Helio Antonio: Surf Photographer

Beyond The Frame

Welcome to another episode of Surf Bank's Beyond The Frame where we dive into the captivating world of surf and ocean photography, going beyond mesmerising captures exploring the backstory of many talented photographers. In this episode we will be hearing from Helio Antonio a surf photographer from Nazare, Portugal. Beyond the frame aims to inspire and inform future surf photographers and ocean lovers being your backstage pass to detailed insights from the minds behind stunning surf shots.

Helio Antonio Gallery

What Did Your Childhood Look Like?

I grew up in Nazare, once a relatively unknown town but now very famous for being home to the biggest waves of the world. My house was 100 meters from the beach so I fell in love with the ocean and was hooked on being in the water.

What Came First, Surfing or Photography?

Surfing, well actually bodyboarding. A bunch of my friends were bodyboarders, so I obviously tried it and was hooked!

How Did You Get Into Surf Photography?

While surfing I fell in love with barrels, and I felt this urge to freeze those beautiful moments. I started buying disposable waterproof film cameras and a few years later I saved for a digital camera. At first without a water housing, I could only shoot from land but a few years later I bought another camera with a water housing and I was spending the whole time in the ocean shooting.

Where Do You Normally Shoot?

I would have to say my hometown, Nazare. It's very consistent, perfect waves, huge waves, infinite angles, beautiful landscapes. It has a lot to work on. But I also travel a lot to Supertubos, Peniche and most of the west coast.

Photo By Helio Antonio

Where Do You Shoot? Water or Land?

Nowadays mainly on land although from time to time I jump in the water and also shoot with the drone. Definitely shooting in the water is the most exciting but not always the most rewarding.

What Makes The Perfect Image?

Definitely a perfect wave, beautiful light and at least one element to put the wave size in perspective. If there's a gorgeous landscape, it will be perfect.

How Did You Become So Involved In The Surf Scene?

It happened naturally. Living so close to the ocean I was (and still am) obsessed with waves so I wanted to spend the whole-time surfing and/or shooting. Barrels are one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have. Shooting is very addictive because I'm never 100% happy with my images. I keep looking for the perfect image.

What's Your Biggest Challenge To Overcome When Shooting?

In Portugal, offshore winds.

Photo By Helio Antonio

Helio's Equipment List

Camera & Lenses & Drone

Helio enjoys to shoot with a full frame camera paired with all sorts of lenses. He also opts to use his drone for aerial footage of the waves.

Water Housing

When it comes to water housing, Helio uses the Wavesolutions Water Housing.


When Helio is shooting he ensures to always protect his ears with Surfears.

Helio's Favourite Shot Taken

Photo By Helio Antonio

Probably an underwater shot of my friend Dino (bodyboarder from Nazare) getting barrelled during a trip to Azores.

Helio's Future Plans

I would like to travel as much as possible to places I haven't been before. I want to publish a book with my best shots (I'm saving a few) and hopefully do an exhibition with those images.

Follow @helio_antonio

You can keep up to date with Antionio's new projects and recent captures on his Instagram, as well as checking out his images for sale here

Do You Want To Be Involved In Beyond The Frame?

Are you a surf photographer wanting your story told? You may be our next Beyond The Frame feature! Please get in touch with us over email so we can get a conversation going:

Photo By Helio Antonio

The Surfbank is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Affiliate Disclosure.

The Trusted Voice of Surfing.
Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved

313, 39 Ludgate Hill, London, EC4M 7JN