COY: Starting off with one that everyone is interested in. What was your entry point into photography and how old were you when you started?
Marc: I would’ve probably rolled my eyes if someone else had started by saying ‘Instagram really sealed it’, but it was. I used an SLR for GCSE art when I was 15, and I loved the idea of photography, but digital photography wasn’t a big thing, and I stayed away because developing film was long and expensive, I went on to go to art school and study graphics, but I drew and painted – no photography. I didn’t pick up a proper DSLR until January 2014, and I started shooting models in March of 2014…..I was 35.
C: Never too late to start. How did you discover a style you were comfortable executing, and how long has it taken for you to perfect that?
M: By working every single moment, I could keep my eyes open. I was kinda anxious about finding a style, but it just comes out. I’d say it took around a year, but the framing/composition was there early on I think.
"By working every single moment, I could keep my eyes open"
C: What’s been your favourite shoot to date, and do you have a muse?
Marc: I have to say my wife is my muse. Or she’ll kill me. Favourite shoot? Hard to say…..I enjoy pretty much all of them…. I get to meet some wonderful people, and everyone has a story. I did get to shoot one of my favourite bands from the press-pit a while back (L7), which was a bit of a moment for me.
C: I’m sure she’d be proud of that answer. Do you have any quality control methods to speak of? i.e a close friend of ours walks away for a week before coming back and seeing if he’s still in love with the work. Another shows his kids and gets their seal of approval.
Marc: I do tend to edit late into the night, and finish off the process in the morning with fresh eyes. I always go with my gut feeling, too…..if I look at the image and I like it, its done.
C: Have you had to make any sacrifices in your style in order to make photography a viable living? (i.e have you just done things your way and have clients approach you or have you altered some work in order to attract certain clients)
Marc: Oh god Ive done some jobs I really didn’t want to do, but you can only change your style so much…..it was early on, and my style hadn’t developed anyway, so it wasn’t major.
C: What’s your views on the current crop of talent currently in circuit? Any favourites, good collaborations?
Marc: Jeez – I see a lot of great photographers. Social media changed things. On Instagram, TomMitchellPhoto and Keslertran are very talented guys. I like their eye.
C: Kesler Tran is one of absolute faves at the moment. But on what you just said, how do you think social media outlets especially things like Instagram have affected the business side of things for photographers?
Marc: Interesting one. It has created huge business opportunities, but I still think there is a difference between Instagram business, and high fashion business.
C: Over the moon that you said that. In the same vein though, we heard an interesting little sentence a couple weeks ago and it’d be interesting to hear your thoughts;
“It’s a saturated market, and clients are blind to talent. Its not an exercise in ability anymore, its how well you can market yourself. That’s the real art.”
Marc: Sorry but real talent always shines through. Of course you see people doing well with an ‘ok’ product, but its the same in every industry…..look at pop music; lots of carbon-copy bands making a lot of money, but longevity and real appreciation belongs to the real talent. I see incredible artists on social media with tiny followings….. doesn’t make them less talented or in demand. People that know, know. And I for one would rather have the appreciation of a few people n the know, than a million people that haven’t a clue.
"Sorry, but real talent always shines through"
C: Couldn’t have said it better. Any advice for upcoming photographers who want to get their name out there?
Marc: Yeah – prepare to give up everything. Money, free time, friends, partying…..its the ultimate sacrifice. In a world where everyone is a photographer, you are gonna have to work even harder to get noticed. The more you put in, the more you get back, and if you have a gift, then you are blessed
C: Perfect advice. One quote, just one, from yourself, that would sum up your attitude towards photography?
Marc: Ive given everything to become a photographer, and its given me back more than I could ever have imagined. I was once tied to a 9 to 5 doing a mind-numbing job working for a massive corporation…..Im now making art and sharing with the world, the way I see things. And the response is life-affirming.
Thank you Marc. Blessed that you took the time out to answer our questions. Keep inspiring sir.
HMUA for Dana Clarke image: Louisa Day