This time Jon Steele and Grant Ellis square off and we are the winners!
Jon Steele is a well-known surf photographer with stylish glasses and a keen eye. He has worked as a model. He has also gotten very angry at Surfer photo editor Grant Ellis. In a recent Instagram post he said, “Fuck grant ellis @grantellis1 and his ego fueled photo editor dictatorship! For the past 15 years I have been working to get Texas surfing into the magazine only to have him shoot the article himself and take money and work away from me. Congrats on being the shittiest photo editor ever!Take my name off the photographer mast head!!”
Why the anger? Jon Steele, you see, was born in San Antonio and reared in Corpus Christie. He spent the first half of his life surfing those Texas gulf oil tanker waves and if they were going to be shown to the world, he wanted to be the one to do it.
Surf photographers are very proprietary. If you want an angry email, post surf photos online without permission. Of course it all stands to reason. Their images are their currency. Their knowledge, connections, access are also their currency and Grant Ellis spent Jon Steele’s. Should Jon, though, have taken such a torch to Surfer’s office? Should he have burned a bridge? Probably. I once got fired from a restaurant job. I was a bus boy and moved as quickly as I could but it was, admittedly, slow. Once night the manager took me aside and told me that everyone else was in fifth gear and I was in second. I became so enraged that I went home, put my uniform in a brown paper bag, wrote cuss words inside, had my dad drive me to the restaurant and threw the bag at the door.
It is nice to see the fire from Jon and BeachGrit will be sure to bring you Grant’s response. I don’t know how the Surfer story looks, nor will I, because I am not 73 years old and don’t read Surfer. But fuck you Red Lion Coos Bay!