Inspired by the Ocean
Get to know Zak Franklin, the insanely talented photographer (and our front cover star!) capturing the incredible beauty of the Northern Rivers through vibrant and evocative images.
From surfers hitting the waves at sunrise to all of the iconic local landscapes of the Northern Rivers coastline, Zak offers a unique viewpoint to the beauty of life as a local.
We grabbed him for a chat about his work, the influences and inspirations he gathers from our local region, and how he makes the most of his time living in paradise.
First things first, introduce yourself — who are you, where do you live, and what do you do?
I’m Zak Franklin, a born and bred Byron Bay local and lucky enough to be a photographer here in my hometown.
How did you become the photographer you are today? Where did it all start, and how has it evolved?
It was my Dad that actually introduced me to the world of photography. As I was growing up, he was involved in surf photography, and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from his career. As I got older, I looked for a creative outlet and naturally followed in his footsteps.
Sum up your photographic style in three words:
Oceanic, aerial and expressive.
What are you inspired by in your local community, and how does this influence your work?
Being lucky enough to have grown up in Byron Bay, I have always been inspired by the nature and wildlife that surrounded me. I also appreciate the consistent and innovative community approach when it comes to land care and ocean care.
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
Byron Bay has a special place in my heart. I’ve moved away from Byron a few times, and the beaches, nightlife, festivals and community spirit always brings me back.
Let us in on your go-to favourite places — when it’s time to unwind, where do you like to eat, play, drink, relax and have fun around the Northern Rivers?
After work during the week, you’ll find me at Broken Head with my camera. On the weekends, I’m usually out in the hinterlands, finding and shooting new and unique paradises.
What’s your weekend ritual?
A typical weekend is waking up early to take sunrise photos and explore the area until sunset. Even though I’ve lived here most of my life, there is always something new to discover.
Which other local artists, designers or creatives are you most inspired by at the moment?
There are so many, but some of my favourites you can find on Instagram are fellow photographers Saxon Kent
(@saxonkent) and Craig Parry
(@craigparryphotography). I also really like what Kiah and Edouard from Hunter and Gatherer (@hunterandgatherer.co) are doing with their awesome grazing tables, supporting local produce and suppliers to showcase the area and its incredible offerings.
What’s up next for you? What should we be keeping an eye out for in the world of Zak Franklin?
Where to start?! I’m going to be focusing on expanding my footprint and developing my art. I’m also doing a lot of event photography, as well as more aerial film production.
You can keep an eye on my world by following my journey on Instagram
(@zak.franklin), and if you like what you see, you can pick up my fine art prints at