“Whenever possible I try to give my work a cinematic look. I spend a lot of time planning my shoots and if it’s part of a series, I try to push the idea further to make it stand out from the previous series.”
Mark Mawson (born in 1968) is a British photographer, currently based in London (UK). He studied photography at Richmond College, Sheffield, UK.
“My aim is to create atmospheric images that inspire people.”
Interview with Mark Mawson
Mark, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
My first camera was a Nikon. I was only eight years old and cannot remember my first photographic experience.
Why did you become a photographer?
I started working as a full-time photographer in 1987 when I was 19.
What does photography mean to you?
Life & passion.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
There are too many to mention.
Your favorite photography quote?
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
How would you describe your photographic style and creative process?
Whenever possible I try to give my work a cinematic look. I spend a lot of time planning my shoots and if it’s part of a series, I try to push the idea further to make it stand out from the previous series.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
My work and style has evolved over the years. I think you have to find what you really like doing and enjoy it and your own style will evolve subconsciously from that.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
I think it’s the concepts of my work, I don’t play around too much with colours.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
Passion for what they are doing.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
Impact. If a photo doesn’t grab you in the first second, you move onto the next one. If it makes you look and stare for hours, maybe working out what it is, what is happening in it, or just admiring the beauty of it, then I think it’s a great shot.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Life! I observe life all around me, music, cinema, people; they all inspire me.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
I use a Hasselblad H1 with a Phase One digital back and a Canon 5d MKII.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
There are lots & not sure that I have a favourite. I like StumbleUpon for it’s randomness.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
You must love doing it and be passionate about it. If you think it’s glamorous and want to do it for that reason, forget it.