It all started with a passion.
That’s all. A passion shared with friends and by friends.
And now it’s a famous gallery with a thriving online business and a cool social media success story behind it.
Eugene Tan was just a guy who loved surfing and taking photos of Bondi Beach. And why wouldn’t you? Undoubtedly, Australia’s most iconic beach.
The place that draws tourists from around the world and has become a backpacker’s haven. Sun, surf, gorgeous men and women strutting their stuff, and a famous reality TV show, “Bondi Rescue” winning in their rescue attempts and little TV gold Statues for its popularity.
Before the famous TV show came Eugene sharing the famous beach.
Eugene just loved to capture the moments of Bondi, particulary at sunrise when the light is most warm, and email them to his friends, giving them a nice daily break and a chance to see the surf.
“Hey check out Bondi today?”
Something so easy. Something so many of us do today thanks to social media. But in 1999, this wasn’t the way of the world.
His friends enjoyed getting his virtual postcards and would forward it on to their friends.
“Hey check out Bondi today!”
And slowly it began to spread.
His daily photos appearing on his blog and getting sent out via email to those who put up their hand to check out Bondi for the day.
The photos of Bondi for the day now go out to 40,000 people daily, he has 150,00 visits to his website a month, and a fan base of 45,000 on facebook.
Eugene has turned his passion and hobby into a business. His first gallery opened in Bondi in 2004 showcasing his work.
“We started off with a showroom no bigger than the size of a bedroom just up the road,” explained his assistant. We now have this space here and people from all around come in to visit Aquabumps.
And if they can’t come into the gallery, they can receive his daily photo by email and order prints online.
And the photos are pretty amazing.
They are not just of Bondi, a couple of photos of Hawaii, Indonesia, Fiji and even Africa pop out gallery walls. His passion for Bondi is still there though, and the majority of photos show life in this beautiful city beach.
From lone surfers on the horizon, to sunbaking goddesses, underwater wave images, and clowns juggling Eugene captures it all.
Aquabumps is a worthwhile visit when you are in Bondi, even if only to see what you can do with your life when you have a passion.
151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026, Australia.
Tel: 02 9130 7788.
Open Hours: 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed only on Mondays.
My visit in Sydney was courtesy of Visit NSW, opinions of course are of my own.