“I owe every memorable experience in my life to chasing my passions.”

— Mark McInnis

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— With Mark McInnis

"For me it’s always been about that one frame...that one image that sums up an entire experience.”

— Mark McInnis

At its basic level, photography is the ability to freeze a single moment in time. For Mark McInnis, ultimately, it’s a way to bring others into this moment and create a shared experience.

From crowded waves in SoCal to those that break unseen in frigid northern waters, the passion Mark has for surfing, the ocean, and photography continually push him to capture that perfect moment: one photograph to tell an entire story that allows others to come along for his incredible journey.
  • Photo Credit: Matt Kleiner
  • Photo Credit: Matt Kleiner
  • Photo Credit: Matt Kleiner

A conversation between Mark McInnis and Hydro Flask’s Lucas Alberg:

Lucas: In the film you talk about freezing and nano-seconds and time, what does that mean to you?

Mark: It all boils down to having this one instant that happened but now you get to step back and look at it, as this frozen moment that allows you to reflect on a bigger experience.

Our lives are in motion, we’re constantly moving—from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep—almost like a movie. So I think photography is a way to slow down and look at this brief moment in time that is frozen forever.

L: In the closing sequence when you’re talking about freezing time, you’re talking about wanting to bring people into that specific moment which is really inclusive. How do you make it a shared experience vs. a moment of art?

M: I think when I started it was a moment of art. But nowadays with social media, you realize people are interested in what you’re doing and it’s nice to share with them. Hopefully that gets them to want to go out when it’s raining, go out when it’s snowing, go check out your environment, be a part of nature. We’re only here for so long; go enjoy what you have around.

L: Let’s talk about the video made in conjunction with The Surfer’s Journal. You just recently had a full feature photo in an edition of The Surfer’s Journal; what does that mean to you?

M: It’s so humbling to be amongst people that are photographers that have inspired you forever and people that you look up to. Every month I get the journal in the mail and I always look to see who is featured in the portfolio; I appreciate their work so much. To be incorporated and immortalized by a publication of that magnitude, it’s an honor.

L: What’s your favorite picture or moment that you’ve captured?

M: It’s actually not that hard of a question. I have it on the desktop of my computer, so I get to look at it every day. There is one surf photography moment with my buddy Josh Molcoy. We were in central California at a wave that is pretty well known. There was nobody there that day except for Josh and his buddy. A set wave came through and Josh dropped in and did this huge carve. It was backlit and beautiful and his buddy is paddling over the shoulder of the wave, so they’re both in it. It ran in SURFER Magazine as a full page.

Four waves later in that session my lens broke…so to get that image that is now a portfolio piece for me, moments before your lens breaks, I like the story behind it, but I also just love the image.

L: What goes on behind the lens? Many people just see the finished products and don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.

M: I’m behind the computer more than most people that work a nine to five job. I’ve said that before and it’s because I’ll wake up and be on the computer from the second I wake up until I go to bed. And that can be editing for a job with a deadline, or it can be trying to reel in new business.

L: Where do you want to travel to and photograph?

M: There are so many; we’re never going to be able to get to everything in our lifetimes. Right now I’m fixated on Japan because they have really good snow in the winter, really dry, and they can also have really good waves in the winter, too.

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