See.Think.Do with Ben Battell

See.Think.Do with Ben Battell

Good communication, surfing in Indonesia and finding presence in the ocean with Ben Battell: surf, lifestyle and outdoor photographer/ filmmaker.


Hey Ben! Whereabouts are you right now?

Hey Team! Thanks for having me along as part of your See.Think.Do features!

Currently I am at home in Newquay, a stone’s throw from the ocean. It’s sunny out there and there’s a little swell running, so pretty dreamy!

What (if anything) is getting you excited right now?

So much! Social interaction, warmer waters and golden hours.
Especially after a long cold winter these long warm summer days and long evenings are so epic! The light has been amazing, which has really been inspiring me to shoot as much as I can!

Tell us about your journey into becoming a photographer/ filmmaker. What inspired you to become one and when did you take that first big / small step?

Photography and filmmaking have been passions of mine since I was young. Beginning by making skate films with my friends, then becoming the self-appointed team videographer on multiple ski trips and surf trips when I was living in London. I left London to travel and surf in Indonesia, (on my way to Australia, where I lived for a year) and I found it almost impossible to put my camera down.

When I made my return to the UK in January 2018, I realised that I didn’t want to move back up to London, and decided it was the right time to take this hobby of mine, and craft it into a career in photography and filmmaking!

What’s been your highlight to date?

Recently I had some of my work chosen to furnish the new Beach Lofts at The Watergate Bay Hotel. Seeing my work displayed on giant 2m canvases within the exquisitely designed rooms was a real buzz!

Surfer in Cornwall at sunset

What have you learnt in the last 12 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?

It’s not really a lesson of just the last 12 months, but for me, good communication is really the key! I feel that in any situation the right communication with the client or people involved can help resolve any issues before they become an actual problem! For me personally I love to pick up the phone and chat, it avoids any miscommunication can occur through email/ messages!

What’s been inspiring you recently?

I love working with people and businesses who are excited about what they do, it inspires me to push myself to be more creative!

How do you think about mental health and what helps you manage it?

I think we have all been going through a tough time as of late and I try to maintain an awareness and compassion for my own mental health and others around me. Personally, I find surfing is such a great way to keep my mind happy. Out in the water you are put into a situation where you are required to be in the present moment, and therefore worries from the land seem to fade. It can be really mediative out there… especially between the sets! I would also recommend The Blindboy Podcast. It’s a really varied podcast, but he has so many episodes on mental health which are very approachable and relatable.

Open water swimmer photograph


Any bad habits you’d like to kick?

I used to practice yoga on a regular basis, and actually taught it for a few years too! However, recently I have fallen out of a regular practice, so I would like to stop not doing yoga and make an effort to get back to classes and on the mat as I find it a hugely rewarding practice!

How will you measure “success” in 10 years' time?

A variety of shoots and adventures around the world that I can look back on with pride!

What’s the next adventure?

I am super excited to be heading off to Croatia to shoot with the Yacht Week for a couple of weeks this summer. It’s an area of the world that I have always wanted to explore with my camera and when the opportunity arose for me to do it, I was stoked! I’m looking forward to making the most of shooting in an out of the water.

Ben Recommends

Top Local Spot: Canteen at the Orchard – The fresh menu changes daily and only has two options; meat or vegan - both will be stunning! Oh, and try the cinnamon buns if you are still hungry! They’re delicious!

Watch out for: Luke Dillon – One of Britain’s top surfers soon to become a household name!

Best new thing: A couple of handmade sturdy cotton dish cloths from my friend Adam’s wonderful mother Sonia! Be gone plastic sponges!

Smallest change/ biggest impact: Swapping supermarket coffee for small batch locally roasted fresh coffee!

Your message in a bottle: Listen, learn and be kind!

What's doing at Days (from Mike & Duncs)

Doing: Tradeshows

Writing: Job Briefs

Enjoying: Mins Vitamins

Planning: Festivals

Naively Optimistic for: Scottish football results

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