Interview with photographer #25: Mark Neal (USA, Travel&Architecture Photography)84LENS
Name: Mark Neal
Location: From Oceanside, USA but currently living in Madrid, Spain
Gear: Most of my photos are with the iPhone 7 plus but I recently moved over to a Canon Rebel T1i with a 55mm lens
Experience: Seriously into photography for about a year and a half.
When did you start shooting and how did this love for photography happen? What is your view about photography?
While I have had some interest in photography my entire life I started seriously taking photos in May 2018 when I moved to Madrid and started taking photos to send back to family and friends. I view photography as a lens to see the world through (pun intended). It’s always been fun for me to join together these seemingly random things in the world to create a snapshot of them all working together in harmony.
Apart from photography, tell me about your hobbies and interests?
Most of my hobbies and interests change from day to day basically, jack of all trades master of none. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been into rock-climbing, surfing, and graphic design as hobbies. One thing that has always been consistent for me though is my love of music. If you ever see me on the street I’m most likely listening to some new artist I just found.
Which genre of photography do you like/practice and why?
Usually, I find myself drawn towards architecture and landscapes/nature. I enjoy architecture because it uncovers a way of looking at a building that maybe the viewer hasn’t seen before. As for landscape/nature photography, I have always enjoyed finding the patterns hidden in the chaos of it all, such as things that follow the golden rule.
Almost 90% of photographers find it hard to earn money out of photography. Any tips that might help photographers to earn money?
Ha. I’m still trying to figure that one out. Currently, I have my work on Freepik, 500px, and Adobe Stock, all of which offer some form of monetization but I’m still making most of my money through donations on Pexels. My advice would be though for the websites that are used more in the professional and corporate world try to leave the photos as natural as possible. The people using the photos will most likely want to edit it themselves and that will make it easier for them.
What mistakes did you make when you started taking pictures?
I actually think most of the mistakes I’ve made in the past I haven’t even realize yet. I feel like I still have so much to learn. Although I did learn early on to shoot your subject with more space, you don’t want to crop them in too close, it will be too restrictive in the editing process. That being said my biggest regret I’ve had so far was not bringing a higher resolution camera to Iceland.
Which photo are you currently most proud of? Tell us a story about this photo please.
The photo I am most proud of, which is funny because it is definitely not the most popular, is a photo I shot in Venice of rooftops intersecting. Its an extremely simple shot but I loved how the rooflines complimented each other while also doing a lot of different things. The shot also provides a lot of different textures and colors which was improved by shooting during the golden hour.
What do you do to keep motivated, and not lose your passion for photography?
I keep myself motivated by finding shots that challenge me to learn new skills. Also by finding photographers that I enjoy and trying to figure out how they did specific shots or how they have a specific look to their photos. There are so many different styles of photography out there that if you are willing to look for just a couple minutes you won’t lack for challenges
Why are you giving away your photos on Pexels/Unsplash?
I believe it is a great way to build a resume and a following of my photography while I am still, in my opinion, the infancy of my photography career.
Light, decisive moment, content, ambiance, a good gear, according to you which is the most essential element in photography?
You know I believe they aren’t mutually exclusive and it is a mixture of all of these. I believe that you can somewhat make up for a lacking in one with another. For example, when I was shooting with my iPhone 7 plus I would find scenarios that would play to what the phone did well. Although one thing I find more important than all of these is composition.
How fo you promote yourself as photographer?
Mostly I just let the photography speak for itself, I’ve never been a person that likes to talk about myself and personally, I don’t like to push my stuff on people beyond uploading it to the various platforms I use.
Share your goal in photography?
Find a way to look at something in a way it hasn’t been seen before.
Is there a photo you dream of taking?
Not a photo but I would love to get into drone or surf photography like Clark Little.
Do you know where your next mission or project will be?
Well as of right now my next trip planned is to Brussels and Amsterdam at the end of November.
Kindly share the top five Instagram accounts everybody should follow?
Final words of wisdom you would like to share?
Never be afraid to ask for advice from people better than you and as long as you continue to search for new ways to challenge yourself in your work you will never be bored.
Thanks a lot Mark! I wish you the most juicy shots!