“This is a photograph of one of my best friends, Mick Fanning,” explains Corey. “Mentally he is the strongest person I have ever met. This guy had the worst year. He was attacked by a shark during a surf contest, got divorced, and just hours before the Pipeline Masters, when this photo was taken, he was going for a world title and got a call that his brother had passed away.”
Corey recalls that he was with Mick just before the competition, shortly after the call came in. “Mick wasn’t sure if he would be able to compete. He was devastated. But he decided that his brother would have wanted him to be in the water, so he went in. Mick was competing against two of the best surfers in the world that day, John John (Florence) and Kelly Slater.
“The shot was taken in one of the heats. He had just come out of a 10-point ride, and he looked up at the sky and took everything in. He said after that this was all for his brother. This is my all-time favorite photo that I’ve ever taken. Without question. So much emotion, such a special moment. This guy had been through hell and still managed to pull of the performance of his career.”