2016 ESeMMY Photographer of the Year: Mickey McCarthy

December 31, 2016 • News

If we could give dearly departed Outer Banks icon Mickey McCarthy our Photographer of the Century honor, we would — in fact, we might just coronate that category in next year’s ESeMMY Awards. But for now, we’re overjoyed and also heartbroken to bestow 2016’s Photographer of the Year award on 2M, the nicest man, the jolliest fellow, the warmest friend, and the hardest working photographer we ever did meet. You’ll read a lot more about Mickey in the very near future, both online and in our forthcoming January issue, but for now, let us say that we miss Mickey something fierce, we’re praying for his wife Betsey and his many, many dear friends, but we also know that his spirit will live on forever in photos like the timeless ones below. Like we said, stay tuned for much, much more from this titan of East Coast surfing and the greatest ambassador of stoke that Dare County has ever (and probably will ever) see.

Barry Price, Sr. and Mickey McCarthy. Photo: Matt Pruett

Nags Head reconnaissance mission, 1966. Nobody started documenting the nascent surf scene on the Outer Banks earlier than Mickey. Photo: McCarthy

Three eternal North Carolina classics in one photo, circa 1980: Buddy Pelletier, the fabled Salvo shipwreck, and Mickey behind the lens. Photo: McCarthy

photographer of the year, mickey mccarthy

Mickey patented his trademark pier angle before most of today’s photographers were even alive. Kitty Hawk Pier, 1982. Photo: McCarthy

But let’s not forget that Mickey built his own early water housings, too, capturing Jordan Ford at Nags Head Pier on a classic 1983 day. Photo: McCarthy

Oh, and Mickey was also a renowned shaper who put so many solid shred sleds under the feet of burgeoning Banks surfers. Here he is with a batch of New Sun freshies, circa 1983. Photo: McCarthy

Mickey in his natural habitat atop Nags Head Pier, 1984. Photo: Walter Gresham III

Remember when the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was still right on the sand in Buxton? Thanks to Mickey’s iconic images, we always will. Photo: McCarthy

Mickey with Billy Hume, one of many Outer Banks pros whose careers 2M cultivated, back in the good ol’ slide days Photo: Matt Pruett

Mickey might be gone but he will never ever ever be forgotten. RIP to one of the East Coast’s true greats, whose spirit will shine on forever. Photo: McCarthy

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