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Timmy Reyes: Between Sets

By Mara Pyzel 

Surfing’s quintessential nomad, Timmy Reyes, has spent a lifetime pursuing solace and adventure. The Huntington native’s quest takes him to the ends of the earth where he temporarily roots, surrounded by untouched natural beauty. Camera in hand, the O’Neill team rider has captured his experiences on film and recently launched a new Instagram account, sharing highlights from the archive and some pre-COVID framers. With the world on lockdown, we couldn’t think of a better time to give @_betweensets_ a follow and scroll through photogenic wilderness as seen through the eyes of this rolling stone. 

Years Shooting: I picked up my first camera between 6-8 years old… somewhere around there… It was those old disposable cameras with the big flash up on top of it. So I shot a lot on film for a lot of years. All through high school and through early travels I would always have something with me, whether it was a video camera or photo camera. 

Go-To Camera: Right now I am using the Fujifilm digital format. I really enjoy the quality of the cameras and their lenses. The prices are better for somebody who is an enthusiast for shooting photos or video, and it’s cost-effective. I’m working with long lenses to prime lenses and just kind of having fun with all the gear. 

Favorite shooting mode: My favorite camera is my Rolleiflex, a medium format camera to capture portraits. 

Self-taught or Mentored? Self-taught. 

Photogs you admire: A lot of the people who I work with as a professional surfer are people whom I idolize. Surf photographers include Nelly [Dave Nelson], Tom Servais, Morgan Maasen, Russell Holliday, Cory Hansen, and all my friends who are photographers that I’ve worked with in the past and present… They are all some of my favorite photographers and they’re the reason why I like shooting photos, ‘cause of them. 

Do your surfing and photography overlap? I think my passion for photography helped to work with other photographers while surfing because I really enjoy capturing those moments. I have a feeling of what they want to get and what I think it might look like. 

Now, I still shoot some film stills with older, medium format 30mm and also, over the years, I’ve been adapting towards digital photography. 

How did you decide to take your photography public? I’m a little bit shy with it, that’s for sure. It’s almost like surfing, like ‘Is this photo relevant?’ or ‘Are people gonna be stoked on it?’ But it got to the point where it was something I knew I wanted to grow. It’d be super fun to work with models or surfers and it’d be super fun to give back to something that’s given me everything. 

Plans to take it bigger? Definitely. I would love to take it bigger or, given the opportunity, I would like to to prove that I’m not just a surfer; to prove that I really love shooting photos. It’d be fun to kind of have the opportunity to still travel and use the gifts that I have to make people happy and show the world what I got. That’s always a goal – to build a book – and I feel like my surfing’s not done, so I’d like to build a book about my surfing. I’d like to share stories that I’ve captured along the way and share about the bonds that I’ve built. 

Mountains or ocean – which is your muse? Both of them together. 

Next destination of adventure post-lockdown: I am going to take some time and really reframe on what’s happening in the world. I’ll bring a pencil and my cameras and travel south or go east, into the mountains. 

Pau