Morgan Maassen | Photographer & Filmmaker

Morgan Maassen has climbed the ranks of professional surf photographers faster than any of his contemporaries. Growing up in Santa Barbara, he became casually acquainted with Bobby Martinez, Tom Curren, and Dane Reynolds through the proximity of shared surf sessions at and around Rincon. When an injury required Morgan to stay out of the water, he picked up a video camera and began filming surfing. He spent over a year filming, torrented Adobe Premiere, and, at the age of 16, made a surf film.

Morgan-Maassen_P3My Definition Of Success | Success to me is freedom. To be able to do whatever I want, go wherever I want, and am essentially limitless in exacting my imagination to my life.

I Am Driven By | Travel. I want to see the world, to experience and document every facet of it.

The Difference Between Good And Great | Motivation. Talent, Knowledge, wealth, skill…. They can all be infinite, but someone’s motivation to create and accomplish is what separates the great from the good.

A Key Talent | I would like to think a talent or strength of mine is motivation. I know exactly what I want: to travel, to be the best I can be at my passions, and to get the most out of every single day. In reality, taking photos or making films is the fun and easy part, while the logistics, business, communication, equipment, preparation, and everything else in-between is what really matters to actively grow and sustain oneself. I spent a lot of time and energy researching and exacting these elements, all with my end goals in mind.

Principles I Live By | I think to be passionate and excited about something. Pragmatically structure your life around that, and you will never work a day in your life. Be good to others, and drink tea 🙂

Morgan-Maassen_P2How I Use My Mind | Problem solving is key. Learning from mistakes. Balancing passion with business. People skills, emotions, communication. Planning & dedication. Where do you want to be in 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years?

Lessons I Have Learnt | I’ve learnt the value of caring about what I spend the majority of my time doing. I realized I never wanted to work for someone else, to live a sedentary lifestyle, or to not be excited about my day every morning I wake up. I’ve learnt that respect is a universal language, and communication is the most important ingredient of any craft.

Performing At My Peak | I try to always explore something new, whether it’s a location on the earth or a thought process for tackling a client meeting. I thrive in the unknown, being outside my comfort circle; stagnancy is my worst enemy.

Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | The internet is the greatest resource, ever. That’s how I learned how to use all the cameras, computers, and software. Everything from literature, cinema, art, and music inspire me visually and intellectually, and are essential to my day. I personally look up to artists like Ashley Bickerton, Zio Ziegler, Kindah Khalidy, and directors like Darren Aronofsky, Nabil Elderkin and Werner Herzog for constant enlightenment.

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My Future Dreams And Ambitions | I want to direct music videos, and then feature films. I really want to design and build a house from the ground up, and have a family of my own in the next decade.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I want to accomplish as much as possible, and have a blast doing it. If people are to take away anything from myself and my life, it’s that I love what I do, and use it to enjoy and explore life to the fullest.

Useful Links  |

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