Two cover photos! But I’d be happy with one

Getting cover photos is always an honour, the decision that can affect the sales of a magazine rest partly on my shoulders. There are the cover lines and the content of the magazine too, of course, but photography sells. As a photographer, getting a cover always gives a nice warm fuzzy feeling, even after the hundreds of covers I’ve had.

After almost 20 years working from IPC/Time Inc/TI Media, however, there was one magazine cover that always proved elusive to me. Yachting World.

Getting a cover of Yachting World is special to me. I wouldn’t be here were it not for Yachting World.

To find out why we need to travel back to almost 30 years ago to December 1988. My dad had just bought a Beneteau First 325 and, along with two crew Mo and Paul, we had sailed her down from Hamble to Falmouth. At the age of 13, I’m not sure how much help I was, but we made it to Falmouth, where the four of us did what all crews do after a chilly sailing trip, head to the nearest bar.

Remembering I’m 13, I was there with my glass of coke, looking for ways to entertain myself. There was a pile of a few years worth of Yachting World’s next to me, I started to flick through them.

The top issue was the January 1988 issue – I still remember the cover to this day – in there was a feature about Kos Evans; part of a series on yachting photographers.

Having nothing else to do and with little to contribute to the conversation, I looked at the photographs: the beauty of the images, the yachts and the sea. Seeing Kos’s work led me to the next magazine down, and the one after that, soon I was pouring over the images from Onne van der Wal, Rick Tomlinson, Gilles Martin-Raget.

My mind was made up, I wanted to be a yachting photographer.

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