Hailing from South Africa, photographer Marcus Maschwitz now lives in London with his wife and daughter. He is certainly no stranger to the world of music photography, having shot with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Papa Roach, Bring Me The Horizon, Don Broco, The Blackout, Of Mice And Men & Alabama 3, to name a few.
With a career spanning back 19 years, Marcus shows no sign of stopping any time soon - adding a further string to his bow with the recent launch of his clothing label, Your Mother. We caught up with him to find more about the man behind the lens...
Zebra & Giraffe
What made you want to be a photographer?
I was really into skateboarding back in the day and it was all I did all day. I had a close group of friends and we formed a little skate crew together. My dad had an old point-and-shoot film camera laying around so I’d use it to try and capture some of the stuff we were doing but it never really looked too good. It used to bug me because we’d be doing really good tricks and I’d see the same kind of tricks on the covers of magazines overseas … it got me thinking a lot about why my photos looked bad in comparison. This got me researching and I ended up learning a lot about lighting and framing. I was hooked from then and I loved that I was getting to document our adventures and those memories sparked something that I couldn’t let go of.
What equipment could you not live without?
My passport. Haha. In terms of work I’d say a camera, a lens, some lighting and a computer with some hard drive space. Sounds simple but essentially, even though I have some really decent gear, I’m not too precious about it. I’ve created some amazing photographs with some really cheap (crappy) gear over the years. I’ve also come across a ton of people over the years that focused too much on their gear and missed out on moving forward by just taking photographs.
What has been your most memorable shoot to date and why?
Hmm, there have been loads but I think that off the top of my head it would probably be shooting the “Start The Party” campaign with the guys from The Blackout. We got flown out to Ibiza for 4/5 days to meet up with Matthew Pritchard, from Dirty Sanchez, and we partied and played the fool for the entire time. I love all of those boys and it was fun hanging out, like it was a holiday, and I’d photograph and capture things that got published everywhere.
Simon Mitchell, Young Guns
Who would your dream photo shoot be with?
I’d love to photograph portraits with Eminem and/or Jamie Thomas because I’ve had visuals for those 2 guys since I got into shooting properly. I’d also love to pick their brains and just listen to them talking.
What has been your most difficult challenge so far within the photography industry?
I think the biggest thing I battle with is dealing with the paperwork and payment side of things. I love shooting and I love being creative so it sometimes gets mad dealing with all the other stuff … it can remove the creativity from the process when you have to chase payments and/or battle with back-and-forth emails about usages. I just want to take photographs. Haha.
Oliver Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon
Who is/are your favourite photographer/s?
This might sound terrible but I don’t really follow anyone else’s photography too much. There isn’t really any specific reason other than I didn’t want to compare my work too much or feel like I’m copying something I’d seen. Obviously I see photos everywhere and I’ll like stuff but I don’t normally research it too much. Back in the day when I first discovered photography I found motivation from the guys that were documenting skateboarding and the punk scene at the time … Atiba Jefferson, Glen E. Friedman, Craig Stecyk and maybe, outside of skateboarding, some of the earlier stuff that Annie Leibovitz shot.
What are your top three bits of advice for aspiring photographers?
1. Be nice … no one is cool for buying a camera! The industry is smaller than you think so don’t bad mouth anyone.
2. Don’t get hung up on gear as an excuse for not shooting … just shoot.
3. Don’t undersell yourself. Too many people, in music, are shooting for free to get tickets to gigs and stuff. You’ll never pay your rent/mortgage like that and it’s really hard to convince people of your worth once you’ve done a ton of free stuff. If you’re shooting anything for no cost then just do that for friends that need the help as much as you do (or charities).
Aside from photography, Marcus also has a strong passion and keen eye for graphic design. He has recently set up clothing label Your Mother. The website boasts a wide range of good quality designs/products, all very reasonably priced. We've got our eyes on the Rocker tee!
A massive thank you to Marcus for kindly giving us his time & insight into his life. You can find more of Marcus at www.marcusmaschwitz.co.uk or by following him on Instagram. For all the latest Your Mother clothing updates, head to Facebook & Instagram.
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We couldn't resist adding in a couple more of his photographs below...
Chester Bennington, Linkin Park