Richard Kotch always wanted to be a photographer, but at age 23 he had a choice to make: He could spend 3 years getting a solid technical background and a photography degree in England, or go to India and study Yoga and ancient martial arts. Having been addicted to travel from an early age he chose the latter. It was a decision that would come back to haunt him. He ended up fighting for his life and Malaria almost won. But by the age of 28 he was on the road to recovery and he ventured back out into the world. He admits he had not actually used a camera for years but he was still fascinated with photography and the people creating the shot. His early photographic hero’s were Robert Capa and later John Hoagland – photographers who’s images from conflict zones send a shiver down your spine, who both died on the road with a camera in their hand (Capa in Vietnam and Hoagland in El Salvador). It was after meeting John Hoagland’s son Eros, in El Salvador, that Richard was moved to pick up a camera again after a ten year hiatus.
He says, “In Eros I saw myself, in the countries that he was drawn to and the shots he produced, I saw the path that I would have wanted to walk had I not gone to India all those years ago. He really inspired me to start shooting again”.
But now living and working on tropical islands, it’s the Ocean and those riding waves that his lens was drawn to. After a lifetime of watching and riding waves, surf photography came naturally to him and he even finds ways to bring it back to Capa – who once said that “if your photographs are not good enough, you’re not close enough” something that Rich keeps that in mind when in the water shooting fish eye.
See more of Richard's photography and travel at - richardkotchphotography.com
Click the shot to check out Richard's gallery