About Surfing Images from Peter 'Joli' Wilson


Found at Bells Beach, Torquay in the late 60s with a camera in his hand, Peter 'Joli' Wilson, with his dual signature of blade-sharp surfing action and high exotica, has been pillar of the surf media for the last four decades. Hes currently senior contributor to just about every major surf magazine you can think of, and a couple more on top of that.
My initial interest in photography came from my Grandfather, a successful amateur filmmaker and photographer. At the age of 14 he helped me process my first roll of Black and White film shot on a camera given to me by my Godfather. On this roll of film, my Grandfather had taken a photo of me holding my first surfboard, a 9'2" Gordon Woods. The scene was set!
My first surfing image published was Narrabeen's Col Smith at the 1972 Bells Beach Easter Surfing Contest in the now defunct 'Breakout' Surfing Magazine.
In the mid 1970s I landed a job as an Assistant Photographer with the Australian Defense Department. I was assigned to a German Photographer, a perfectionist, and I was expected set up his camera but forbidden to push the button. It was 2 years before I shot a single frame. My training included studio work, lighting, flash, B & W processing and printing. My German mentor told me that if I wanted to be a Photographer it had to be for 'love' not 'money' Now years later he may have been right about the money, I still love what I do!
Over the next decade I pursued my professional photography career with various jobs working at Backdoor Surfing Magazine, Head Photographer at Deacon University before joining surf-wear giant Quiksilver as Ad and Promo Manager.
In 1989 I went freelance. With my wife Jan, we formed Joli Productions. The name came from my Grandparents surname Jolly. We put a French twist to the spelling. Translated 'Joli' describes 'pretty' and we hoped for plenty of pretty pictures! We provided freelance services to both editorial and advertising markets in the Surfing Industry.
For the past 20 years I've traveled the world capturing the world's oceans, landscapes, beaches, surfing action, cultures and lifestyles.
In the process Joli Productions has developed an extensive Stock Photo Library. My youthful enthusiasm developed into a lifelong passion. 'Joli' photos have appeared in hundreds of surfing, outdoor and lifestyle magazines and books worldwide.
Hope you find em pretty Joli too.