Sue Guelden, South Africa
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!”
Sjoukje is in the fore front of the new wave of kitesurfers, living without limits and turning Kiteboarding onto its head. Fueled by a blend of competitive ability and enhanced by the belief that the real limits are only those you impose on yourself. A standout on any level, she is fast becoming one of the World's Leading Kiteboarding ladies, exploring new limits whether free riding or chasing the horizon on a speed board. She exudes that special energy that exists between loving what you do and being in love with your lifestyle. The synergy and teamwork she enjoys with her family and friends on the beach and playground, coupled with her sincerity and love for life, have been contributing factors to her success in the sport.
Breaking the world speed record in Luderitz Namibia a few years ago, Sjoukje catatpulted herself into the history books forever by becoming the first woman on a kite to hold the worlds speed sailing outright record.
Sjoukje enjoys life to the fullest and is an accomplished artist, and a budding writer and photographer. She reads whenever she can and travels almost year round.