Picture this: devotion and drive guides Jack Bober to a successful hobby

September 16, 2019

Courtesy of Jack Bober

In today’s modern society, photographs are a universal language. Due to the technological advancements of the smartphone, individuals can hold hundreds or even thousands of photos in their pocket. Yet there is so much more to photography than just the simple snapshot of a moment. Photographers are our eyes to the world––they inform, inspire and amaze us. Junior Jack Bober embraces this community by capturing images that fuel his enthusiasm for photography, a hobby he has grown to cherish.

Bober’s fervor for photography began in eighth grade. After years of bodyboarding at the beach with his family, he decided he was more interested in the beauty behind the scenic landscape than riding the waves. He started to bring along a GoPro. Fascinated by taking photos, Bober began purchasing more equipment with the money he earned working as an umpire for Little League baseball games. Bober now gets into the water with a Nikon D7200, secured in a waterproof housing––a case that allows for full control of the camera while it is submerged in water––to pursue surf photography. 

“I like doing surf photography the most so I do surf photography a lot more than everything else. But during the summer I do more landscape [photography] because the waves are not as good compared to the winter,” Bober said. 

Bober is mainly self-taught, but he has done a few workshops and participated in a two week-long National Geographic camp in Yellowstone. Although this process may have been more time-consuming than taking a class, Bober feels it has been a rewarding experience. 

“It’s more gratifying being self-taught because it allows me to create my own style of photography and not base it off of what someone else taught me and what they like to do. All I needed was a little inspiration,” Bober said. 

Bober credits a lot of his success to the role models and people he has met in the photography world. 

“Whenever I go to Hawaii, [Southern California] or Santa Cruz, I meet up with other surf photographers,” Bober said. “This guy named Andrew Ling was one of the teachers during the [National Geographic] camp. We keep on talking about photography and he helps me a lot.”

Ling has taught photography to a countless number of teens. As a teacher, Ling admires Bober’s drive and determination that is replicated through his photos. 

“Most 16-year-olds aren’t quite sure what they want to do yet, which is absolutely normal and perfectly fine. I just feel like Jack knows exactly what he wants to do and what he wants to shoot and he goes after it, which is amazing and stands out,” Ling said. 

While most students walk past the Redwood scenery without a thought, Bober constantly thinks of the photo options the campus holds

Bober appreciates his role models, but he credits most of his accomplishments to his mother, Leanne Bober. Leanne has watched Jack grow as a photographer these past three years and has helped push him past his comfort zone. She is extremely proud that he is so accomplished in what started as a simple interest. 

“Jack has found success in his Instagram, website and selling his prints. This summer he was published in multiple surf magazines and famous Instagram accounts have started to republish his work,” Leanne said. 

Although Jack loves photography, he does not want to make a career out of it. However, Jack does plan to continue his passion during college and onward. For him, the fulfillment of photography, more specifically surf photography, is what is most important. 

“Photography is almost like an obsession for [Jack]. He loves photography so much and it is very fulfilling for him. He wants to do it in all of his free time,” Leanne said. “He has truly found something that makes him happy and that’s what is important.”

Jack hopes to continue improving his photography skills, whether that improvement is with water or landscape work. Jack and Ling agree that doing something you are devoted to is more thrilling and enjoyable. 

“Knowing I can always get a better photo has pushed me to become the photographer I am today,” Jack said. “I do know that I am not close to being the photographer I will be in five years, and that pushes me to continue sharpening my skills and improving.”

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