View from Inside the Lens : Shane Passantino

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“Everyone has a story worth listening to and today we have the tools to share those stories with a touch of a button.”

– Shane Passantino

Shane Passatino is a cinematographer and photographer who has the desire to listen and discover the truth behind people’s stories. Today, we see a lot of surf films focusing on the epic barrel and perfect wave, but less on the background behind the surfers. Here at Freesoul Projects we wanted to know how Shane developed his genuine sense of storytelling through his lens.


Shane grew up in Huntington Beach, the surf mecca of California, but at age 13 his family uprooted and moved to Idaho, a land locked state.

“A beach kid moving to the country was not cool (laughs to himself), but after going through high school and moving away, I found a greater appreciation for Idaho. Moving to Idaho gave me the opportunity to camp, snowboard, fish and explore the outdoors differently than if I lived my whole life in California.”


Idaho was where Shane got the first taste of adventure and where he started using a camera for the first time. He worked as a camera operator at the local television station which sparked his journey into cinematography. After high school, Shane wanted to explore what the world had to offer. He traveled and lived in places such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, and Tahoe. Shane then ventured to Los Angeles to pursue cinematography professionally. He landed jobs filming for the History Channel and Discovery Channel.


“Before I left for another one of my trips around the world, my friend Adam Reynolds told me I have to take photos while traveling. I’d never really taken photos, just videos, so right before my trip I downloaded Instagram and started snapping pictures on my phone throughout my trip.”


Through his travels, Shane found photography as a new medium to tell stories about people he met along his journey.

“From traveling, you expect to be in uncomfortable situations. I learned I was more comfortable in the uncomfortable, which allowed me to see the world and people in a different perspective.”


He’s now teamed up with Adam Reynolds to form SCOPO Studios, a production company focused on making stories with a purpose. The team duo, Shane and Adam are changing the way people view surfing and the outdoors by capturing genuine stories that go beyond just what we see and into why these stories emerge.

Find out more about Shane



SCOPO Studios

Photography by Shane Passatino