Mark Jago Gets Waves

Picture of a breaching Southern Right whale
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Mark Jago Black and White Wave Photo

It’s often said only a surfer knows the feeling.  Today I met a man who catches and shares some of “ it “ for the rest of us.
Mark Jago is a wave photographer from Onrus. His passion for the ocean crashes vividly through his work. He is a true waterman!

Mark, where did it all begin?

Well, the ocean has been a huge part of my life. I grew up in the shore breaks of Umhlanga and started surfing at the age of eight. In 1996 we moved to Hermanus where I got into competitive bodyboarding, up until age 22. Tying my love for being in the water with photography happened later in my life. I received a waterproof camera from a girlfriend as a present and did not manage to use it for almost two years, mostly due to work constraints.

In 2013 I finally took the camera into the waves with me. From the first moment I saw what I shot I was completely hooked! A very addictive hobby was born. I never expected to be able to sell my work, but things really went to a whole new level when Leanne Dryburgh noticed me. She started mentoring me and helped me receive a sponsored Olympus camera from The Photoshed. They are amazing people. So these days it’s no longer just hobby. I am selling my work and I am hoping to earn a living from it one day. Loving every step of the way!

Do you have a few heroes or people that inspire you?Selfie of Mark Jago in action.

Yes, definitely. To name just a few.  The GoPro action expert Robbie Crawford is great. I shoot a lot with a GoPro myself so Robbie is a real inspiration.  Definitely Clark Little as well, he is the true pioneer of wave photography. And then a few fellow South Africans stand out – Pierre de Villiers, Sacha Specker and Marck Botha. They are GREAT wave photographers.

What do you enjoy the most about our Overberg coastline? And do you have a favourite spot you often shoot?

I think we have consistent good wave action, truly pristine beaches and wonderful sea life. We are also very lucky to have a whole lot of uncrowded places to explore. So plenty of opportunities to take beautiful pictures! To choose just one favourite is very difficult.  A few favourites include Kogel Bay, Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay and definitely my own backyard, Onrus.

Okay, here is a question w ith some teeth! You are in the water almost every day, do you ever worry about sharks?

Constantly. They are always on my mind when I enter the water. Especially because I go shooting during sunset or sunrise. But I do trust my instincts and if something does not feel right I don’t go for it. I also always try not to be alone out there.  It’s a calculated risk that I am willing to take because I absolutely love being in the water!

So Mr Jago… After some hard work in the waves, where do you go for a bite to eat?

Usually, I just go straight home to look at my new shots! But here in Onrus I do love eating at
The Milkwood Restaurant!  And sometimes, straight out of the water, a burger and a beer
are unbeatable at the Beach Kiosk.

Recommend by Mark:

View and buy some of his work at:

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