Flying high with Aimee Isakson

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Aimee Isakson resides in Vancouver, BC, Canada, although more often than not you’ll find her in a destination most of us can only dream about. Her love of photography started at a very young age and she now works on a freelance basis, focusing on the beach and surf culture.

Aimee’s photographic style encapsulates the surf lifestyle, ranging from high surf action to dreamy black and white panoramics. We caught up with Aimee to talk about travel, surfing and words to live by (plus a whole lot more)…

Hey Aimee, how are you and where are you right now? 

Hi Brad! I’m great! I’m currently sitting in my favourite little coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada organizing my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka! Can’t wait to play in the water and get some awesome beach and surf shots!

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Tell us about your travel life – and what are some of the memorable moments you’ve experienced lately?

As a Flight Attendant I have amazing perks to be able to travel to really anywhere I want! It’s not free but much cheaper than a regular airfare ticket! I’ve been trying to travel to a new spot every 1-2 months for at least two weeks at a time.

Last year in Maui my friend and I rented a Westfalia camper van and had the most epic time driving all over the island for 10 days.   One main highlight was driving up to the top Haleakala volcano and camping out to catch the sunrise the next morning. That night, the stars were nothing I’d ever seen before. The stars were intense and shooting stars were covering the sky. It was truly an amazing experience. For surf there are definitely waves for everyone on Maui. From surfing big waves at Jaws to small beginner waves at Kihei Cove Park, it’s an amazing spot (and no I didn’t surf Jaws :)). But definitely rent a camper van – you will not regret it!

Do you get fatigued after long haul flights? What motivates you to get down to the beach?

OF COURSE! But as my airline doesn’t operate super long haul flights at the moment, I’m not in desperate need of sleep after flying. But that being said a lot of the crews will go out for drinks when we get in, but I’d rather go straight to bed and wake up super early to catch the golden hours of surf and photography. (especially when you’re only there for 24hrs). It’s definitely pretty cool to say you’re heading to Oahu for a day to surf!

Coming from Canada, I’m motivated by everything beach and surf related! The white sandy beaches, the swaying palm trees, the beautiful blue hues of the water and waves and just the culture of beach and surf. I’m definitely passionate to just ‘live in the moment’ when I’m surrounded by all these things. I think in my past life, I was a tropical girl as I continuously plan trips around beaches. Don’t get me wrong, a quick hike in the mountains is great but I couldn’t centre my whole trip not being by a beach in warm weather.

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We love your images – a great blend of action and art. How did you develop an interest in photography?

Thank you! At around 6 years of age, my parents bought me a camera. I would take photos of everything. The excitement at development time was extremely high and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’ve always been very creative and photography is just one outlet to express that side. Photography is definitely very personal. The person that looks at your images gets to see how you view things. Pretty cool, I think.

Who inspires you creatively? (can be artists, music, photographers)

It’s amazing how many epic photographers there are out there. To name just one, I’m extremely inspired by Chris Burkard. He definitely knows what’s going on. In general, I’m just very motivated when I’m surrounded by positive things. Music definitely helps. Happy, upbeat stuff is the go to.

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Do you spend much time out in the water catching waves yourself? What are your favourite boards and places to surf?

I definitely love being out on the water and love playing around on longboards on fun waves. I’m definitely not great, but I love it! With my job, I’m lucky that I can take a weekend trip over to Hawaii, down to Mexico or even just down to LA! I absolutely love Nicaragua and Costa Rica. They have awesome beach breaks where the waves can be extremely friendly for some and awesomely large for others.

3 Places you’d recommend people visit – and why?

Three places? That’s it?! Ha!

  1. Maui: See my above trip in Maui!
  2. Costa Rica: There’s something about Costa Rica that just makes a person want to stay… forever. The pure vida is everywhere and the beach and surf culture is amazing.
  3. Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia: This island just off Bali hugged me like a family – I never wanted to leave! Great reef break surf and the beaches and people are absolutely amazing.

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What’s your dream surf session? Can include anyone living or not… and are you in the water or behind the lens?

I truly wish I was a good surfer… buuut I’ll get there one day when I’m living somewhere I can surf everyday! That being said, . A day that makes a person smile, makes me smile.

I’m currently shooting with a Canon 6d, Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS ii USM, 24-105 f4 and 50mm 1.8. I definitely have a wish list but first thing’s first. Damn this hobby is expensive!

Three words to live by…

Oh my, this is a perfect questions to ask me!


So much of what society tells us is right way to live your life, is so incorrect. Sorry for the cliché but YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE! Why work in a job you hate, stay in a relationship that makes you sad or live in a place that doesn’t motivate you to be the best person you can be. People are scared of fear and the thought of change and the unknown terrifies people. Just quit your job and do what you love! If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll never regret it and you’ll do well at whatever you’re doing! I feel extremely lucky to be doing something that I enjoy and that allows me the freedom to travel and pursue my many passions!

We Love it! Thanks Aimee. So How can people follow you and find out more?

Great question!