Name: John T. O’Callaghan II
Hometown: Bellmore, NY
Where you live currently: Encinitas, CA
Most stoke-filled moment in your life to date: A solo moto-ride to double-overhead surf in the Dominican Republic.
What role does adventure play in your life? I’ve based my life on it, for better or for worse. There are some things that will always be there: family, friends, a way to make a living. You can’t discover new places and experience new cultures while sitting on your couch.
Where do you go/what do you do to spark creativity? I like to walk. Walking around in new places gets you right in the mix. The grit, the grime, the true scene of wherever I find myself, walking gets me there.
Name a few of the unique places your camera has taken you. Surfing river waves in Munich, Germany to a two-year stint in the Dominican Republic; the frigid winter swells in Maine to Baja, Mexico. The small amount of gear I have has seen a lot more than I had ever imagined.
Is there one shoot/project that was more rewarding than the rest? My last trip was one of my favorites. A hometown buddy flew out to California for a week long “no plans, technology ban” trip in my ‘94 Jaguar. All we brought was a camera bag, tent, five surfboards and a pair of clothes each. No cellphones, no surf reports, no distractions. We just went by word of mouth the entire time. It made me feel like an old-time pioneer using only maps and local knowledge. And we scored!
Who are the three most influential people in your life? My father, for busting his ass driving a truck everyday to enable me to chase this dream that he has very little knowledge in, but believes in me no matter what. My mother, for giving me my “Fuck it, what’s the worst that will happen?” attitude. To my homies, who tell me when I’m working too hard, and tell me when something looks like shit.
What’s your take on the stills vs. video equation in 2014? In my opinion it goes hand in hand nowadays. This is also coming from a guy who is co-inventor of the automatic cameraman “SOLOSHOT,” but I think the technology out there is just creating more and more tools that creative minds can take advantage of.
Any projects on the horizon we should be on the lookout for? I want to take this “technology ban” type of trip to the next level. I’ve been calling it the dis-CONNECT series so far. It’s been a blast, and I’m not sure where I will take it but it’s been an interesting method on trips. Get your face out of your phone and look at what’s going on around you.