Two minutes with Chris White

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posted by James Willmott

Known as the man behind the Tension Video films, life appears to have settled down for filmer and photographer, Chris White. Married with two young kids, White spends most of his time in Perth. However, he also manages to squeeze in a bit of time to roll with pals and some of the biggest names in the surf industry to shoot them at some of the world’s biggest breaks.

SurfStitch caught up with Chris to talk family, camera set-ups and life in general.

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For those who don’t know you, tell us all who you are.
My name is Chris White and I’m a semi-retired dude who loves to be in the ocean. I’m a stay at home dad that tries not to stay at home too much.

You’ve documented so much of your life from behind the lens; first through film and now photography. What is it that draws you to life behind the lens?
I started out body boarding but realised I wouldn’t be able to make a career out of it financially, so I switched to filming. Nowadays, I get drawn in by the power of the ocean and love to capture little moments in time that are unique and special to me.

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You’ve worked and documented some of the best big wave surfers in the world at WA’s The Right and Cyclops, just to name a few. Is there a certain project or day that stands out above the rest?
Nope. I treasure every trip I go on and love the adventure regardless of the outcome.

Have you got a specific group of guys you cruise with when the days are on?
Yeah, we had a pretty solid crew a few years back but as everyone has started families so it’s a bit harder now.

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Will you be making it to Hawaii for the late season?
I’m Down Under this season, but am heading over with the family for 3 months next year. Can’t wait.

Is there a certain camera setup you rely on? Surely it must be more than the standard GoPro system you see every man and his dog shooting with?
I roll with Canon gear and use Aquatech housings. I also love and use a GoPro too haha. 

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What are your favourite in and out of the water places to shoot?
The Right is my favourite wave to shoot. Out of the water I love shooting landscapes and sunsets.

Any projects in the woodwork?
Got a couple of things in the pipeline but nothing set in stone.

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When you aren’t shooting, what’re you up to?
Jiu Jitsu and taking care of my boys.

What do you find your biggest achievement has been?
Being a dad.

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You’ve
 got a fair bit of world travel on your resume, is there any places you really wish to visit but haven’t?
Yeah, I want to check out Brazil.

What about a place you would love to document or shoot?
I’d love to shoot and explore some ice glaciers one day.

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Life must have settled down a bit since the early Tension days with a few little ones under your belt. How’s family life going?
It’s awesome. My youngest, Wolfy is almost 1. I can’t wait to explore this big world with them.

Any shout outs?
Not really. If anyone wants to follow me I put up 1 or 2 pictures a day on Instagram (@chris.whitey). Check out my sons too (@jetandvanwhite).