In the second episode of our Girl’s Crush series that highlights inspirational ocean women, our special reporter Sandrine from Sunriseneverends had the chance to follow Tara Michie, the lady behind the blog « Ladyslider », on a Billabong lifestyle shoot on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

Tara is a Hawaiian surfer and graduate from the fashion department at the University of Hawaii. She spends her days capturing images of surf, travel and fashion from her own unique perspective. Tara’s images are an eclectic reflection of her moods, stories and dreams.

After the shoot Sandrine caught up with Tara at her home to talk about three of her biggest passions; surf, fashion and travel. – Photo credit: @sunriseneverends

Aloha! Tara, you live here in Hawaii on the North Shore but where do you come from originally?

I’m originally from the Big Island.

Many European women who are passionate about fashion and surf already know you through your blog LadySlider. Could you tell me how you began this whole adventure?

I started as a creative assistant for Samudra. Then I felt I had a unique perspective I could offer through the web between surfing lifestyle, fashion and travel. The surfing brands started to show interest in me and the fashion world was something that attracted me a lot with all its facades: its designers, New-York, the fashion weeks… So I decided to create a personal blog where I would share things, which would be a documentation of the best aspects of my life.

Your photos are stunning and vibrant, where do you get your inspiration?

Here in Hawaii! I’m surrounded by beautiful landscapes, the ocean and coconut trees and because people are so kind and happy to live here, it makes it really easy to capture it.

Today you make a living from your wonderful adventures and from your blog. For this Billabong lifestyle shoot, you were in charge of styling the shoot. We let you do what you are best at and the magic happened. Is there an occupation that you prefer?

Styling is an area of creativity that I really like to manage during a shoot. As a photographer, if you have to work with strict instructions you can be sure your creativity will be reduced to nothing. That’s why I prefer the art direction part above all. If it’s a massive campaign sometimes the photographer endures a lot of pressure to respond to the creative team's expectations and not their own. Styling offers me a greater freedom.

You really like surfing, but you also have a deep fashion sensibility. How do you mix both of these?

My love for fashion appeared while I was surfing and discovered the first women surfing campaigns back in 2000. I really felt connected to the lifestyle aspect. I think that both surf and fashion do work hand-in-hand, and both of can influence each other in a positive way.

Personally, I’m influenced by fashion, but only a few people from fashion truly understand the surf culture. Once again, I have a particular point of view as I grew up surfing and few years later I was studying fashion in Hawaii. These two backgrounds informed my personality, my lifestyle, and gave me the opportunity to be who I am today.

You are a perpetual world traveler. Which trip has been the most memorable?

Every place is unique and different. Experiences marked my memory more than a specific place. While you are traveling you discover different cultures, ways of seeing, and you can experiment unusual lifestyles and this is what I love about traveling. It’s difficult to single out one location in particular, so focus on all the little precious things I’ve collected from every single trip which have nourished me.

Is the surf at the center of all your trips?

Surfing is not always a priority, but I cannot spend more than a month without surfing. Last year I broke my arm, I stayed one and a half month without surfing and it was hell!

Which place would you like to discover?

The Caribbean, Bahamas,…. Well, I think I would like to go everywhere!!!

Could you tell me more about your last trip in Europe last October? What is your best memory?

And I have a big crush on the Basque Country. And from Europe we travelled down to Morocco. I’ve brought back so many souvenirs to decorate my house. The Moroccan rugs are beautiful.

What other projects are you working on besides your blog?

There are some upcoming shoots planned in Maui and in Fiji at the end of April. I would like to devote this year to a humanitarian trip as a volunteer. Helping kids is something that is very close to my heart. There are so many children growing up without any parents that we even thought about adopting a child. I really want to accomplish a social project.

Will we see you soon again in Europe?

I hope so! My last European trip was too short, I would like to come back and stay at least a month. The first time you get to a new place you are always excited and have this fear of missing something. So for a second trip in Europe, I would like to take my time. I can’t wait to go back to the Marais in Paris for some shopping.

Tara // @ladyslider // www.ladyslider.com

Sandrine // @sunriseneverends // http://sunrise.abeachylife.com/

Here is a glimpse at Tara’s images for us (more to come). – Photo credit : @ladyslider