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Braving the cold with photographer Marcus Paladino

As Stab Magazine mentioned earlier this year, Marcus Paladino is “One of Canada’s finest” and we can’t agree more. There’s something quite unique about cold water surfing, especially when it comes to the Pacific Northwest. The rare feeling of the place doesn’t exist only because of the dazing surroundings or the friendly community; there’s something way more exceptional about Tofino and it is the talented surfers, as well as photographers, that lives around town. Marcus is one of them. 

Making your place in the surf industry, especially when you’re from a small town in Canada, isn’t always the easiest, but Marcus made it through, and his hard work finally paid off. It is a funny idea to think that surfing used to be something unknown to most Canadian when it is slowly becoming an obsession for all of us. The fact of being in Canada could have been a challenge for this Vancouver-Island born, but as he mentioned to us during our last conversation, “Canada is such a small part of the entire surf industry, we are seen as a sort of cold-water novelty. I think just shooting every single day has gotten my name out there; if you work hard, people start to notice”. Marcus is making his place in the industry at such a fast pace that we’re wondering what the next step is going to be.

I want simple descriptions like “surf photo” or “nature shot” to fall short. I think that’s when my work becomes art.

Highly ambitious, you can always find him in the lineup trying to capture the best photos of his go-to guys, Pete Devries and Michael Darling, or waiting impatiently for his next surf trip. But we’re wondering, where can you find the motivation to go in the lineup when it’s minus zero out and when your whole body becomes numb after five minutes at sea? “I just remind myself that this isn’t about me. It’s about the sport, the waves, the surfers and the photo. All I have to do is document it creatively,” stated the talented 26-year-old photographer.

His ground to earth outlook on surf photography is quite fascinating and is a good reminder that there’s more to this sport than your own ego. His hard work paid off, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy thing to do, on the contrary, it took a lot of time and hard work to achieve it all. His words of wisdom? “Work hard and take risks. Those are two things most people aren’t willing to do”.

When we think that Marcus could have ignored surfing to continue his initial path, which was snowboarding photography at the time, we are pleased that he found a home out of Tofino and that surfing became a huge part of his life. His photos capture the high-performance level of surfing hidden on the island and allow us to really see the exceptional skills of our surfers. When we asked him why he decided to showcase high performance surfing, his answer was quite simple, but revealing: “I love how fast it is. Capturing a millisecond moment that’s gone in the blink of an eye has always been intriguing to me. I try to capture the feeling of that moment. If someone reacts to my photo with ‘Woah’ then I’ve done my job”.

His freedom and state of mind towards his photography style belong to the fact that he doesn’t want to be labelled and that he thinks shooting out of his comfort zone can always help him improves in his art. We can say that Marcus is a must-know Canadian photographer and that whenever we see his photos, we always find ourselves saying, “Woah”.

Mission accomplished, Marcus.

See more from Marcus:
Website | Instagram

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