i met mark while i was teaching his beautiful children. he then moved with the family to saint louis. mark inspired me to start a flickr page. and im pretty sure he is the one who told me i should start this here blog! perfectly fitting that he is the very first interview-ie on sageandpaperclip! here are his answers to some questions i asked about taking photos. be sure to check out his projects. let us all continue to support one another’s artistic nerd-iness! enjoy! and a big thanks to mark for being willing to share some insight into his creative process! all photos by mark register. http://www.flickr.com/photos/djmark1972/
s/p: when/why did you start taking photos?
mark: i got my first camera sometime in junior high school. i think it may have been to take photos on a class trip to washington dc. it was one of those old Kodak Disc cameras.
in high school i’d use it to take skateboarding photos and drunken party photos and it was small enough to smuggle into punk rock shows without being detected by large angry bouncers 🙂 eventually my dad bought me a proper 35mm Nikon which i quickly lost the instructions for and didn’t pick up again for years.
s/p: why do you like/continue to take photos?
mark: why do i like/continue to take photos is a tough one. there are different reasons, one being to document my life and the life of my family, i wish i had more photos of myself and family growing up. my poor children will be drowning in photos. the other reason is some weird inner need to try and create something beautiful. it feels compulsive at times. if i don’t have a camera with me i’m craning my neck left and right, thinking of all the photos i could have been taking. it’s a sickness.
s/p: who are some of your favorite/inspire-ers/artists/blogs etc…
mark:oh my god, my inspirations are so many: my beautiful family, my amazing friends, some of whom i’m really thankful to have had the opportunity to work with on some level. I took all the photos for the latest cd and 12″ singles by my friend Brandon Johnson aka Tridact. A few years back i took the photo that ended up on the cover of a cd by my pals The Spires. Getting to be involved with my friends projects is super rewarding for me. I’m also inspired daily by films, paintings, music, by people i meet and read about who are working to make art accessible to everyone. Obviously my surroundings provide a great deal of fuel for my photography, my move to St. Louis has turned out to be incredibly inspiring, such a great old city with so much history (good and bad) and texture, I find great stuff to shoot around just about every corner here. What else… Lately I’ve been a bit obsessed with Vivian Maier and her incredible recently unearthed photography. Garry Winogrand, Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Parr, Mark Rothko. I get lots of inspiration from street art as well, people like Peat Wollaeger here in St. Louis and Failure out of Austin, Texas, just to name a couple, also pretty much the whole NYC art and music scene from the late 60’s to the early 80’s, oh i could go on and on but it starts to sound a bit pretentious, i’m not trying to say that my photography in ANY way compares to the work of any of these folks, but when I get to witness their work, I just get super fired up to make art.
s/p: for the techie folks: what kinds of equipment are you using?
mark: i mostly shoot digital these days (yeah, film purists/snobs can bite me) I use my trusty Nikon D-40, it’s battered and bruised but i can still coax some ok images out of her. also i have a battery of various toy cameras that i break out every now and then, Holga, Lomo etc.