Ocean-Inspired Photographer and Illustrator, Makenna Sacco

The ocean never ceases to serve as an inspiration for creative expression. Its constantly changing conditions offer up a new perspective and the opportunity to let your mind roam free.
We're inspired by Makenna Sacco, a college student from Hammonton, New Jersey, taking on new perspectives in her photography of surfers off the east coast. When she's not snapping photos in the ocean, Makenna takes her creative eyes to paper to draw imaginative, minimal, abstract pieces.
Mekanna Surf Artist Photographer Her Waves Interview

"My favorite surfers to photograph are Kristina Young and Meg Jacovino! They are both artists that motivate me in and out of the water. I always say they draw the same way they surf and I really enjoy watching and learning from them. The way they uplift each other and other women is really inspiring and I consider them my role models."

Quotes by: Makenna Sacco

Photography by: Makenna Sacco

Illustrations by: Makenna Sacco

Mekanna Surf Photographer Her Waves Interview

"Surfing makes me feel a type of free and lightness that nothing else can do. I'm not that great at it but just getting out there and being in the water makes me feel so good! If I’m having a bad day or feeling down, the ocean cures it!"

Mekanna Surf Artist Photographer Her Waves Interview

Working for two surfers, Marshall and Kristina, at their art shop in Ocean City, Peace of Wood, Makenna began jumping in the ocean to capture them catching waves -- this is where her love for surf photography all began. 

Mekanna Surf Artist Photographer Her Waves Interview

"I like to photograph surfing because there is room for interpretation in each photo. It doesn’t have to be perfect but anyone can connect to it in some way!"

Mekanna Surf Artist Photographer Her Waves Interview

 After the doors to photography opened, Makenna discovered a second creative passion through illustrating. The first time she seriously drew from her imagination was the night of New Year's Eve in 2019. 

Mekanna Artist Her Waves Interview

"I created a kneeling girl who was holding the sun and the top half of her body was a growing tree. This represented the growth I wanted to make for myself in the upcoming year! And from that, it all began and grew into much more!"

Mekanna Artist Her Waves Interview

"The idea of growth really inspires my art. I draw a lot of girls and objects with branches and flowers to capture that. My dad always told me that our 20’s are the hardest times, there’s so many new chapters that force us to grow so I feel that a lot of people can connect to that through my art."

Mekanna Artist Her Waves Interview

The more time Makenna spends in the ocean, the more inspired she becomes as a photographer and illustrator. Even when the surf is flat, she still enjoys getting out in the water and making the most of the ocean's sensations. 

Mekanna Surf Photo Her Waves Interview

"The ocean also inspires me. I can be swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, fishing, or just sitting on the beach and it has the power to fuel so much of my inspiration and motivation. It unclouds my thoughts and makes me really appreciate everything and everyone around me. That in itself pushes me to keep creating in ways no other can!"

Mekanna Surf Photo Her Waves Interview

Follow Makenna: Instagram @makennasacco


Mekanna Surf Artist Her Waves Interview

I’m inspired by the water, the sun, the moon, and the stars. My countless wipeouts, my dreams of noseriding, and the feeling I get when sliding across the face of a wave.

Meg Jacovino