Mark moved to Jacksonville in 2014 from Melbourne, FL where he instantly recognized the beauty of the city. Three years ago, Mark found his passion for photography on his commute to work, at Florida Times-Union. Biking along the riverwalk daily at sunrise, Mark started taking sunrise photos of the city on his cellphone. Since then, his work has been featured at the Jacksonville public library, several riverside exhibits, and will be exhibited in the Haskell Gallery at the Jacksonville International Airport from July 1st – September 30th. He has his first international exhibit in July, at Galeria6mas1 in Madrid, Spain and is also a freelance photographer for First Coast magazine, and Jack magazine.
We got a chance to sit down with Mark to ask him some quick questions that we think might be interesting to our visitors and insightful to anyone who may be interested in getting into photography. (The interview actually took place virtually through emails, although we have had the pleasure to hang out with him in person several times as well)
LGM: Can you describe what has inspired you the most in your life to get you to where you are today?
Mark: I am alive and where I am today because of Jesus Christ alone. He has given me a second chance at life, and I am thankful to use it the best I can, to glorify Him.
LGM: Can you describe your relationship with Jacksonville?
Mark: I came here to start a new life, and I have fallen in love with the city of Jacksonville and it’s people. Our support for the arts and small business is wonderful, and I enjoy meeting people at art markets around town. Photography opens up so many doors in life, and I am thankful to walk through them.
LGM: Do you have any creative rituals or work routines that you practice on a regular basis?
Mark: I listen to my favorite music artists when taking photos by myself, and editing. My favorites include Foals, Neon Indian, Arcade Fire, Beethoven, and George Strait.
LGM: What do you gain most from your work?
Mark: A satisfaction knowing that I am creating art that can be enjoyed by others. I love taking a photo, and editing it to make it my own.
LGM: How would you like to see your work evolve in the future?
Mark: Continually experimenting with different locations around the world, and trying different mediums for printing. Displaying in juried art shows and regional galleries is a goal of mine.
LGM: What would you say to someone who was interested in doing what you do?
Mark: Make it a point to find ways to take photos of what you are interested in. Incorporate this into your daily routine. When you have a few minutes of downtime, look at articles. I enjoy Digital Photography School, and read their articles when they pop up on my Facebook newsfeed. Also have a mentor photographer who can give you advice when you need it.
LGM: Who would you say has influenced you the most?
Mark: My fiance Kristin has influenced a tremendous amount of my shots with her patience and love. Robert Tebbs is the man who put a DSLR camera in my hand. That wildly expanded my passion for photography. Also, Matt Bluejay. If you don’t know his work, you should check it out!
LGM: Do you do any other interesting work around town?
Mark: Besides being at downtown art walk, being a full-time student pursuing a bachelors in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and preparing for my wedding to my amazing fiancé Kristin, I am a freelance photographer for Jack magazine, and First Coast magazine. I also do the layout of the Florida Times-Union, Shorelines, and other TU publications. I also edit obituary photos for the newspaper.
LGM: What is your favorite thing to do in Jacksonville?
Mark: Taking photos of Jacksonville
LGM: We should have guessed! What is you favorite place to eat?
Mark: Lola’s burritos. and Randy’s Rib Shack in Waldo.
LGM: Oh man! Randy’s is awesome. That is a hidden gem. What is you favorite bridge in Jacksonville?
Mark: FEC Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge. This bridge is located right outside of my office, and I love taking a break and photographing the trains passing by.
LGM: Very nice pick. Thanks Mark!
Here are some things Mark is going to be up to over the next few months. If you have any questions for him or are interested in talking with him more check him out at the events below.
Teaching the basics of photography at JAX makerspace, downtown library June 17th noon-1:30pm
July 1st – September 30th: Jacksonville International Airport exhibit in Haskell Gallery.
July 22nd – 29th: Galeria6mas1 exhibit in Madrid, Spain