Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Close Up with Photographer Peter Marko

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am a professional portrait photographer, running my own business as Peter Marko Photography. Currently I shoot headshots, portraits and portfolios for a talent agency in Melbourne. I also shoot real-estate and architecture for some of my clients. Professionally I am focusing on advertising photography and editorial. My personal work is heading towards beauty/fashion and portrait photography.  
Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?

My biggest inspiration and strongest motivation is my wife Christina, she is the one who believes in me the most and who is behind my every move and idea. She helps me to not to give up and also to not to fly too high sometimes.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you do your shoot?

Inspiration is everywhere around us, so it is really only the matter of how wide we can open our eyes. I am getting inspired from music, movies, books and of course from photographs of other shooters.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?

Well, that is something that I would love to know as well, but I think and I hope in the same time it is probably precise, punctual, hardworking, patient and confident. I wish I could say funny and handsome.

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

My very first paid assignment was shooting a reunion of a family. It was a man living in Australia for a long time and his family were finally able to come over and stay with him so basically it was shooting at the airport and all around Melbourne.

Later I applied to a well known glamour photography studio, but soon I realised that I would prefer to be a freelancer so I quit after a few weeks . I was lucky enough to get involved in couple of massive real estate projects  for some Melbourne based developers. Also, I have started to shoot events and advertisements for the MyCeleb Graphic Design Studio which is related to some of the best known sport and aquatic centers in Melbourne. At the same time I was asked to shoot for a talent agency where I am still shooting at this stage most of my time. I am also involved as a photographer for  Social Star who manage digital marketing and social media for celebrities and high profile brands. 

Describe a typical day in your creative business?

If it is a day at the agency, it is pretty full on. Starting around 9am and finishing sometime between 6pm and 10pm. That means to have 5-8 shoots a day. If I have a free day, I spend time building my personal gallery and work on my own photography projects. I also try to maintain my web presence, engage in social media, and educate myself so I need time to experiment with new techniques. Of course I need to do some retouching as well and if there is time, trying to relax and spend some time with my wife and friends.

As an Artist, what is your biggest frustration?

I would say for me it was always about not being good enough to leave some everlasting footprints.

Tell us about how you prioritise your work .

Now, this is something that I am really not good at. I prioritize things in order to what I like to do the most, to what I really enjoy, which is not always the best approach. But I am lucky enough to have my wife who is much more organised than me so she is managing and prioritising the tasks for me. In this way I can keep myself focused on my art. She creates all the “to do” lists and maintains all the appointments, deadlines, invoices, meetings and other things. But the basic rule is to shoot it, retouch it and deliver it as soon as possible. Running my business this way, clients are always happy and we are running efficiently giving me time to concentrate on upcoming assignments

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your audience (i.e. how do you network)?
Networking, this is very important. I am investing a lot of time into social media, mostly  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also meet a lot of people during my shoots and referral business from my fantastic clients is always appreciated.     

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?

Don’t give it up. Never. It is hard to not to give up especially because it is too easy to find a reason to give it up. It took me a while to find my passion, but now I know it and I felt it in my bones that I have to become a photographer and I know for sure that I will become a respected photographer one day, no matter what. Also, you have to keep yourself active, working hard and regularly. There were times when I was not shooting enough so I was not growing at all. Now that I am shooting every day, I can see myself growing, learning, heading forward and becoming more confident about my art and having a sharper vision about my future.  

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?

Oh, I am a big big dreamer, usually dreaming about things that might sound unreal or impossible for someone else but I dream in a way so I know I will achieve it. I am so sure about my dreams becoming true that these are not even dreams anymore, these are my goals. I would be happy to shoot with one of my favorite photographers, to work with them for a longer time, learn from them. I would also love to have a successful internationally recognized photography business and enough time to shoot my personal work to present myself at exhibitions and in publications. Why? Because this would make me happy and if I am happy, I will be able to share some happiness with my family, which is possibly the most important thing.

What is your proudest moment so far?

I feel proud right now, to be honest, having this interview with you guys. I also felt proud when some of my work was presented at a small exhibition in Hungary. I feel proud every time I see one of my clients to be happy and satisfied and when I am reading their emails and testimonials. 

Who do you most want to meet and why?

This one is easy to answer: Joe Mcnally. He is like a virtual mentor to me. I love this guy, great personality and an amazing talent. I really hope I will have the chance to shoot with Joe.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?
To listen to the people. When you listen, you understand and you learn. This is crucial for your personal life and for your business too.  When I started to shoot portraits, I did not realize there were stories behind the faces, so I was missing the connection and the emotions. I had to learn to listen and communicate.    

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

I am just about to start to read the new book of Joe Mcnally. My favorite book so far is also from this guy, the one that is called “The Moment It Clicks”, I would definitely recommend it. Amazing stories, great humor, fantastic message, easy to read, understand and enjoy for all the non-photographers as well.

Where do we find you and your service? (list stores & links, websites)

I am shooting mostly in the studio at St Kilda in Melbourne, Australia. You can also find me on the internet, just check out my website, my Facebook page, my Twitter, shoot me an email or give me a call.  Thanks.

Web: www.petermarkophotography.com          

Facebook: Peter Marko Photography
Twitter: @petermarkophoto 

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