About jsarasota / FAQ

photo of jsarasota on his motorcycle

Hey I’m James, aka jsarasota. If you live in the Venice-Sarasota area, you’ve probably seen my photos before. It could have been on your friend’s VSCO, in a booklet about area wetlands, using a map app, or reading the local news. I’ve shot everything from stereo-microscope zooms of invertebrates to landscapes, but I’m mostly known for my surf/skim, portrait, and sunset reels and photography.

My photos and videos have been viewed more than a million times online and shared thousands of times on Facebook, Instagram, VSCO, and Snap. I think that’s pretty cool, and I hope they’ve maxed your stoke.

“No, seriously, where have I seen your photos?”
Social media, websites, and/or displayed in-store…

Walmart, FloFlops, the Compound Boardshop, JOLYN Swimwear AUS // NZ, Freestyle Watches, Zap Skimboards, Gulfster.com, Florida State Surfing Championship, FOIL Surfboards, shore lb., Visit Sarasota County, United Skim Tour, Skim USA, Space Coast BoardRiders Club, RISE Fitness, Sun News Media, Surf Station, Victoria Skimboards, Los Angeles Times (online), Paradise FitSurf, Rogue Waves, CrossFit Nullis Terminis, FlohanaSurf, Raw Surf, SURFit USA, Empire Bodyboards, The 180 House, floridawomenssurfing, Friends of the Legacy Trail, Wellen Park, Surf and Skate Warehouse, Venice Jetty Surf, Google Maps, BRŌQ, Surfers Warehouse, and so on; plus hundreds of professional and amateur athletes, model pages, and your friend’s mom’s Insta.

Follow me on Instagram to see what I’ve been shooting lately.


I get a lot of questions in DMs and in person. Here’s some info.

What camera/equipment do you use?
I’m all about mobility and compactness. I usually shoot with an Olympus or Panasonic micro 4/3, using various prime portrait, wide-angle, and telephoto lenses. For surf, I usually shoot with something from 200-600mm. For portraits, I use a prime lens, and so should your photographer.

Will you shoot my event?
Hit me up on Instagram and tell me about your event (when and where) and what you need.

Do you edit your photos?
Yes, within limits. I’m not a Faketographer – no fake skies, no color masks, no heavy editing. I like the photos to convey the feeling/vibe/look I experienced when I was there shooting, but I also have a one-minute rule. If it takes more than one-minute to edit a photograph, I’m probably going to hit delete.

Why do you say that all photos are protected by US copyright law? I’m the one in the photo.
Because that’s the way it works.
Do I Own the Photo if I’m in It?
Do I Own a Photo If I’m In It?

Why “respectful re-use allowed with attribution”?
I think an attribution (shot by jsarasota or tagging me) is fair and simple to do.

I say “respectful” because I’ve had a few people re-use images in a disrespectful way. Once it was an attention-seeking teenager; another time it was a creepy woman. Be respectful. It’s easy.

Do you have any photography tips?
Ofc. Go with ethics first. You don’t have to take that photo, and you definitely don’t have to publish it anywhere. Do your best to protect the underaged, and show concern and respect for those in your photos.

Next, take a lot of photos.

Also, point your camera in the right direction. It’s the most common mistake I see. Take into account the direction of the light, the effect you want, and the position of your subject, as well as if it’s moving.