What does Mark Anderson stand for?
Truth, justice, and the American Way... oh no, wait a minute, that's Superman.... hmmm, I guess I stand for creativity and not just photography. I've always loved art. I can't draw worth a darn, so photography is the creative outlet for me.
Photography has been your thing for many, many years now. Who was your most memorable model and why?
Oh my, "many, many" sounds like it would make me "very VERY" old! But I'm young at heart!
The most memorable model I have shot with was a young lady named Amanda. She was the first serious model I worked with, and she was the one who encouraged me to do artistic nudes. Over the next several years we became friends and she continued to be my easiest subject to shoot. Her attitude toward art, ability to pose, her completely relaxed manner when in front of the lens, and her encouragement all made her special to me. She and her husband are now living in Florida, so sadly we haven't shot in a few years.
Do you realize that it is an honor for EMG to interview you? Check out Mark's work with Ami S. at www.envisagemodelgroup.com)
I'm humbled that you would consider it an honor. I'm just your average photographer with vision in their head that needs to be released. I love what I do, but I also know that I have a lot more to learn. I remember hearing about the circle of knowledge and how, as you learn more, it touches even more things to learn. I think that's where I am now - discovering more and more each day.
What inspires you?
The greatest inspiration for my work comes from the reactions of clients to the images we create together. One that stands out the most in my memory was a client who sat crying at the monitor while reviewing her images and saying "I can't believe how beautiful I am." Reactions like that are what keep me going. If you've ever watched the show "How to Look Good Naked", you would know the reactions I get at almost every photo session with a client. I honestly love to get images of them that make them feel wonderful about themselves. A quote that I love from an unknown author is "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." That's what I hope to do with my photography.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you HAD to shoot but couldn't get to your cam?
Actually, yes. My wife, Ruth and I try to spend a relaxing week in the North Georgia Mountains each year. Ruth always says she hopes we see a bear when we are winding our way up the road to the cabin we rent, but each year we've come up empty. On our last trip, Ruth spotted a black bear shuffling through the woods just off the road. She started exclaiming "Grab the camera! Grab the camera!" and we looked into the back seat, and then remembered it was packed in the trunk. She still hasn't forgiven me :) (Note to self - Keep a camera in the back seat at all times).
How many models have you worked with?
Wow, that's a good question, can I count my kids and grandkids as models? I would estimate well over 200 in the past 8 years or so. Many of them were models that I worked with on a TFP basis so that they could get time in front of the lens and learn a bit more about the business. I try to give back to the industry by doing TFP shoots when I can.
What's a cool concept that you want to shoot but haven't had the opportunity to yet?
I have this vision of a leggy, brunette model, a microwave, a black lab pup, and etch-a-sketch, and a man's button up shirt... Oh wait, I think that comes later! Actually I have been thinking lately that I'd like to do an artistic nude shot, outdoors in the woods, black & white, fog, with sun filtering through the trees. It's on my list of things to make happen this year.
If you could change the world with one photograph, what would it be of?
If I knew the answer to that question, believe me, I'd do it in a heartbeat! Right now I am trying to change the world one small image at a time. I feel that what I do has a big impact on the lives of my clients - it changes the way they view themselves. I can honestly say that every client I have ever shot left the studio with a whole new attitude and sense of empowerment. I like making that contribution to their lives.
So you've got a leggy, brunette model, a microwave, a black lab pup, an etch-a-sketch, and a man's button up shirt...how would you shoot this?
Very very carefully... Seriously, the "ingredients" scream PINUP to me. Brunette wearing only the man's shirt. Sitting on a stool, with legs crossed in a very sexy pose, her face with a "cutesy" baffled expression that pinup is known for. Wearing extremely high heels, with her hair done up 50's style. She's using the etch-a-sketch to try to make a drawing of the black lab puppy who is - hopefully - sitting in front of her. There's smoke coming out of the microwave, as if she had forgotten all about what she was doing before she got absorbed in the Etch-a-sketch. I'd call it "Nora Sketches while Dinner Burns" -- a play on words for Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns.
If you were forced to stop doing photography, what would be the last picture you took?
Well I hope there will never become a time when I would be forced to stop doing photography, but if I had to stop I think my last photo would be a self portrait with my wife, Ruth, and me. I'd want to be able to look at it and feel the rush that creating art and having her beside me had given me all those years.
You seem pretty cool...where can I check out your work?
Thank you! Most of my work can be seen on my website (http://www.casualelegancephotography.com). But I do have some "different" works on Model Mayhem (#406).