Apr 02, 2019 | By Joanne Thomas
Mar 04, 2010
Acclaimed surfing photographer, Jason Murray, should be pretty stoked right now. Why? One of his sublime surfing photos and feature story about the Todos Santos Big Wave Contest ended up on the home cover page for ESPN.com this week. Yep, that’s right, the COVER STORY. We’re exceedingly happy for Murray – and for the surfing community – for such exposure of this incredible contest and for surfing to peak mainstream interest within the sporting world.
We caught up with Murray, who is originally from Beach Haven, NJ and now resides in San Clemente, CA, and asked a few questions about his recent experience…
How’d did it feel and what’s it like to have a homepage cover story on ESPN?
It’s a small but brief victory in the battle to compete with the traditional sports coverage the site usually focuses on. After many years of ignoring the action sports culture, ESPN finally made a commitment to recognize, respect and cover board sports. Over the last year, I’ve done a lot of work for the surf site but it rarely gets top billing on Page 1 of the Mothership. To have a chance to be on their homepage, which gets between 50-70 million page views a day, is an awesome opportunity and a chance to share big wave surfing with the world.
What was the morale like at the contest?
The vibe at the contest was unlike any other event I’ve ever been to. No money on the line, only pride and a love for big wave riding for all the world to see. These elite big wave surfers don’t challenge the sea solely for a paycheck as evidenced by their willingness to fly half way around the world to enter a contest on their own dime where the top prize is a bottle of tequila and the respect of their peers. It was the feel good event of the year and harkens back to the old days of surfing where you did it for the passion, not for the dollar.
How long have you been taking surfing photos?
I’ve been immersed in the surf world since I could walk but didn’t start documenting it until my teens. Professionally, I would say for about 15 years. I don’t like to think of myself solely as a “surf-photographer” There’s so much more to life for me to shoot than just surf and although I love to shoot it, I’m always challenging myself to shoot as many different subjects as possible, pretty much everything except weddings and bat mitzvahs. I love bringing the energy and enthusiasm I’ve learned documenting action sports to my commercial clients and editorial partners.
Where else do you contribute?
I’m currently the Director of Photography for Quiksilver and do a lot of work for them on the photo side of their creative content program. Senior Photographer for Surfer Magazine, Contributor to The Surfers Journal, Surfing Magazine, A-Frame and a long list of Int’l surf mags you may have never heard of. I also do a lot of work for Leo Burnett and their incredible clients.
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