Artist Interview: Mark Marshall


Mark Marshall/Copyright Mark Marshall Photography

As an attempt to support other artists — of any type — I will occasionally post some interviews of people who work in a particular artistic vocation. These interviews allow for a closer look into different artists’ lives and raises awareness for their talents. The first artist in this series is Mark Marshall, a professional photographer.

L. N. Holmes: “Where is your hometown?”
Mark Marshall: “Wherever I live. Okay, originally Wilmington, Ohio. To be even more specific, it was a wide spot in the road named New Antioch, Ohio.”

L. N. Holmes: “What is your chosen artistic profession?”
Mark Marshall: “My chosen artistic profession is photography and I generally do landscapes/ cityscapes but I also use the images I get to blend with scripture, poems, personal writings and quotes to express my views and outlooks on life.”

L. N. Holmes: “Why did you choose to become a photographer?”
Mark Marshall: “Because my brother, Chuck Marshall, already took the oil painter job.”

L. N. Holmes: “What messages do you try to communicate through your photographs to those who view them?”
Mark Marshall: “I try to communicate what I see and sometimes what I think. However, sometimes I just want the viewer to take a moment to relax, breathe, and enjoy the beauty of this world.”


L. N. Holmes: “What are your favorite subjects to photograph?”
Mark Marshall: “I guess it is the outdoors and landscapes. I grew up outdoors and that is where I find my solace. I am never so peaceful or at ease as when I am in a forest, on a beach near the blue water, or in the shadow of mountains. It gives one perspective on how we are a part of something far grander than ourselves and we are so temporary in the grand scheme of life here on earth. I guess I want to leave a footprint in time that says ‘I was here.'”

L. N. Holmes: “You recently went on a trip with your elder brother to different places in the Midwestern and Western United States. Why was this important for your growth as an artist? What did it mean to take this trip with your brother, who is a painter?”
Mark Marshall: “First, I wanted to get images from the west and the mountains of the Grand Tetons to expand my body of work.

“Second, I also wanted to learn from my brother as we went to the different places we visited. We talked about technique and why he did things the way he did. Many of our conversations were very technical and detailed.

“With photography and oil painting, there are many similarities and even more differences. But composition, color, and choice of subject are universal. As he (Chuck) says ‘art is art’. Meaning that the basics of art are fundamentally the same no matter what the medium you use to express your talents. The ‘rules’ of art are also very much the same and made to be stretched and broken once you understand them.

“Lastly, my brother and I have a special bond that only two brothers can understand. So much in life is just fluff. There are only two things that really matter in life, which are God and family. The rest is just details to compliment those two. I wanted to spend time with my brother because I love him and enjoy his company. We take what we call ‘Brother Trips’ once in a while to work on our art. We enjoy harassing each other, insulting each other jovially, and discussing the deeper parts of life.”

L. N. Holmes: “Where do you sell your art?”
Mark Marshall: “My work is in a few galleries, but mostly I sell at art festivals around the Midwest. I find that meeting the people, hearing their stories, and understanding how they view my art is what I enjoy most. Oh, I also have my own web site: Mark Marshall Photography.”

L. N. Holmes: “How do you support other artists?”
Mark Marshall: “On the recent trip to the Grand Tetons with Chuck, I searched for gifts for my wife and specifically asked for local artists’ work. I also willingly share other artists’ work and postings on my Facebook page at Mark Marshall Photography.”

L. N. Holmes: “What’s your biggest complaint about the photography industry?”
Mark Marshall: “So many people are ‘doing photography’ now that it is hard to distinguish yourself. In order to get a ‘typical’ portraiture type client, you are expected to give away your images for very little money because so many people are willing to do that. However, if you are truly good and set yourself apart from the ‘Uncle Bobs’ out there and you are worth the price you charge…

“Very few people who want photographs truly understand the amount of work, time, and effort required; not to mention the cost of equipment, gas, and all the other overhead that goes along with the business. It’s as simple as this: If you only want food to fill you up, go to a fast food place and you get only that. If you want a fantastic meal prepared by a skilled chef that is an event and very memorable, go to a great restaurant — and pay the extra price. A cheap photographer is like the fast food place; look at the quality. A talented photographer will give you a piece of art that is sentimental to you, that you will cherish for many years to come.”

L. N. Holmes: “What/who inspires you?”
Mark Marshall: “First is my big brother. He has taught me so much about light, color and composition — not to mention dealing with art buyers and the art industry.

“Other photographers are Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, and John Shaw. I have learned so much from them in different ways.

“Also Scott Kelby and his organization have taught me more personally about technique and Photoshop editing.

“I find new artists all of the time and take a little something from each to make a part of my own artistic view and work.”

L. N. Holmes: “What would you recommend to others trying to break into the photography industry?”
Mark Marshall: “Learn, learn, learn! Don’t be afraid to explore and stretch your creative boundaries. Take as many classes, seminars, and trainings as you can. Spend time with other artists, not just photographers. Join a photography group and get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot!”

L. N. Holmes: “Name a few of your favorite books and why they are your favorites.”
Mark Marshall: “One of my favorite photography books is The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman. This book very deftly explains color and composition on a level that any photographer can understand and use no matter how amateur or advanced they may be.

“I also am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin. Fantasy novels are very compelling to me and I find the battle between good and evil are so well illustrated in both the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones series. The intricacy of the characters and story lines draw you in and let you be a part of the tales.

“I also enjoy a good, sappy romance from time to time. Don’t tell any of my guy friends or they will revoke my man card!”

L. N. Holmes: “Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?”
Mark Marshall: “Yes. No matter what your artistic talent or avenue, pursue it to the end. You may be surprised where it leads you! And, read, learn, explore and listen to other artists, not just in your medium but in others as well. Remember the words of my brother, ‘art is art.'”

Mark Marshall Self Portrait 1 black and white NAPP

Mark Marshall/Copyright Mark Marshall Photography

To contact Mark Marshall for photography packages, questions, comments, or praise, please click here.


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