australia, Russell is renowned for his awesome images of super-thick empty peaks and heavy sessions at reefs like The Box and The Right. He’s one of those guys who are always working on something new.
Chris Power, Editor & Journalist.
In pursuit of his version of the perfect shot, Rusell Ord puts himself in situations which would make most frontline, war photographers shudder. However, he is not just a gung-ho maverick with a camera in hand.
Russ is well versed in all of the technical aspects of his craft and isn't afraid to try an angle or a shot that is boldly creative. In short, there is nothing ordinary about Russell Ord.
Luke Kennedy; Editor.
Russell Ord's photography stands alone. Nobody else in the world swims in the heaviest slab waves in the world, putting life, limb and limb on the line to capture such dramatic and fantastically composed photos. Not to mention, the water he's swimming in is cold, sharky and unforgiving. When it comes to surf photography, Russell Ord is one of the few lensmen out there will to put personal safety aside to get the shot.
Jake Howard, ESPN.
Burch Family Wines
The Surfers Journal
Australia's Sth WSt
Ord Valley Muster
Skyport HS Transmitter
ELB1200 Action Head
ELB1200 Hi - Sync Head
HP Reflector 26cm
Rotalux Deep Octabox 100cm
XF 16mm F1.4
XF 23mm F1.4
XF 35mm F2
XF 56mm F1.2
XF 60mm Macro F2.8
XF 90mm F2
XF 50-140mm F2.8
XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6p
Samyang 8mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye II
Zeiss Touit 12mm F2.8
Medium Format Camera
Medium Format Lenses
GF45mmF2.8 R WR
GF110mmF2 R LM WR
GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill
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― Charles Dickens
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