While out in California, I was hoping to capture your typical Californian surfer. Unfortunately that did not come to pass. However, when in Venice Beach I opted to attempt and photograph someone just as important to the Cali-lifestyle. Dave Carter is a 25 year lifeguard veteran who is born, raised and ‘lives’ California.

Before becoming a lifeguard Dave taught Language Intervention, where he taught older illiterate people to read and write– he did this for about seven years. Dave retired and returned to what he loved most: the beach and the ocean. “Nothing will ever compare to the north coast” he says, explaining why he chose Venice Beach over many other beaches. He has guarded beaches from Sonoma County to Orange County. The Venice area is a very busy, constantly changing area of the west-coast. With all the surfers, tourists and even the big local skate park, he finds there is always something to do. “The constant flow of EMS calls keeps us on our feet” as he explains that, yes they are emergency calls but that is why they are there and keeping busy is better than anything else. The town also seems to attract hard-working individuals like himself and such, Dave works with a very skilled and dedicated crew.

“We are not perfect, nobody is– but we do a damn good job!” Dave says. He had a very humble way about himself and made it a point that he needed to watch the waters as we continued our interview. “This is a unique area, but still only my second favorite place.” It would seem he had a yearning for home but seemed very content with where he was.

–>Information on Venice Beach coming soon!


Dave and I at the Life Guard station at Venice Beach, California.

–> click image to view larger!


Drake and I caught up briefly while I was in LA. Here, the final sketch to the project.