TIME photo essay

Photographer Captures Sweet Moments of Summer

Photographer Bryan Derballa captures moments that exist between the borders of childhood and adulthood with his considered, affectionate portraits of a summer getaway

Raised in North Carolina and educated in California, the Brooklyn-based photographer Bryan Derballa has an unwavering love for the outdoors. For the last four summers, he’s set aside his work in order to head into the country with his friends. For him, these journeys are essential to his livelihood. As he enters his thirties, they allow him to hang onto what he calls the “liminal state between youth and adulthood. It’s a period of uncertainty that occurs sometime after college but before homeownership, when friends become family and time becomes finite.”

This theme of chasing childhood translates directly into Derballa’s work. Images of diving into the sea, setting off fireworks, and cuddling on the beach illustrate the sweet moments of summer everyone wishes they had more of.

As the responsibilities of adulthood quickly replace the recklessness of adolescence, Derballa has become increasingly aware of the importance of holding onto the fleeting moments of adolescence. “Now, I’ve got real responsibilities and strict deadlines and client relationships to manage,” Derballa says. “I spend equal amounts of time looking at real estate properties online as I do watching skate videos on the Thrasher website.”

For him, both adulthood and his increasing successes are exciting, but there is also an inherent fear in growing up. “As we get older and inevitably jaded, the world loses its mystery,” he says. His images show this, succinctly capturing the final moments of youth.

Despite the fear and anxiety of living in the delicate space between youth and age, caution and danger, Derballa has found ways to deal with it. “The feeling I get just before jumping 60 feet into the bottom of a waterfall has no rational value in my adult life, but I live for it. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to stare down mortality with the invincibility of youth, but I cherish all the remaining seconds that I can.”


Bryan Derballa is a documentary photographer and creator of the photo blog Lovebryan. He was recently selected as one of PDN 30’s emerging photographers of 2014.

Josh Raab is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow him on Instagram @instagraabit


TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 14 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From inflatable toads to Taiwanese "frog men," here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 12 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From Bastille Day to baby ducks, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

TIME diving

Diving into a Different World Cup

This World Cup isn't about soccer. Divers from around the world display their acrobatic maneuvers in the biannual 6-day event, flying off springboards and platforms ranging from 3 to 10 meters

TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 12 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From World Cup craziness to prenatal yoga, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

TIME photo essay

A Young Olympian: Diver Carolina Mendoza’s Path to London

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer's Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared for London.

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer’s Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. In early June, TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared to represent Mexico in the 10-m platform dive in London—one of the only remaining Olympic sports permitting teenage competitors as young as 14.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog)

Munita, who photographed Mendoza at the National High-Performance Center (CNAR) in Mexico City, was drawn to his subject’s balanced approach to her training. At an age where many kids face distractions from friends, family and school, Mendoza has found a rare balance in the frenzy of her life.

“Her happiness and professionalism completely explains her success,” he said. “She is not just tough practicing over and over again, but she also loves what she does as a challenge and a game—not just as pure competition.”

Mendoza seems perfectly suited for the rigors of the Olympics. Learning to walk at 9 months old and swimming by age 2, she was encouraged athletically by her parents: her mother, a Mexican national track-and-field champion and her father, an Olympic cyclist competing at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

At age 11, Mendoza discovered that her experience in both swimming and gymnastics found harmony in diving. And now, four years later, she is packing for the London Games.

Munita watched in awe as Mendoza dove again and again during practice. “She works every detail systematically and patiently. In between each dive, she finds time to joke and laugh loudly with her partners,” he said. “Then, suddenly, she’s running up the ladders again.”

Read more about Carolina Mendoza on TIME.com.

Tomas Munita is a freelance photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He previously photographed Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba for TIME.


Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com