Zak Noyle, professional water photographer
How he got the job: "It came from a love for the ocean and growing up in Hawaii. My dad is a commercial photographer, but he shoots hotels, food, and fashion. Being a strong swimmer and comfortable in the ocean and in these large waves, I was able to go places that other people never dreamed of and am able to bring that moment to someone who could never do that. A lot of the time, I'm shooting over a very shallow reef -- I was able to carve a niche for myself [with my style]. It was noticed quickly by the surf industry to the point where they were sending me to travel. I’ve to Tahiti maybe 16 or 17 times, Fiji, Australia, Rapa Nui, Peru... We went to Okinawa, Japan this past year, and it’s my favorite trip I’ve ever done."
What he does: "I’m pretty free to operate. I work for Surfer Magazine, Red Bull, and RVCA, and I’ll find places I’ve always wanted to go, start doing research on it, etc. Weeks before I shoot, I start looking at the forecasts, so I kind of know what’s going to be happening, but again, it’s Mother Nature. The night before, if I know it’s going to be good, I’m waking up three times at night naturally, just being excited, and checking a weather buoy. And the buoy is telling me the wave height, how big it’s going to be, when it’s going to come in. So it’s like I’m a meteorologist, a weatherman. All I want to do is be in the water and be shooting. I’m pretty lucky."