Famed music photographer Mark Maryanovich talks about his love of photography and influence of
Talent In Borders written by Lindsey Borders
Spread the love Portrait and band photographer, Mark Maryanovich, has been photographing bands, artists, and the like for several years now. The Canadian photographer has featured such rock icons as Chris Cornell, Bob Rock, Elliott Smith, for album covers, and companies like Sony, EMI and Warner Chappell Music, among others. He’s also photographed commercial work for Gibson Guitars, Peavey Electronics, and his work has been featured in such notable publications Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone, and the book cover for Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories.
Maryanovich’s impressive roster and work is evident through his dedicated photography of bands, artists, and musicians alike. We had the distinct pleasure of talking to Mark about his interest in photography, his greatest memories from some of his work, his time photographing the late and great Chris Cornell, and of course some of his favorites and music and photography. Read on below:
What influenced you most in your pursuit of photography? Capturing style in a portrait influences me. I’m not that interested in fashion or trends. The early day musicians (Bowie, Stones, Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, etc.) created the fashion for the time, and still do today. You can buy fashion, but you can’t buy style (though, these days, you can hire a good stylist).
Your photography is highly esteemed by your peers and critics alike; what do you enjoy most about photography; portraits, live photography or both? Portrait photography; I prefer to create a moment rather than capture one.
What advice would you tell a photographer wanting to pursue a career in music photography? Take a business course first, before pursuing any career in photography. It’s all business.
Is there anyone you haven’t shot on your bucket list, that you’d love to shoot? Ever since I started as a portrait photographer, it’s always been David Bowie. Not only for his music, but also for his effect on pop culture. I was very saddened by his passing, and now it’s a moment I’ll never get to experience, and an image I’ll never get to create and a memory I’ll never get to cherish. There’s still a lot on the bucket list… it’s a pretty big list.
Who was your first concert, and who has been your favorite, thus far? First: Downchild Blues Band. My parents took me, I was super young. There was too much drinking, swearing and smoking, and that was just from the band, for starters, so guess who got to beat the traffic home?
And Favorite: The Tragically Hip at the Whisky a Go Go in LA. I was 18 with my two older brothers. It was us, three dudes that looked like they didn’t have quite enough hairspray to cut it in the band Poison, and ten rodeo girls all with cowboy hats and everything. By the end of the set, all the cowgirls were on stage partying with the band. It was a phenomenal night at a historic venue in the city of angels!
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl? The first LP I actually bought myself, believe it or not, was the pop sensation Shaun Cassidy’s self titled album in 1977, with the #1 U.S. single “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” on it. After listening to it once, I was super jazzed, and proudly wanted to share it with my friend. So I tucked it under my arm and walked over to his house. En route, the album slid out the a** end of the jacket, rolled down the street, cracked and was scratched to s***. But this did not crush my love for the vinyl recording.
Which five artists and/or albums would you not want to live without
and, of course, Gord Downie
Who would wanna? Right?…
Who are your top three influential photographers?
Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure? Smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee while listening to Shaun Cassidy. (just kidding, about the Shaun Cassidy part, kinda) (smiles)