Local photographer wins Surfer magazine's photo of the year - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

TUESDAY, September 22, 2009

Local photographer wins Surfer magazine's photo of the year

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A local photographer is finding fast fame after one of his shots was voted Surfer magazine's 2009 Photo of the Year. The winning photograph was chosen through an online poll.

Twenty-four-year-old Todd Glaser is always taking pictures. His big break came nine months ago when he landed a job with Surfer magazine. He's been traveling ever since.

"Nicaragua twice, Australia, New Zealand and I'm packing to go to France in two days," Todd said.

The bulk of Todd's surf shoots are called strike missions, which means he stays half packed for the likes of Rob Machado, Laird Hamilton and Kelley Slater.

"I'll get a phone call this afternoon and I'll be on a plane in the morning, going halfway across the world," Todd said.

Chasing storms takes Todd to the biggest waves in the world.

"You know you are excited but you still have to make sure you get the shot. But you're nervous because it's your friend, you know, who's risking his life," Todd said.

It's a passion for waves that started when he was a competitive body boarder as a child. To help Todd get established, his dad lets him live at home rent free.

"He can stay here as long as he wants to. I think he'll probably want to leave before that," Todd's father Dennis Glaser said.

The investment is paying off. Todd's recent Surfer magazine cover shot was voted 2009 photo of the year.

"I was shocked... I was blown away," Todd said.

Todd named the photo "Secrets" because he refuses to tell anyone where his secret surf place is located.

"It's on a need-to-know basis," he said.

That means big wave surfer Greg Long had to trust Todd to keep his mouth shut.

"I don't want to be the guy just with the camera. There's a lot of trust that goes on between the subject and yourself," Todd said.

Todd won't even tell us which continent they were on.

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