Once a week, for the next five weeks, SURFING will bring you the stories behind each of our senior staff photographers’ careers. From where they started to where they are today, they all got their foot into the surf industry’s door the old school way, before Baby Cobras (consider yourself lucky). And to show each tale, ten self-captioned photos are provided for your viewing pleasure.
Week one: Florida’s Jimmy Wilson, also known as Jimmicane, describes a photo for each of the past ten years of his life.
2003: Chris Ropero, St. Augustine, FL // I think this is a bad photo, but Larry "Flame" Moore called me saying he loved it. I'll always be stoked on that.
2004: Alejandro Moreda, Puerto Rico // A spot you've seen a ton of times by now. This was the first.
2005: Cory Lopez, Sebastian Inlet, FL // My camera equipment got stolen in Puerto Rico but Dick "Mez" Meseroll let me borrow his setup this day.
2006: Clay Marzo, Mentawais // Hard to imagine after every 36 frames you'd have to swim back to the boat for more film. So annoying with waves this good.
2007: Kelly Slater, Sebastian Inlet, FL // The only time I've ever seen him surf his homebreak. He was destroying it.
2009: Gabe Kling, Pipeline // Matix rented this house directly in front of Pipe and let me stay there for two winters. I appreciated every second of it.
Jimmicane: At age 15 I was painting houses, washing dishes, and working at a local surf shop with one goal in mind: save money for a legit camera and waterhousing setup. All I wanted to do was surf and take pictures of my friends.
The waves in St. Augustine, FL don’t lend themselves to much success photographically, but I was giving it hell anyway. Every day of ridable waves was spent swimming around praying for Gabe Kling or one of my friends to blast a turn or air in my vicinity.
Looking back now, the photos I shot were average at best, but it was enough for me to stick my foot in the door and eventually lead me to a dream job here at Surfing Magazine.
The Baby Cobras contest is giving you a chance to do the same thing by shooting photos, making a video, or writing about your home break. If you win, you’ll be granted a week long trip to the North Shore this winter to continue documenting what you love, surfing. Make enough of a mark there, and hopefully it’ll spark a career long journey that takes you around the world on someone else’s budget.
Write — Shoot — Film — Strike! Click to vote for current Baby Cobras contestants