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Interview with Mark Mawson, Advertising Photographer

Generally, good results are achieved when difficult works are completed. While it is difficult to photograph a moving object, the liquids with unpredictable movements are much more difficult, but the results are even more spectacular. I talked with Advertising Photographer Mark Mawson who specialized in Liquid Photography.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mark Mawson

Mark Mawson


by Melisa Kaya

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The photos of the liquid have always seemed fascinating to me. An instant spectacular view of a material you don't know what will be its next move. From a specialist's point of view, a posed shot in a small setting sometimes looks like a large galaxy, sometimes looks like dancing silk fabric. Mark Mawson is an artist who has managed to reflect this in his photographs. Starting his career as a photojournalist, Mark Mawson has been creating unique works for his clients in his London studio since 1987. I talked to Advertising Photographer Mark Mawson about his career and the importance of photography in advertising.

Mark, before talking about photography, I would like to learn more about you. Could you tell us about yourself? Who is Mark Mawson?

I am a creative person, my mind is always racing with images and new ideas I want to try. They often swirl around in my head for a while before I actually get round to doing them.

Photo by Mark Mawson

Photo by Mark Mawson

How did you decide to pursue a career in photography and establish your own studio? What inspired you?

I fell in love with film cameras from a very early age and was fascinated by how they worked and how lighting affected the shape and textures of things.

I originally trained as a photojournalist and my early career was spent covering news and sports stories for the national newspapers in London. Following that, I moved into shooting fashion and portraits for magazines and advertising.

Could you tell us about Mark Mawson Photography and your team?

My team varies depending on what I’m shooting and the size of the shoot. I shoot my personal work often by myself or with one assistant. For large scale shoots, I have a larger crew of assistants.

Photo by Mark Mawson

Photo by Mark Mawson

What kind of services do you offer to your clients?

I mainly work for advertising agencies, so I shoot to their creative briefs and try to also add my own interpretation.

How did your interest in shooting liquids has begun? What is the most special aspect of liquids for you?

I was first inspired to shoot liquids after watching the milk being poured into coffee. I thought the way it swirled and blended looked very interesting.

I really enjoy the way each liquid shot is unique and can’t be repeated exactly the same each time, it makes shooting each shot fun and not repetitive. I have a certain amount of control over the shapes they form but not 100%.

What are the key points that you pay attention to most before accepting a new project?

Can it be done and can I deliver what the client is wanting. Are their expectations realistic.

Photo by Mark Mawson

Photo by Mark Mawson

What do you think about the effect of a good photograph in the buyer's decision?

A good photograph is key, it’s the age old saying… a great picture is worth a thousand words!

You have over 25 years of experience. What has changed in the world of photography in these 25 years?

The biggest change has been the digital revolution. It has changed everything from equipment through workflow.

I used to hear people say they were no good at photography, their pictures would never come out! But now phones and digital cameras are so good and advanced that I don’t hear that anymore. At the end of the day though, the camera is just a tool, it is the person behind it that is important. If you don’t have the creativity then the pictures will still be mediocre.

How does it feel to see your work on the walls of Buckingham Palace?

That was a very proud moment having it projected onto the palace walls and seen by millions of people worldwide.

Photo by Mark Mawson

Photo by Mark Mawson

What are the advantages of being an award-winning photographer? Could you tell us about the awards that you won? Is there a prize that has special meaning for you?

Winning awards is something that I was never really that bothered about but more recently I’ve realised that it is important in cementing my reputation and also gives me credibility to clients that I am someone they can trust to get the work done. There isn’t one prize that has a special meaning, they are all nice. It’s great to have my work recognised by the judges who are often my peers in the industry. More often than not you have to enter awards but I recently received an award out of the blue and it was recognition for my whole body of work, not just one image. That was a really nice compliment.

Is it possible for abroad clients to work with you for their projects in their own countries?

Yes, I enjoy working with clients from all over the world.

Which factors determine the project budget?

It generally comes down to the complexity of the shoot and how long it will take to do it.

What are your expectations from your clients for a successful collaboration?

The main expectation is that I will create and deliver the images they want, that is the bottom line! If I don’t deliver, they won’t work with me again.

Photo by Mark Mawson

Photo by Mark Mawson

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in liquid photography?

I don’t have any advice just for liquids but the advice I would give is for photography in general. You must be passionate about it, it’s a hard slog and you need to stick with it and try to push the boundaries if you want to succeed. Also, don’t be put off if someone says they don’t like your images, not everyone will, it’s very subjective, someone else will like them. If you like them, that’s all that matters.

What is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken?

I don’t really have a favourite, I often like my latest work until the next one comes along.

What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?

Social media is very important in getting your work out there and it opens it up to a worldwide audience.

It can be a tedious process at times to constantly keep updating but it is necessary.

I’m on Instagram, @markmawson

Facebook, facebook.com/markmawsonphotography

Twitter, @markmawsonphoto

What is next for you?

I’ve just finished directing a coffee commercial and I’m hoping there will be more of that kind of work in the future. I also shot the still images for it for print advertising.

At the moment, I don’t know what my next project will be.

Thank you Mark for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Mark Mawson