A short background of where you have come from, to where you are today.
Hey! I am Fiona. I grew up in the small coastal town of Berrara on the beautiful South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. I first learnt to surf at the age of 13. I loved being at the beach and growing up on the coast. I was very keen to learn and improve my surfing in my younger years as I was always at the beach. I have always loved being near the ocean and being on the coast.
Surfing as a sport for me, soon turned into a lifestyle. It has lead me to be very passionate about living a healthy, relaxed lifestyle. I am currently living in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia and everyday is amazing!
How did you decide to become photographer? Was it always your passion or has it recently developed?
During high school and my teenage years, I was really interested in it and began to learn about and study Photography. This is where I believe my passion started. Being quite successful and achieving several awards, allowed me to take up tertiary study, focusing on Photography. I graduated with a Diploma of Photography. After completing two years of the Diploma, like many other young adults, I too was eager to travel. I worked in various hospitality jobs up and down the East Coast of Australia and at a snow resort in Kelowna, Canada. After several years of working in hospitality and retail management, I was keen for change.
I re-discovered my passion and love for photography again on my annual G-Land surf trip in Indonesia, 2013. It was from this amazing trip I decided to give my photography business (Fiona Peters Photography) a good go.
As a professional photographer, what is your favourite things to shoot and where?
My favourite genre is lifestyle. This includes any outdoors shooting, people enjoying their lives, any type of lifestyle scene really. I particularly love beach themed shoots, as my love for the ocean is unbearable and this is where it shines through, in my photos! I love shooting in tropical destinations, clear waters, sun shining and vibrant vegetation. The natural, bright colours that fresh fruit and vegetables offer is also something I love to capture through the lens.
Tropical Environments. Everyone I see in these environments are smiling and happiness is beaming through them. Whenever I shoot at tropical locations there is always an atmosphere of happiness, laughter and appreciation for nature’s beauty. Capturing these natural, unposed or unplanned moments in amazing tropical scenes, are what makes photography so special to me.
You are a fitness, lifestyle and health coach. What is your motivation to motivate others?
I want to be as fit and healthy for as long as my body will allow! I want to be surfing forever! In order to do this, I encourage people to make the most of their day. I believe life is short, so promoting people to try new things and challenge themselves can ultimately, lead to success.
A lot of the time when working with others in the health and fitness industry they are continually surprising themselves, gaining amazing results and actually enjoying themselves at the same time! This is what keeps me motivated.
Surfing is a big part of your life. How does it influence your lifestyle?
I have always lived by the Ocean and I guess I always will. There were times where I have been away from the sea; for example, when I started University and I was in the city of Melbourne. I loved the College I was attending, it is actually the best Photography College in Australia, but I didn’t enjoy being so far away from the beach at all.
I hold such strong gratitude for nature, the ocean, my ability to surf, life and everything around me. Surfing is almost like an addiction, well it actually is, as many other surfers would agree!
The health benefits, fitness and of course the enjoyment of being in the surf made me crave it when I was away. With the beach calling me, in my second year of study, I decided to transfer to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to complete my course while surfing as much as I could!
It is reality for me now, I need to live by the ocean. I love to surf, as I find it is a strong form of meditation.
I just love surfing. Whenever I seem troubled with something, surfing and being in the water really does take away any negative thoughts or situations that may be happening, as I will come out of the water smiling and feeling refreshed.
What does a usual day look like for you?
Currently living in Bali, I wake up with no alarm, and head to the beach for a morning surf, then home for a shower and breakfast. I start with checking emails and of course my social media accounts (as my photo business is very dependent of Instragram). My day also involves a lot of photography editing from previous shoots I’ve done. I love to edit and work on my images while listening to pumping tunes (music) to keep me motivated!
I always make sure I have a break for lunch and try for another surf or beach time, depending on the conditions. Throughout the afternoon it is back to more photography editing, emailing, and social media. I carry out the majority of photo shoots during the late afternoon and into the sunset. This is the perfect time for shooting at the beach, especially here in Bali.
Dinner is generally with friends which will sometimes lead into checking out an event or going home to more photography editing!
Some days I will do morning beach boot camp. I generally attend this two mornings a week (around sunrise time). I attend regular gym sessions to break up my day around lunch time or early afternoon when the surf isn’t the best. I do something active everyday. I believe, surfing or working out first thing in the morning is the best way to start any day, feeling fresh!
Explain your top 5 destinations in the world and what is so special to you about these places?
1. G – Land, East Java, Indonesia – my paradise. I’ve been there the last consecutive four years and I’m not about to break this tradition! G-Land is such a remote location,. Literally set in the jungle, with no town close by, as you are dropped off by a fast boat. I love how it is full of so much different wildlife, so many different amazing breaks to surf and the scenery is beautiful. Most of all, it’s really easy to relax and break away from the modern world of computers, whilst really embracing the diverse nature that is all around you.
2. NSW South Coast, Australia – where I grew up. I couldn’t of asked for a better childhood. The beaches with the whitest sand I’ve ever seen, crystal clear ocean water and so many different outdoor activities. There a lot of amazing and quiet, hidden beaches, along the gorgeous coastline. Plus growing up on the south Coast with two sisters who are just like best friends gave us so many opportunities and adventures; learning to surf would have to be the best memory! The south coast will always hold a spot in my heart. I plan to move back there one day!
3. Indonesia – Over the last year I have travelled to Indonesia five times and I find myself currently living on the island of Bali. I guess I love it! What is there not to love? The consistent good weather, epic waves everywhere, cheap lifestyle, nutritious food and the local people are always smiling! I love the Indonesian culture, everyone always seems happy, appreciative and has gratitude for their lives. Next year I plan to travel around to see more of Indonesia; to remote surf locations and explore the diverse jungles and natural beauty these islands really do offer.
4. Portugal – Europe – I visited Europe the last two winter’s (summer in Europe, during July). Portugal has to be my favourite country I’ve visited in Europe. It’s coastline is so ruggered! There are so many different slaps, reef breaks, beach breaks and it’s never crowded! The water is quite cool so a wetsuit still nends to be worn in summer, but it is bearable and definately well worth it. The food is amazing and the local people are so welcoming. I really want to travel the whole coastline in a van, it’s definatley on my bucket list.
5. Bells Beach, Surf Coast, Victoria, Australia – living a gypsy lifestyle meant I am always moving to new locations. The surf coast recently kept me in their bubble for over three and a half years. I fell in love with the easy going vibe, the surfing history, the endless surf locations and finding secret surf spots that still exist! I have had some of the most amazing experiences and made some unforgettable memories whilst travelling with older surfer guys. We would always find new remote places to surf in the dark, deep blue and cold waters with epic waves. I still feel the Surf Coast is my home. I have so many wonderful friends there and every time I drive into Torquay I smile. If only the weather was a bit nicer in winter! Ha ha although the surf pumps and is best in winter, a 4/3mm wetsuit and booties is a must! (Definitely own 2 x 4/3’s – nothing dries in winter!).
Travelling, surfing and a healthy lifestyle are major contributors to your life, has anything else influenced your move to Bali?
Many friends who are affiliated with the health products I market, choose to live in Bali. I have a huge community of friends here and someone is always visiting from Australia or different friends from countries all around the world, so I never feel alone! Plus, Bali isn’t too far from home in Australia so I still feel close to family. I can easily jump on a plane and be home the same day if need be.
It also was a career decision for my photography to come here to Bali. There are so many opportunities being a lifestyle photographer here and having consistent good weather makes a huge difference!
What is it like travelling with all your equipment (cameras, surfboards, luggage) How do you manage it all?
Ha ha, yes this is not fun! I always have a trolley at the airport and I buy the most excess luggage I can when booking a ticket. I still end up paying a fortune in excess luggage, but at the end of the day, I need this equipment, it’s my life and my career. Excess baggage is only money and I know I’m much happier and stress free having everything with me.
Your a motivator, lifestyle coach and health promoter. What is your best piece of advice for anyone?
If you’re unhappy, change. It’s your life, you make the decisions. If you don’t like your career, find something you do like or undertake a new study to expand into a new field.
Life is about balance. If you live to work then you’re going to live a boring, repetitive and unhappy life. Yes, money is good, but does it bring you happiness? Find your passion in life and make sure to continue to do it for as long as you can. It’ll balance you mentally and you’ll become a much happier person. Have gratitude for your life and help others when you can. I’m a huge believer in karma and what you give out, returns to you in much more.
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