Sue Guelden / Bruna Kajiya

This image has a beautiful focus on the athletes facial expression of happiness.
It also displays the female athlete with a knee brace, and that is unusual since gadgets, special gear and high performance protection is something that is often devoted for men, if shown at all. Even hinting that women can be strong, break bones and still be active, even though the risks are obvious, is a big no-no in most sports photography.


Sue Guelden, South Africa

visualsulution.blogspot.com

29 year old Sue Guelden has a great passion for extreme sports photography.
After her first experience in Egypt 2012, she decided to do more imagery in this direction, with the motto of learning by doing.
“The most important thing is to be really focused with what you are doing. I love the feeling of knowing I have caught a clear picture in the exact right moment.”
 
What adventure is next on your bucketlist?
“I´m going back to Elgouna, where the lifestyle is just perfect! Wind = kiting, no wind = cable park. A lot of pro riders are there to train, so that’s perfect for me as a photographer.”
 
Intense moments when shooting?
“The best feeling is definitely, when I check my pics in the display on spot, and realize I’ve got a perfect shot out of the session.
My most intense moments are when the riders come really close and do there tricks right in front of my camera, I know most of them already, and I of course trust them- Still, it’s a mighty feeling.
So far, I have not had a bad moment at a session.”
 
Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
“My biggest inspiration in life is my ex boss and friend Piet! He started building his company out of nothing; and he shows me all the time that if you really want something, you can reach it.”
 
What do you think of the lack of role models for girls and women in male dominated areas?
“I think women should believe in themselves more, believe in their strength and personality. I always say: Everything starts in your mind. Us women simply shouldn't care if a sport is considered more suitable for men, we should just do it and enjoy every second of it.”
 
How do you see women evolving in the action sports scene?
“Men will always be the stronger gender physically, but women are evolving constantly in action sports, claiming more and more space in the scene!”
 
What are your hopes for the future of the industry?
“Some sports are now so commercial, that many are obsessed with becoming pro riders- and that sometimes gets me a bit upset. I hope that people relax and stop trying so hard to go pro, and just DO IT for the experience of it instead.”
 
What is the number one preconception or prejudice people have about you? 
“A lot of people stare at me because of my tattoos; I’ve got two sleeves and my back full of tattoos.”
 
Is there a difference in how women and men are portrayed in the action sports industry?
“Until now, I known almost only about male action sport photographers, So I´m really glad that this campaign changes that- Hopefully giving light to more women within the industry”
 
What would you say to people who want to get in to action sports, but think they might not fit in?
“I just can say: follow your dreams, follow your heart, follow your passion(s) and make every moment in life about what you love to do!”
 
 
 

Bruna Kajiya, Brazil

facebook.com/BrunaKajiya

Brazilian freestyle kitesurf athlete Bruna Kajiya loves life in the water. A sponsored rider to Red Bull, Mystic and Airush, she has the titles of World Champion, 5x Vice World Champion as well as 5x Brazilian Champion. About the challenges of going pro, she says it’s important to manage a healthy balance between the pressure to perform and keep sponsors happy, and being careful not to have the fun in riding taken away by that.
Her favorite spots in the world include North Brazil Cauipe & Paracuru. Her best advice to other kiters is to always have fun on the water, no matter what the conditions are. Sometimes, after having a hard day freestyling and enjoy it, you can realize that the conditions are actually perfect for surfing or big air. She therefore recommends to try to see all the opportunities the sport of kite offers, being such a versatile sport. Her goals include pushing girls riding to another level and getting the title as word champion- But most importantly: enjoy it!
“I don't have one person I’m inspired by ? I get inspired everyday by the people around me. Everyone has their unique thing that can inspire others.”