Fred Pompermayer is an award-winning photographer known all over the globe. He’s got a knack for being right in the thick of some of the most monumental swells to hit places like Jaws, Teahupoo, Cloudbreak and Mavericks. He’s not to be pegged solely as a surf photographer though, as he has captured much more throughout his illustrious career. Here’s a glimpse into the life of this adventure-chasing madman.

Tell us about where you were born and raised.
I was born and raised in Brazil.

And where are you living at the moment?
I live in Los Angeles, California.

How did you get into photography?
In college I majored in Architecture. We had to take a photography class and that’s where I was first introduced to a professional camera.

You seem to have a healthy fascination for big waves, how did this come about?
Big waves have always attracted me, ever since I was a little boy.  I remember seeing Mavericks for the first time in a magazine and it blew my mind; that image has been embedded in my head ever since. I am fascinated with people who really know how to push the limits for the unknown.

What’s the most memorable session you’ve ever shot and why?
I have been following big swells for over a decade and I was present for most of the epic ones like the Mavericks contest 2010, Fiji Thunderclouds 2012, Teahupoo Code Red swell in August 2011, Jaws evening in October 2012. For sure these are the ones the big surf community will never forget.

Who or what inspires you on a daily basis?
All of the athletes that invest their entire life to the sport of big wave surfing, it’s such great demand and dedication.

What’s the equipment you’re shooting with on a daily basis?
I have been using Canon for long time and now I use Canon 1DX and a 5DSR with lenses that goes from 14mm to 600mm and a water housing custom that I handmade.

Does Instagram play a huge role in how you promote yourself as a photographer and your work?
Instagram has a huge influence in promotion and showcasing your work. It’s a great tool to spread your shots but at the same time it has changed everything too. Everyone thinks they are a photographer these days. I still think there are a lot of adjustments that need to be made in the photography industry to keep us rolling.

Any big trips planned?
I just got back from a four day climbing trip at El Capitan in Yosemite. We climbed to the top and it was the adventure of my dreams.

At the end of the day what is the one thing you’re trying to convey through your photographs?
In big wave surfing I definitely want to covey the power of mother nature vs man power.