Superyacht journalist Mellissa Wheeler interviews yacht captain and photographer, Mark O’Connell.
Mark is one of the industries most talented superyacht photographers with an amazing collection of images. We caught up with him in the Caribbean where he is captain of 64m M/Y TURMOIL.
When did photography become a passion?
I got the photography bug after being trained by the Royal Air Force back in the 70’s as part of my duties in the Parachute Regiment.
Tell me about how you first became interested in superyachts and how your photographic and superyacht careers became entwined.
I fell into yachting like many do by accident, a good friend’s Aunt died and left him a large some of money and as he was already a top dingy sailor he decided to buy a racing yacht. He proceeded to recruit all his close friends to crew the yacht which eventually led me to the South of France and my first superyacht, a 130′ Schooner named Aiglon, the rest is history.
While on my first circum navigation we stopped in the Seychelles and it was then I decided to go back to the photography as we were going to so many amazing places it would be mad not to record it so that is when I took it seriously again.
I had many front pages in the Dockwalk magazine and people started to tell me they loved my work and that I should think about selling it so I created my website through Photodeck and it has taken off in a big way since then.
You have some great shots, not only of the yachts, but of people, crew and even underwater scenes; what are your favourite things to photograph?
I do not have a specific subject that interests me more than others I just have a keen eye for any subject matter I may come across, understanding what makes a great shot is the most important thing and not just having a very expensive camera.
Tell me about the place you have visited which has offered the most inspiration.
I think the place that stands out for me as one of the best photographic experiences has to be Madagascar, everything about it was perfect from a photographic perspective, it was like going back 500 years with everything looking untouched and the locals still lived like they did back then. I look forward to going back to Madagascar to capture more great images.
Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers of superyachts?
Do not be scared of embracing all the new technology available to help improve the quality of your work.
To see Mark O’Connell’s photographic work and buy rights for use you can visit markoconnell.photodeck.com