May 012012

 WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY ARE YOU CURRENTLY FOCUSING ON AND WHY?

On a personal level I have been hitting the streets of Parkdale where my studio is located and documenting people on the street. I get a chance to stop and look around me and observe what might otherwise elude me. People walk by fast and these moments get missed. There is a complex dynamic happening in Parkdale as it is gentrifying and holding out at the same time. There are days when you can feel the tension more than others from line ups at the soup kitchen to line ups for trendy restaurants. This is an ongoing project and may never end. I am planning a show. I also shoot in my studio and on location for commercial clients ranging from architectural, food/product to lifestyle.

TELL ME ABOUT A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO INSPIRES YOU

There are so many photographers I admire. These photographers inspired me to try photography: Irving Penn, Eugene Atget, Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Joel Peter-Witkin and Shelby Lee Adams.

FOR YOU, WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

The best part of being a photographer is the access you get into spaces, places and people’s lives. It is never the same and you have to adapt to each new situation. It is soooo much better than working at a desk. I love editing too and finding more than you thought was in a a shot.

The worst part for me is being undervalued by other people. Some clients just don’t get the value that a photographer brings to a shoot. We are resourceful, creative and problem solvers. A good photographer should be paid accordingly.

WHAT IS THE LATEST PIECE OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE ACQUIRED AND HOW IS IT USED FOR THE TYPE OF PHOTOGRAPHY YOU DO?

300 watt Arri Fresnel lamp. I love adding a bit of HOT light to still life and product shots. It gives that hardness that a strobe can’t deliver.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAMERA?

I was living in Vancouver and bought a Mamiya C330 medium format camera and started shooting ads for a clothing store. I loved it and realized I needed to learn more so I moved to Toronto and assisted for 5 years in a commercial studio learning every format that existed before digital.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LENS IN YOUR BAG?

My wide Canon 16-35 f2.8L. It is sharp and sees everything.

WHAT, WHO OR WHERE WAS YOUR ULTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE?

I have had some great experiences being a photographer. I love the variety of work from shooting celebrities to documenting poverty in my own backyard. I have yet to have a really bad experience so in terms of the ultimate experience I am still waiting for it. I don’t know what it will be but I hope I am ready for it.

WHAT, WHO OR WHERE WOULD BE YOUR ULTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE?

I would love to shoot a magazine spread for Vanity Fair or spend some time with Appalachian Kentuckians.

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?

Mogwai, Kraftwerk, Katy Perry.

THANK YOU AND KEEP SHOOTING!

www.aaronmason.ca

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One Response to “Photographer In Focus – Aaron Mason”

  1. colette says:

    Made for a very interesting read…and that’s a great shot too! Thanks Aaron….Cx

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