#BeachLife by Pete Halvorsen in Manhattan Beach, California

Surf’s up! Pete Halvorsen’s photos of Manhattan Beach celebrate the California town’s surfer community and laid back lifestyle. Get your fill of sand, sun and gorgeous sunsets by following the fun at @petehalvorsen.

Name:Pete Halvorsen

Place you live: Manhattan Beach, California

Place your Instagrams were taken? The air, land and sea of Manhattan Beach, CA.

Can you sum up the place you live? Family beach life with a sprinkle of Hollywood.

What is a perfect day in Manhattan Beach? Wake up for a stand up paddle board session at the Manhattan Beach Pier and watch the sunrise from a half mile off shore. Hit up Uncle Bill’s Pancake House for cakes, eggs and coffee. Then spend the day at the beach with family and friends, head over in the early afternoon for drinks and small plates at MB Post.  Go home, shower off all the sand, then head back out to the Manhattan Beach Pier to watch the sunset. Then it’s pasta and a bottle of wine at Mama D’s Italian Restaurant. Roll home stuffed and ready to do it again tomorrow – remembering to take a lot of photos along the way!

If your city was a person who would it be? Matthew McConaughey because he loves the beach but can clean up nice for a night on the town.

How long have you been using Instagram? A little more than four years.

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? I shoot with an iPhone 5s, Nokia Lumia 1020, Fuji Film x100s, Canon 5D Markiii, Minolta SR7 and a GoPro (I also have an iPad Mini, but I can’t bring myself to be that guy and take photos with it).

What is your editing process? With the iPhone 5s, I shoot with the native camera and then edit in Snapseed and/or VSCOcam. I’ve found less is more. Clean and simple is the best way to get your story across. With my other cameras, it’s Adobe Lightroom to Drop Box then editing on the phone.

Do you create images outside of Instagram? I do, I create both still and moving pictures. I am a photographer by title but am more of a storyteller through any medium necessary.

Has mobile photography affected how you shoot? I love photography as a medium for storytelling. In this image-based world a single snapshot has the ability to say so much.  As an early adopter of Instagram I saw first hand how well non-traditional snapshot photography was received. From traveling around the world to walking down to the beach, I am now looking for quick moments to share with my iPhone. A native Californian, I love the ability to allow people into this beach life we live. Whether in the water or on the sand, I’m constantly striving to find new perspectives on life through my lens. I am a self-taught photographer; consuming photos then going out inspired to shoot is the best way to grow. Instant photography is constantly helping me do that. These groups of artists and pioneers are creating and documenting the world through new eyes, I’m excited to be a part of that community.

Can you give a couple of tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Shoot what you know, what you love.  Follow as many people as you can that inspire you. Try to copy their work – you’ll make it your own.  Become involved in your local Instagram communities. If there aren’t any, start one.  Instagram is about allowing people all over the world to join your journey, your story.

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? 

@michaeljspear – His photos and captions are just honest…and he makes me want to visit Alaska!

@mrsgrubby – Karen embodies that spirit of natural storyteller, was born to tell stories through images. I love when she and her family go on trips!

@obscuralucida – I’ve been following her almost as long as I’ve been on Instagram. Her posts are always genuine, funny and composed beautifully.

@cloudsandcoffee – Katie shoots amazing still life and it’s so different from my style. I love that it stretches my eye and mind!

@instagram – Cuz I guess you kinda have to, it’s like following Tom on MySpace. 🙂

Obviously math was not my strong subject at school.



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Name:Pete Halvorsen

City:Manhattan Beach, California

Best place to eat:

Other than my wife’s cooking (yes I’m obligated to say that, no you can’t come over), we love MB Post for its great food, fun drinks and really “grammable” decor.

Best place to drink:

Simmzys. Mmmmm, beer and the ocean breeze.

Best outdoor activity:


Must do:

Sunset at the Manhattan Beach Pier. If you’ve ever visited my feed, you’ll see this is not only a must do for travelers, but for locals like myself.

Local tip:

Park free in the residential area and walk down to the beach. (Sorry, neighbors.) The parking police are ruthless. Locals compare them to the “white walkers” on Game of Thrones.