Mark King’s work was brought to my attention by Dan Abbe a couple of years ago and since then I’ve been following his progress on Flickr and Tumblr. I’ve been meaning to feature his work but just never got around to it, so when I arrived at the Venice them for Issue 2 his work immediately came to mind. I’m happy to finally have his work showcased on LPV, both on the site and in print. I think we’ll continue to see interesting work from him for years to come.
What sort of influence do you think island living has on your work?
Living in Barbados has made me more adventurous. I had lived in cities for 14 years before moving back. This put me in the mode, where I had to hunt down projects and do some exploring. There are many things to shoot here as well as a ton of inspiration to go around. You just have to meet the right people. That’s paramount to discovering the interesting stuff. I apply this approach to my work wherever I travel to.
Being away from the major cities has allowed me to focus on developing my style without too many distractions. I’m always connected to the rest of the world, but you do get that feeling of isolation when you are surrounded by water and have to hop on a plane to travel most places.
How would you describe your process? Do you go out with a set destination or do you just roam around and take what’s presented?
I like to do a mixture of the two. Sometimes I will just walk with my camera if I hear about something interesting going on or just happen to have my camera on me and shoot whatever catches my eye during daily travels. I also do portrait sessions where I give myself a lot of freedom when it comes to experience and location. It allows me to think on my toes and make an adventure out of the process. I really enjoy going into a shoot with a basic location in mind and then leaving and exploring the surrounding areas to see what else is out there. It enables me to take in these new surroundings with my subjects and have some fun.
Where do you find subjects for you portrait sessions? Are they mostly professional or aspiring models?
I usually find my subjects through friends and online via model mayhem. I mostly shoot with professional models, but also work with aspiring models in addition to the artists, musicians, and random people I meet along the way.
What do you enjoy about collaborating with models? What are some of the challenges, or benefits?
I really like getting to know the models. Often, shoots turn into an interview mixed with activities that we can all participate in. To collaborate with a subject and learn more about them, all while having a good time is very rewarding. Challenges such as limited time, lack of chemistry, and other factors can creep in and ruin a shoot for me. But I’m still working on that.
Do you look at a lot of photography? Either online or in print? Who are some of your influences?
I look at an absurd amount of photography, both online and in print, but primarily online. A few of my influences are Juergen Teller, Vivianne Sassen, Stephen Ruiz, Richard Avedon, E.O. Hoppe, Stephen Shore, Martin Parr, Charlie Engman, Helmut Newton, Terry Richardson and Tim Barber.
Where do you see yourself taking your work in the next few years? Do you have solid goals or are you just going with it to see where it takes you?
I’m enjoying the journey at the moment, but It would be nice to have a few commissions under my belt and a solo show in the near future.
Photographs ©Mark King
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