Aaron Goulding’s interest in photography started twenty years ago, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he began turning his knack for capturing images into a profession. Since then he has been steadily making a name for himself in the surfing world by consistently producing unique angles and images that keep you staring. Today he is one of La Jolla’s most respected and established surf, portrait and lifestyle photographers, adding celebs and businesses to his rolodex of clients. His work has taken him to destinations like France, Sweden, Norway, Japan, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Spain, and Greece among others. But his skills behind the lens aren’t where his talents and interests begin and end. This week we were lucky enough to catch up with Aaron and talk about his craft, his life in La Jolla and some of his side projects that keep him busy between shoots.
La Jolla Blue Book: When did you get into photography and what’s your favorite aspect of the craft?
Aaron Goulding: I got into photography in the late 80’s and bought my first SLR camera in 1991. It was Nikon F50. My favorite aspect of the craft is composition and using my gear in water to show people what I have seen for the past 25 years.
La Jolla Blue Book: In your opinion, how much luck is involved in being a good photographer versus being able to work with the elements?
Aaron Goulding: I think luck is a big part of an extremely stunning image, however, I have noticed that luck can be forecasted and predicted. For example, there have been a few clear days lately but too clear for a stunning sunset. But then I noticed some really dramatic clouds coming through at the end of one of the clear days and so I was pretty certain it was going to be a stunning sunset. The next thing I needed for my stunning sunset was an iconic subject for my foreground so I chose the Scripps Pier and then I sat back and let the magic happen. (The image is on my website and is called Scripps Pillars.) In the past shots like this for me would have been lucky but I have learned through the years to forecast my luck and make my chances of capturing a stunning image greater. I believe that all great photographers do this. It requires lots of knowledge about weather, your surroundings and the subjects you are interested in.
La Jolla Blue Book: Do you have a favorite destination, time of day or subject to shoot?
Aaron Goulding: Yes, the coastline here in La Jolla is my favorite playground and my canvas any time of day and I prefer to shoot mostly the landscape in or around the area or empty waves on the shore break. I will also shoot sunsets and portraits in the area. There are just so many different looks to La Jolla, you just have to know where to find them.
La Jolla Blue Book: What is your favorite scene to shoot in La Jolla?
Aaron Goulding: Wow, that’s a tough one! Lately I have been fascinated with Scripps Pier from different angles during the different moods that surround that area. But I do enjoy being in the water the most.
Aaron Goulding: Oh yes, my favorite shoot was with Brooke Shields and her daughters, Rowan and Grier in her pool for an underwater Tea Party. It was my second time at Brooke’s house to shoot underwater portraits of her children. The first time I met her she pretty much introduced herself and walked away. But then later, after the shoot with her daughters, she and her husband Chris Henchy grilled up some burgers for me and my son and we sat and had a family meal together at the dining table. Brooke even served my son some homemade ice cream. They are all very sweet people, very real and very humble, and down to earth. But during the second visit Brooke opted to be the Tee pourer for her daughters in the shoot. That was amazing and a memory of a lifetime.
La Jolla Blue Book: I know you’ve done a lot of travelling for work and seen some amazing places. Is there a Must See destination on your list of places to shoot that you haven’t been yet?
Aaron Goulding: Yes, my next stop will be Egypt once things settle down a bit or not…. I have always wanted to document the culture there and of course all of the amazing structures and the desert.
La Jolla Blue Book: I know you are also a musician and have a job working with animals. How do you manage to balance your time?
Aaron Goulding: Well I used to play in a band that was signed to a record label in Sweden. We were also published by Warner/Chappel. We ultimately released 7 albums and won music awards in Sweden. We toured over 20 countries on 5 continents and had license deals all over the world. We were on the verge of making it big in America and Japan when we split up after a four year stint. The band’s name was Pridebowl and was melodic hardcore, the “in sound” for the 90’s. I currently own and operate South Coast Pet Dentals which is a non-anesthetic teeth cleaning service for cats and dogs that is supervised by a Veterinarian. That keeps me busy about half of the time and then photography is sort of full time. I am also married with 3 children; one ten month-old, one 2 year-old, and a 17 year-old so time is sparse. The one thing I have learned about time… it marches forward. And though my life resembles time, thanks to God for giving us the camera, there are several pauses.
* Aaron will be showing some of his work at tonight Bird Rock Walk. He also has a series of high-end pieces hanging on three walls in the La Jolla Village Information Center and the Goldfish Point Cafe. For more information about him and contact details, check out his websites: www.jagmediaproductions.com and aarongouldingphotography.com