Mark Mawson Interview
A lot of your work involves water or other fluid elements like smoke and ink. What do you enjoy about photographing these, and how is it different from stationary subjects?
I am fascinated by the shapes they produce and the emotions they evoke. It is a very different challenge capturing the shapes as they change so quickly.
Your work includes shooting for advertisements, fashion, magazines, and book covers. How much creative control do you have on these jobs, and which allows you the most?
I have a fair bit of creative control in the advertisements. Obviously the idea has already been decided on by the advertising agency, but I always try and add my own input to the images as well. Fashion magazines have a lot more freedom and often the entire shoot is down to me. Book covers are pretty tight, the publishing companies decide what they want and there often isn’t much room to move on that.
You’ve also worked with cinematography. How do you use your still photography background to help you in that medium?
It’s all photography and lighting. In my photography I try to create as cinematic a shot as possible. I love telling a story, which cinematography is all about.
As a photographer, have you found a broader market for your work commercially or in the art world, and how does this affect what projects you choose to pursue?
I am looking for a broader market with my artwork, the art world is a very difficult place.
It is a very competitive market and with the economic constraints on the world over the last few years, it is harder for people to invest in art. I am looking at publishing houses to produce prints, posters, post cards etc. of my work.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle is constantly keeping my name and work out there, in front of the right people. You can get forgotten about very quickly. I am always shooting new personal work, and I use social networking as well as press exposure and sending prints and posters to creative directors to get the work seen.
What advice would you give a photographer looking to do commercial work? Are there different ways to work with clients depending on the industry (i.e. advertising, fashion, journalism)?
Each job is different and each person you work with is different. The key is to understand exactly what images your client wants and what message he/she is trying to get across with them. You need to totally understand what is expected of you when you turn up to the shoot at the start of the day, having planned it all over the previous days.
About Mark Mawson:
Mark has bases in London & Sydney and spends his time between the two shooting for advertising agencies & magazines.