Catching the Big Waves with Surf Photographer, Professor Sachi Cunningham

Monday, August 31, 2015

KQED-FM FORUM -- When big wave surfers tackle waves, Sachi Cunningham is often right behind them, bobbing in the ocean with nothing but a camera and a wetsuit. The water photographer and San Francisco State University professor has traveled the world, capturing images of pro surfers. She talks to “Forum” about her work, why there are so few female surf photographers and her documentary projects, including an Emmy-nominated film covering ISIS in Iraq.

“When you make it out (into the ocean) on a big day, just making it out there, you feel like you’ve won the Olympics. It’s challenging but so relaxing,” Cunningham says. “When you’re out there, the beauty of the nature is just overwhelming, and a good reminder that we are just a little fleck in this big universe. For me the ocean is also great medicine and just makes me feel happy and good.”