I grew up with a passion for photography – I have always loved taking photos and capturing a specific moment in time, at a specific place, with a specific vantage point, and with a specific mood – letting my images tell part of a larger story. My parents bought me my first Polaroid camera when I was six years old, and a few years later I was clicking and winding yellow and black Kodak disposable cameras, taking them to the local drugstore, and then waiting excitedly to see how they turned out. As technology improved and I learned more about photography over the years, I would upgrade whenever I could. I bought my first 35-millimeter camera when I was 13, my first digital camera when I was 25, and my first fully-automatic 35-millimeter SLR when I was 28 – one of seven I’ve purchased since then.
I’m also incredibly passionate about traveling – beach vacations are my favorite. The beach is my happy place – I love the feeling of the bright sun warming and tanning my skin, the sight and sounds of waves rushing in and breaking towards the shore, and the soft grains of sand running through my toes. The beach is my idea of paradise – it puts me into a mental and physical state of pure bliss – whether I’m listening to music, reading a book, walking along the ocean, floating and swimming in the water, or sharing my surroundings with my family, friends, and total strangers from all walks of life.
Starting and building companies is another one of my true loves – it’s a tremendous amount of fun to identify difficult problems and find creative solutions for them. For years I had searched for a definitive and comprehensive resource that would help me plan my next beach vacation and also help me find the right beach once I arrived. I couldn’t find one, so I created one. In 2013, my company Sandee was born.
My goal was simple – to give the billion beachgoers around the world incredibly detailed information that would make their visits to the beach happier by allowing them to choose their perfect beach. Ninety thousand hours later, we’ve succeeded by cataloging 94 categories of information for every beach in the world – more than 50,000 beaches in 212 countries and territories!
Once we collected the data, we needed pictures. Beachgoers want to see what a beach looks like before they visit, and when I started looking at thousands of beach photos I was introduced to the incredible world of drones and the amazing perspectives you could see from the sky. It was a completely different world, one that I had never imagined – the panoramic and dramatic views from the air were breathtaking.
It was time for a new camera – one that could fly! I bought my first drone in 2017, and three drones later, I’ve traveled to some of my favorite beaches and beach towns around the world and have taken more than 10,000 drone photos there. I never travel without at least two in my suitcase, and every time I start to plan a vacation, I get excited thinking and dreaming about what I’m going to see and capture after I arrive.
This book is a combination of my passions for photography, travel, and entrepreneurship. I’m excited to share my beach photos with you, and hope they inspire you to dream, discover, and explore our incredible and beautiful world.