NIC Alumni Spotlight: NIC Photography alum catching waves on the west coast

Surfer Pete Davries in the waters off Vancouver Island. Photo credit: Marcus Paladino:

NIC photography graduate Marcus Paladino is riding a wave of success and making a name for himself as one the go-to surf photographers in BC.

“I fell in love with photography in high school in Nanaimo,” says Paladino. “When my teacher recommended that I go to college to study it, I didn’t even know that was something you could do. I looked at programs across the Island and across BC and when I saw that I could study at NIC, with Mount Washington so close by, it was a great combinations of two of my passions.”

Paladino knew going into the program that action sports photography was where he wanted to end up. Surfing became his focus after moving to the west coast of the Island.

“I moved to Tofino and I fell in love, not only with surfing and surf photography, but also the community itself. I’ve always felt at home here.”

His love of the sport is what led Paladino to focus on surf photography as his speciality.

“Working with surfers is really second nature. I know the surfing community and the sport because I’m a surfer myself. I think that for any action sport photography, it’s important to be part of the sport as opposed to just documenting it. You gain an understanding of what’s going to happen which lets you anticipate when that perfect moment will happen. It’s a unique set of skills to acquire and you can only really get it from time spent riding waves.”

Paladino has worked hard developing those skills and that hard work is paying off. His work has been featured in Mountain Life, Coast Mountain Culture, Air Canada’s enRoute, Shutterstock Artist Series, The Surfers Journal, Surfer Magazine, Explore Magazine and on CBC.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but the hard work pays off. The awesome thing about doing what I do is that it combines two things I love, so it doesn’t even feel like work.”

Paladino says his studies at NIC gave him the foundation to get where he is today.

“I’m very excited to be an NIC alumus. I feel like North Island College really gave me the tools to become successful. Becoming a photographer is not an overnight thing, but having the certificate kept me motivated to keep pursuing my goals. I learned a lot and I got handed the keys to knowledge so I could keep learning and building my skills. It’s totally worth it.”

View Paladino’s full portfolio: