Riding the Film Wave with Jordan Garza

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Having grown up right next to the ocean, Jordan Garza developed an affinity for the surf life early on. The water is the place he knows best; it means home, comfort, and endless exploration. And when he picked up film photography, it was as if everything fell into place.

Early on, he tried out our Lomography Color Negative 800 film, and it has since earned a permanent spot in his film stock collection. We talked with Jordan about his love of combining surf and film photography and the 35 mm photos he took using LomoChrome Purple, LomoChrome Metropolis, and of course Lomography Color Negative 800.

Photos by Jordan Garza

Hello Jordan, nice to speak with you! May you introduce yourself to our magazine readers?

My name is Jordan Anthony Garza. I live in Fullerton, California. I’ve been shooting film for a little over two years now. I shoot mostly surf photography, water photography and night photography.

What drew you to ocean and surf photography?

I grew up less than a mile from the ocean. I learned to surf and bodyboard around nine years old. My mother took my sister and me to the beach almost every weekend until I learned to ride a surfboard. At that point I was there almost everyday. When I discovered film photography it only made sense to me to try and figure out how to combine my love for both of them. Growing up I used to read all of the old surfer magazines and back then digital cameras hadn’t made it into the water yet so after doing some research I found the Nikonos V which is now my favorite camera. The ocean for me has always been a place of peace. It’s a form of therapy for myself. Being able to get in the water and combine two of my passions is more than I could ever ask for.

When did you start using Lomography films? How have they supported your artistic vision?

When I first started shooting film one of the first packs of film I purchased was the Lomography 800 and it quickly became one of my all time favorites. The film stocks Lomography offers have allowed me to create some of my personal favorite photos as well as push myself to find the euphoric balance between the light and water even more so than I feel I already have.

Photos by Jordan Garza

Can you tell us about this series? Where were these taken?

This series of photos was taken about 6 weeks ago when a nice swell came in for a couple days. Some friends who are phenomenal longboarders wanted to meet up at sunset and shoot some photos. We met down at Blackies in Newport Beach, California and spent almost two hours out in the water shooting. I slept insanely well that night.

For you, what's the most important component to consider in your frame of composition?

For me it depends how close I am to the surfer I am shooting. The closer I am, the more focused I am on making sure I can some how capture the energy that’s happening in that moment. If they are further out I try to capture for a lack of better terms the “vibe” at that time with either the sun or what would seem like the endless distance of ocean.

Photos by Jordan Garza

Do you shoot spontaneously or do you like to have photos planned out?

I try my best to plan out the photos out but most of the time I’m at the mercy of the weather so for the most part it’s spontaneous.

You shot several of our color films. Which results did you enjoy the most or surprised you?

I still really enjoy the Lomography 800 and LomoChrome Purple! Lomography 800 I feel is one of my favorites to shoot for any occasion, while I like experimenting with the LomoChrome Purple knowing it always provides something exciting. It always looks much different than I expect it to in my head and I think that’s why I’m drawn to it.

Photos by Jordan Garza

What photographic equipment do you always bring with you in your travels?

I always have my Nikonos V or Nikonos IVA with me. I’ve shot with it many time outside of the water and it’s just an all around good camera for myself.

What does an ordinary day look like for Jordan Garza?

I wake up around 4:30am and start checking the surf reports regardless if I’m going out or not. I usually stop for tea or coffee in the morning on my way to the water. If I’m meeting up with someone at the beach to shoot we usually walk to some surf spots and look for the best breaks at that time. Typically I can only swim for about an hour at most before I start to get tired. After I finish up at the beach I’ll head to one of the local photo labs and drop off the rolls from that session and then head home, eat a late breakfast or lunch and take a nap. When that’s all said and done I’ll hangout with my girlfriend and just relax. I’m a pretty simple guy and just enjoy the little things in life.

Photos by Jordan Garza

Lastly, what would you say to anyone looking to try surf photography?

Invest in your equipment and gear. A good wetsuit and a good pair of fins are essential to staying comfortable in the waves. Cleaning your camera after every session is also important in keeping it functioning. Eat healthy and get plenty of rest when you can. It’s an extremely physical activity that isn’t forgiving if you don’t take care of your body in some way or form. Most importantly if you’re able to swim and get in the water, have fun. Without a doubt it is one of the most rewarding forms of creativity that will never stop giving if you don’t quit.


It was great to learn about your work, Jordan. Thank you for sharing with us! Please find more of his work via Instagram.

written by kaylalew on 2022-05-31 #gear #culture #people #places #california #beach #lomography-800 #surf-photography #lomochrome-purple #lomochrome-metropolis #jordan-garza

LomoChrome Purple Film 100-400 35mm

This unique color negative film will astound you by transforming natural tones of your photo into new eye-popping hues. A revival of the psychedelic infrared look from the Kodak Aerochrome film we all love, this film guarantees astounding photographic results.

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