Clark Little

by Nick from San Diego

Clark Little at Newport Beach, California (Persan)
Clark Little at Newport Beach, California (Persan)

Clark Little is an award-winning wave photographer who lives on the North shore of Oahu. Before he was a professional photographer, Clark Little held a full-time job, and surfed in his spare time. But then a seemingly insignificant event changed everything. In 2007, Clark's wife brought back a picture of a wave for the living room wall. Clark told her that he could take a better picture than that one, so he set out to get a good shot. ("Bio"). Clark returned with incredible wave pictures that he had taken near his home. This experience helped Clark realize his ability and passion to photograph and display the beauty of shorebreak waves.  In just a short period of time, Clark Little went from never owning a camera to becoming an extremely popular world-renowned wave photographer. Even though becoming a professional photographer was a long shot, Clark followed his dream of taking pictures of the ocean for a living. Clark Little is an inspiration because he took huge risks and showed devotion to his passion, wave photography.

Clark puts himself in dangerous situations (Zang)
Clark puts himself in dangerous situations (Zang)

Clark Little took the risk of unemployment and the risk of serious injury or death, in order to thrive in the industry of wave photography. When his hobby of taking pictures of the ocean started to progress, Clark made a decision to make wave photography his number one priority. "I had the full-time job with benefits, and a family, and my wife, who was the one that got me into photography, said, 'You're leaving now? You're buying a $4,000 camera?" (Cooper). Clark Little is a risk-taker because in spite of the possibility of not making enough money to support his wife and two kids, he saw the potential of that opportunity and took it. Clark Little could have stayed with his job, which paid well enough to live on the North Shore of Oahu, but he took a risk to pursue his dream of taking pictures of waves for a living. The high chance of getting seriously injured, or drowning, was another risk that Clark took. "At the beaches on the North Shore where I shoot, every year a few people drown, break their neck, or get seriously hurt...knowing the risks keeps me focused" (Zang). Clark Little knew that he could get crushed by a giant wave, or get caught in a rip current and drown, but he continued to go out in the ocean in dangerous conditions anyway, in order to get good footage. Because Clark  knew these risks, he was able to keep calm and stay focused when dangerous conditions came his way. Since he is aware of the dangerous conditions of the ocean, he pushes himself to get better shots. Clark Little risks going broke, and risks his safety, in order to make his dream a reality.

Clark Little in a shorebreak wave (Persan)
Clark Little in a shorebreak wave (Persan)

Clark Little shows devotion to his passion, wave photography, because of the countless hours he spends shooting and editing. In order to capture the incredible pictures that Clark little takes, he spends hours every day trying to get a good shot. "I'll go out for a five-hour session and be fried all day...on average, I would say at least a couple hours a day." (Zang). Clark is devoted to getting good footage of waves because he spends almost half of each day in the dangerous shore-break waters of the North Shore taking countless pictures so that he can make a living and inspire others. He is devoted to wave photography because it is his love and passion, and he puts all of his effort into it. Another aspect of photography that has to be considered is editing. "It can be hours and hours just going through my shots and throwing away the ones I don't like. I end up tossing 99% of my shots, so it takes just as long if not more, sitting in front of the computer" (Zang). Clearly this shows devotion. Clark already spends five hours a day taking pictures, but he spends even more time than that at home sorting and editing the pictures that he takes. He shows that he is devoted because of how he edits for over five hours a day, which is a long and boring process of trimming and deleting bad footage. His passion, hard work, and attention to details have made him one of the best wave photographers of his time. Clark Little devotes all his time and effort, to shooting and editing his footage.

Clark Little at a book signing  (Harsell)
Clark Little at a book signing (Harsell)

In conclusion, Clark Little is a hero because of how he makes risky decisions, and because of how he is devoted to his passion. His risk in leaving his full time job, and his devotion to photography, is what makes him an inspiration. Clark Little's outstanding work has inspired many people of all ages, as seen at a surf shop in San Luis Obispo. "People were lined up out the door of 'Moon-doggies Surf Shop' to meet the legendary shore-break photographer. From 3 to almost 6pm Clark met and took photos with hundreds of people from all up and down the Central Coast." (Harsell). Clark Little has amazing talent and ability to capture the beauty of an ever-changing ocean scene. His true devotion and passion for wave photography has inspired me to try wave photography with my friends, and it has inspired the thousands of kids at the surf shops he visited, and it has inspired the world. With his seemingly insignificant story of his wife's wave picture, Clark Little has inspired us all.

I took this photo because I was inspired by Clark  (Nick Romney)
I took this photo because I was inspired by Clark (Nick Romney)

Works Cited

"Bio." Clark Little Photography. WebsitesHawaii, 2016. Web. 02 May 2016.

Cooper, Jeanne. "Ocean Photographer Clark Little's Stunning New Collection." SFGate. N.p., 26

Sept. 2014. Web. 04 May 2016.

Harsell, Charlie. "Clark Little - Central Coast Business Photography." Central Coast Business

Photography. N.p., 07 Dec. 2014. Web. 06 May 2016.

Person, and Brian Lam. "Ask a Pro: Clark Little on Photographing Waves."Gizmodo. Brian Lam,

18 Aug. 2009. Web. 02 May 2016.

Zang, Michael. "Interview with Shorebreak Photographer Clark Little." Php Bloginfoname RSS.

PetaPixel, 05 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

Page created on 5/27/2016 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/27/2016 12:00:00 AM