Coastal Creative: Jo Savage

Jo is an Encinitas, California-based photographer and the artist behind the Daydream Collage Kit. She’s been shooting commercial lifestyle photos for almost 6 years. She thrives by uncovering stories of passion and dedication in the sports and outdoor industries, as well as in the areas of environment and sustainability. Jo began in the outdoor adventure industry and has since transitioned into fashion and editorial photography. She craves creating artistic, emotive, and dynamic imagery from authentic moments. She aims to uncover the layers of untold stories globally within the surf, skate, and mountain communities, primarily championing female and/or LGBTQIA+ protagonists.

We recently caught up with her to hear more about her journey as a photographer.


When did you know you wanted to pursue photography as a career?

July 2016, three months before beginning a graduate school program for therapy that I ultimately never attended. I was 2 months into being a photographer for an underground art & music magazine in Salt Lake City, shooting beer, concerts, snowboarding, and rock climbing as a summer hobby. I randomly generated a meager income (enough to live frugally) from this and thought - why not pursue this full-time for a year and see what happens? The rest is history.


What fears did you have to overcome to pursue photography full time?

Paying the bills and imposter syndrome. But other than that, not many. I was too high on the thrill of shooting, networking, learning the camera, the editing software and how to create dynamic images to have the energy to give to fear.


"Everything is temporary. Do everything with love. Close your mouth, open your eyes & ears. Don’t take it personally"


How do you want people to feel when they experience your work?

I want them to feel visually stimulated, as well as curious & inspired.


Whose closet would you raid alive or dead?

Francois Hardy, Rocky Barnes, Zendaya


Do you have a photo from the Daydream Collage Kit you’re most proud of?

I love the shot of the pelican flying over the female surfer. I shot this near Punta de Mita in Mexico. The timing on that shot was amazing, to be honest.


Where or when do you find yourself feeling the most inspired?

Travel, Movies, Shooting Film, Mingling with creatives, Nature, Rock climbing, Seeing photography in print

What does success look like to you?

Hmmm, I’m not really sure yet because I’ve only had small successes along my journey. I imagine for me, it would include living in a place that feels like home, having a life filled with love, creative fulfillment, a sustainable business, health, flexibility to travel, and having joie de vivre.

Is there a common thread connecting your work? How would you describe it?

Femininity, Natural light, In-between moments, Vibrant


What does a day in your life look like currently?

My life these days has been mellow. It usually involves hot yoga, a walk with a friend and my dog Boy, working and cooking dinner or going out with a totally awesome babe I’m dating.


What’s the current podcast in your downloads?

Reply All. Favorite episodes: “Zardulu” and “Long Distance I & II”. Thanks to Lucy Jean for the recommendations.

What’s your life’s mantra?

Everything is temporary. Do everything with love. Close your mouth, open your eyes & ears. Don’t take it personally.


If you had to recommend only one book to anyone who asks you in the future, which book would it be?

The Alchemist is always a really solid read. The War of Art has been a bible of sorts to me.


When you’re feeling creatively exhausted, what do you do?

I typically avoid opening my computer for as many days as I can. I rest, do yoga, climb, eat weed gummies, watch movies. Sometimes I become a hermit, get out in nature, and look at lots of photography I aspire to create.


We’re motivated by Jo’s tenacity for life and pursuing her craft. You can follow her and her work by heading to @jo_savagephotograhy on Instagram.