By Ellen Zoe Golden Photos courtesy Jorgelina Agrumant/Avellanas Surf Photos
There’s something special about photographing surfers, says Jorgelina Agramunt. Whether it’s the morning or sunset light, the expression of joy on their faces, she’s happy to capture the experience with her camera and then share it with her clients. Born and raised in the beautiful beach town of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she found herself in Costa Rica at a wedding in Playa Negra, and never left. Making her home in Avellanas with husband Barney, and two children, Noah and Kaya, Argamunt has two photo businesses now, one for surfers the other for portraits. Check them out at www.avellanassurfphotos.com and www.costaricabeachportraits.com
THE Tamarindo News talked to Argamunt peaceful Avellanas day.
THE Tamarindo News: Tell me a little about your childhood?
Jorgelina Agramunt: Mar del Plata was an awesome place to grow up. I was into sports and music when I was younger. We spent summers at the beach, hanging out with family and friends. During winter, it was still about friends in the college and work environment. Friendships are as important as family, and any occasion was a good excuse for a gathering and photos.
TTN: When did you become interested in photography?
JA: I use to draw a lot as a child, and around 16 got hooked on photography by reading an Ansel Adam’s book. I started learning on my own by trial and error, “borrowing” my Dad’s equipment (he was a hobbyist photographer) even though I was restricted to the house and backyard. I read any photo-related book I could put my hands on. I got a job to buy my own camera equipment, a Nikon body with a couple of lenses a 35mm, an 85mm and a 135mm. In the following years I took several extensive workshops that included fundamentals, lighting and film developing—we are talking about SLR film era, pre-digital. I always had a camera around, transitioned to digital and kept on taking and making photos.
TTN: What brought you to Costa Rica?
JA: My first time in Costa Rica was in 2000. Two friends and I came backpacking to explore the whole country during our 18 day-vacation trip. I was working in a travel agency at that time and I remember saying to myself: “I’ll move here, eventually”. I fell in love with the weather, the locations, the people, the surf, the beach always felt like home. Life has its funny turns, I left Argentina to spend a year in the States and one of my friends that traveled with me to Costa told me that she was getting married in Playa Negra in March 2003. I came to the wedding, stayed in Tamarindo, which was still quite small. I loved it, everybody knew each other, waves were good. I had couple of friends from my town already here, so I decided to stay a little extra time… then some more….and more…..and suddenly I realized that a couple of month had gone by and I was totally settled: surfing, practicing yoga every day and working in a really nice place, with great people and owner. I was also taking surf photos around the Tamarindo breaks as a side hustle.
TTN: And the photography business?
JA: Barney and I started Silver Sea Photo & Video mid-2006. He was the cameraman from the water, I was mainly the video editor, but also taking photos from the beach. We produced a couple of short skate and surfing videos to promote ourselves that still run today on YouTube, and some projects with local companies that needed videos. That was super fun. Tamarindo eventually started to expand and grow, and we found ourselves driving every day to Avellanas for sessions. Playa Avellanas is beautiful, peaceful and with a great community, we found a house for rent and moved right away in 2009. I decided to concentrate only on surfing photos on a daily basis and that’s how Avellanas Surf Photos was created and till today, it’s super rewarding to see surfers from around the world take their stoke back home with our photos. Our lives were totally geared towards the beach, we work at the beach, we chilled at the beach, we hang out with friends till sunset. I think it’s absolutely the perfect place to raise babies, they are in contact and learn to respect nature, they enjoy the natural tidal pools. As they grow older they try surfing and I hope they will always cherish these moments at the beach. It’s important to us that they learn to respect their land and country. We used to spend every rainy season in Philadelphia, PA, where Barney is from. These past couple of years we decided to give Costa Rica a try all year round and it didn’t disappoint. We love it here!
TTN: Why do you do what you do?
JA: Taking photos gives me peace of mind, happiness, space. I believe photography not only captures memories and experiences, but also keeps them in time for all times, making us relive the emotions and feelings of those moments to enjoy them repeatedly. Surf Photography is my favorite genre, I love everything about it. I’ve expanded my services to other genres of photography and created Costa Rica Beach Portraits, we cater to families and couples that are visiting Costa Rica and capture meaningful moments for them during their vacations.