surf photographer clem bourke interview

Meet Filmaker Clementine Bourke

Meet Clementine Bourke; ‘Clem’ to those of us that know and love her best. 

Clem is the biggest, brightest ray of sunshine who, on any given day, you’re likely to find floating floating around in the ocean, wearing the biggest smile and a little Lore of the Sea. 

She’s always up before the sun, keen for an adventure or any kind of aquatic play. She is also the artist/photographer/rad friend behind many of our Lore of the Sea photos and videos.

 She’s an absolutely epic human who I’ve shared countless ocean memories with!

Catch a little more about this sparkling, avid water-photographer and surf-obsessed Mademoiselle of the Sea in the Q&A below:

*warning: this interview contains extreme Ozzie slang*


Surf photographer Clem Bourke Lore of the Sea wetsuit Jacket

Clem is wearing the Haize Jacket over the Myriade Highwaist Bikini


1.  Why Byron Bay and what’s your favourite part of living here? 

I moved to Byron to go to SAE.  I could’ve done it in Sydney, but in classic Byron fashion was trying to get away from a complex relationship and the strains of city life. I love Byron, of course for the ocean, but mainly for the people you meet here. I feel like to succeed here you have to be someone with a certain drive, willing to go the extra mile and to overcome the challenges of living in a regional area. Byron also it attracts weirdos and I love weirdos.

2.    Tells Us Some Fun Facts About Yourself.

I have a duck named Marjorie who lives inside and has a penchant for toes and tomatoes. I surf a 9”6 log and on my first surf lesson ever, I fell off the board and onto some rocks, and had to get eight stitches in my knee. Was a kook then, am a kook now. I am excellent at impressions and have a view of life to not take things too seriously and to always jump on the plane first and do your research later.

3. How did you get into surf/aqua photography?

I first got into surf photography when I was 23.  I had always been keen to do it and as soon as I saw a “custom made” housing for a sony a77, I was like, ‘yep sounds like a sweet deal’.  Legit the first time I took it in the water it ruptured; turns out “custom made”can also mean “home made” a true shitty rig. It didn’t stop me from using it for the next 2 years though, I’m tenacious. I don’t actually know what drew me to it, but I think it was the idea of getting to spend more time in the ocean. If I could forge a career out of that then heck yeah.

“ Byron also it attracts weirdos and I love weirdos. ”

women surfing longboard mayarco crop top Lore of the sea

Mademoiselles of the Sea women rashguard surfsuit swimsuit for surfing

4. When the surf is pumping do you rather shoot or surf? 

That’s a tough one. 
When the surf is pumping I generally want to be shooting. I’ve met a lot of legends here, and they can all surf better than me, so I would prefer to capture that style than have me kooking around.  That being said, I generally have a board in the car and grab it after shooting.

5. What’s your favourite thing to shoot?

My favourite thing to shoot is lady sliders. 
There is so much grace in this side of the sport and also a lot of joy. It’s really cool to see a big bunch of girls out there just frothing - you have to love a girl gang. One day I’d love to shoot sharks. I’ve always loved sharks - it’s going to happen, and hopefully on a planned shoot. 

“ I surf a 9'6 log and on my first surf lesson ever, I fell off the board and onto some rocks, and had to get eight stitches in my knee. ”