ProFiles | Mark Lloyd image

We speak to sailing and marine photographer Mark Lloyd about shooting fiercely competitive races and keeping his kit waterproof!

© Lloyd Images

Hi Mark. Sailing photography, that’s an interesting niche?

Yes, sailing and marine photography is the mainstay of what I do. So it’s pictures of the racing and all things involved with it.

And you run your own agency?

Yes, it’s a small operation – me and just a few other people. Nothing too flash!

© Lloyd Images

How did you get into this nautical line of work?

I’ve always mucked about with boats and always enjoyed watching them. I used to work for the Daily Mail and after leaving, decided to give freelancing a go and it just evolved from there. I took what I knew from various places, looked at how things were and tried to do them a bit differently……… and it worked!

When I started I was working on my own, I had a couple of contacts who gave me work and it just grew and grew. I worked a lot in France at the start, working with their sailing teams and that’s where things started to evolve. At the time, before the financial world exploded in the UK, there were quite a few people doing it, so I got involved with them and we slowly built it up.  I still shoot 24/7 and I love doing it.

© Lloyd Images

Your shoots seem quite varied?

Yes, it’s a real mixed bag of stuff. Some of it is races, some of it is individual teams, and then at the other end of the scale you’ve got high-end fashion work for people like Hugo Boss. I love photographing people, so the two go hand in hand quite nicely. I like to come up with ideas for portraits, so I’m lucky that I get to do it.

© Lloyd Images

Are there any recent jobs you’ve particularly enjoyed?

In May I finished a transatlantic race called the Transat Bakerly which was quite an odd one and I was given free rein to do as I wanted. I was there at the race start in Plymouth and then later finished in New York and it had every element you could possibly imagine and more – the competitiveness, the people, the emotion of finishing. A complete story. And then – a total contrast – this week I’ve just come back from France, where I’ve been doing something called the Tour de France Voile, which is a sailing race that goes all over France. They’re little boats and you just get completely rinsed, totally soaked. More like swimming than sailing!

© Lloyd Images

You must need good waterproofing?

Yes, it’s a difficult one because you’re trying to find the balance between protection and usability. I’ve got a variety of different systems that I use depending on how much agility is needed – if I’m going offshore on the big boat I use Liquid Eye Housing, which is designed by a french photographer with surfing in mind, so we’re taking something and adapting it. And then the other system I use, which isn’t widely known but I think will be, is made by a company called Outex – it’s like a big rubber sock which goes around the camera with glass at the front so you tend not to lose too much in terms of quality.

© Lloyd Images

What do you see for the future?

Well, it’s a difficult time. Things are changing so fast, the expectation and value people put on photography has changed and consequently you need to provide really nice quality pictures that people actually want to look at, but also do it quickly. It’s all so instant now, I’d say that’s what’s going to drive everything forward.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

© Lloyd Images

Mark Lloyd was talking to Jon Stapley.

His professional portfolio can be found at

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