Interview: Photographer Mark Young

With his constantly captivating style portraying the beauty of every individual that crosses his camera's lens, Mark Young took the time to share his development, faith, trust, and inspiration!

Portrait of Mark Young shot by @rick.holladay

How did you get interested in photography? 

MY: I started out with a little digital camera that I took on a trip to England in middle school, I just thought it would be cool to take a camera and then I realized that I really enjoyed taking photos of landscapes etc. Then in high school people asked me to do their senior photos which I had never done and that was when I realized how much I loved portraits! It went from there as I got better and now portraits is what I focus on completely.

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Why did you decide to pursue it?

MY: I loved the concept of showing emotion through a photo, being able to make someone feel something by looking at a photo or capturing a genuine expression made me feel fulfilled. I also love using light and colors in my photos, when the lighting in a photo is just perfect it makes all the difference in the vibe you get from the photo.

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How would you describe your vision and style?

MY: I would say my style is modern portraiture and lifestyle/fashion. My vision is to create portraits that are on trend, with the times but also artistic in a way that expresses what many young people feel in a new way.

What is the best thing you've experienced by being a photographer?

MY: By far the best experience has been making the connections and friends I have, every photo shoot with a new model becomes an opportunity for a new friend where otherwise we would have no reason to be connected. A lot of my closest friends are models I met on Instagram. I would message them and ask if they want to shoot or vice versa and we would shoot and then hang out for the day and become friends and it's amazing to be connected with people who have the same passions and vision as me.

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What has been the greatest influence on you?

MY: My greatest influence has been my desire to show God's beauty through photography. Being able to capture a scene or face that is so aesthetically pleasing shows how amazing His creation is.

How have you and your work evolved over time?

MY: My photography started out as landscapes and nature photos, I would photograph cars and flowers and architecture and mountains, things like that. It wasn't until high school that I started with portraits and once I upgraded to the camera I have now, I was really able to refine my style.

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What do you aim to capture with every shot?

MY: I aim to capture natural beauty and raw emotion in every shot, not just from a model but also from their surroundings. Seeing beauty everywhere in a photo is such an amazing thing you can create. If I photograph a model on a cliff with waves crashing behind her and the sun shining through her hair, every part of the scene draws a response rather than people just finding beauty in the subject.

How do you get yourself out of a rut?

MY: When I'm in a creative rut I always turn to inspiration from photographers around me. A few photographers have had a huge influence on my work and seeing what they post and the concepts they use always gives me ideas that I can use in the future.

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What would you like to see more of in the photography world?

MY:  I would like to see more appreciation for every style of photography, it seems like there has become a "popular style" on social media like Instagram. You know what I'm talking about, the photo of a blonde girl in a knotted tee with cute glasses sipping a cola or something! I definitely love these types of photos, don't get me wrong, but I see so many people who delve into abstract concepts or shadow play or unconventional subjects and have a different style than me and they never get any recognition.