Inspired By Mark McInnis
Mark is a renowned photographer from the Pacific Northwest. His photographs of the region capture the beauty and the emotion of the area. We sat down with Mark to see what inspires him + his craft. Read through below. 
When did you start taking photos? 
I started taking photos my junior year of high school. So that would be 1997 or 1998. Something like that. I always wanted to be an artist and took all the fine art electives I could, but I sucked at all of them. Not just sorta bad, I was awful. But then when I picked up a camera it all sorta clicked. No pun intended.
What or who inspired you to start? 
I don’t recall if one thing or person inspired me to start. I do remember that my friend Megan Rosch, who I had a huge crush on, asked me to take the class with her. Maybe she deserves some credit for this lengthy career of mine? 

What or who are you currently inspired by? 
As always, I’m inspired by light. The way it drapes across my living room walls at daybreak, the way it illuminates a backlit wave, the way it highlights ancient pines in the forest. Light, and it’s influence on the natural world, which we humans are a part of, will always be my inspiration. 

Any advice for aspiring photographers? 
Giving advice is hard. I’m primarily self-taught and I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made over the years. But mistakes are what teach you. They’re what ignites growth, wisdom and understanding. So go out and make as many mistakes as you can. It’s the only way to get better. 

What was your favorite parts about our last Slowtide trip to Japan? 
My favorite part about going to Japan with Slowtide was just the crew. Sean, Dario, Caley, Evan, Blake! Give me a break. Freakin’ all-star cast. And, of course, the sushi night we had on night one was a dinner I will never, ever, forget. Makes me want to chug a Sapporo as we speak! 

What is a change you've made in your life that has made the most impact on you or the people around you? 
Wow. What a question. I guess I’d have to say moving home. I was living in Los Angeles from 2017-2020, but I felt a true calling to come home. Almost like something beyond my control. I knew I had to get back to Oregon and I did. This move has been instrumental in my life. To be able to reconnect with a place I love more than anything has been so meaningful to me. I also met the woman of my dreams, Taylor Faith. I think that’s why I was called home. If it wasn’t for coming home, I never would’ve met her. It’s cheesy, I know, but it just feels entirely meant to be. 

When you're not shooting, what are you up to? 
When I’m not shooting, I’m hustling on the computer. It’s rad to work for yourself, but you work just as much or more than somebody that works a “normal” job. You always need to be communicating with clients or potential clients. It’s non-stop. But in the downtime, when it’s winter, you can find me chasing deep powder runs whenever the snow falls. And, of course, looking for empty waves to surf. But that’s a given. 

What is your dream trip? 
My dream trip is always the same: Somewhere in a cold body of water, the waves are firing and it’s just my friends and I surfing and documenting the experience. Speaking of which, I cannot wait to show you all our Island X film once it’s released this spring. Standby! 

Do you have a favorite product?
 My favorite Slowtide product is without a doubt the changing ponchos. They’re so crucial in the PNW and anywhere cold. It’s so nice to be warm and dry when changing in or out of your wetsuit. And one more, the quick-dry towels are amazing. I love those things! 
August 14, 2022