He’s been one of the first photographer I have followed with attention, I’ve been struck by his distinctive style, in my opinion, a unique mix between travel and sport photography, and by the way he masters the black and white. Despite his young age he has already established himself in the world of photography. I’m talking about Morgan Maassen, CalIfornia born photographer with huge passion for boards and the oceans. I’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with him (e-mail chat), it’s been an honour and a pleasure. And yes, if you’re asking yourself, I was excited as a teenager attending a boy band concert! If you want to know more about him, visit his website www.morganmaassen.com or follow him on the social networks.
Name: Morgan Maassen
Job: Photographer & filmmaker.
Favorite place: Teahupoo, Tahiti; Kimberley Mountains, Australia and Basque Country, France.
Favorite book: “A Fraction of the Whole” by Steven Toltz
Favorite movie: “Lessons of Darkness” by Werner Herzog
The best day of your life: The day I learnt how to surf at age 7. I will never forget my first ride; it was the most profound moment of my life.
Best Journey you had: I spent several months adventuring through Brazil visiting family, friends, and meeting new people… i still reminisce on how much fun that adventure was.
Most Complicated Journey you had: Traversing Fiji from the south-eastern islands to Nadi with water poisoning. That was brutal.
Your motto: do good, drink tea.
When did you realize that photography would have become your life?
When I started shooting photos, I had no concept that you could get paid to do so. this went on for about a year before a magazine reached out to purchase a photograph, which absolutely blew my mind. I will never forget my ignorance turning into excitement at that point, as I realized I could potentially pursue it as a career.
How much travelling has influenced your photo style?
I have a deep love for traveling, which stems from a general curiosity of cultures, architecture, landscapes and the sea. As I travel the world shooting, I let my curiosity guide my lens, which leads to all sorts of peculiar adventures and photographs.
Can you tell us something about your photographic technique?
I keep it simple; I rarely take my 50mm off my camera and don’t use photoshop. Less is more to me, across the board.
How do you find your inspiration?
Cinema, music, art, reading, travel, people, hiking, dogs, the ocean, dreaming, working…
What elements must an image have to be considered a good one?
I always appreciate images that show you something you never could have imagined before, be it a texture, place, composition…
Can you tell us a memory from a work or journey which is important to you?
I will forever cherish swimming with Humpback Whales off of Tahiti.
Is there a particular subject you always wanted to shoot, but you did not yet?
I love shooting women, and am trying to make inroads into fashion. I have such a long way to go!
How is your typical working day like?
I wake up early, tackle my emails, make a plan for the day, grab my equipment, and go shoot! i spend a lot of time around the ocean, and just take photos of whatever interests me.
What is your next project?
I just wrapped up a commercial shoot on Fraser Island in Australia for Corona, and am heading to New York for some meetings and concerts. After this, I think I might relax through November, and then kick off a film project I’ve been dreaming of in December…
Most of your images are related to the water, when and how have you developed such a strong bond with this element?
I grew up with the ocean, it is so intrinsic with my life. It was only natural that as i started using cameras that it became my marquee subject.
The world of photography is constantly growing. It’s more and more difficult to find a personal style; you did it in a great way. What do you think about the future of photography, and what suggestions would you like to give to the young photographers?
Photography, mainly due to the affordability of digital cameras and invention of the internet and social media, is now in a new era of chaos and growth. I think the future is incredibly bright with the possibility of anyone and everyone being able to give photography a go, as well as sharing it with the world with just the click of the button. If I had one bit of advice for aspiring photographers, it’s to shoot photos everyday, and to constantly scrutinize your past/present/future work… to foster nothing but growth and maturity in your own ascent.
for the photos in this article © Morgan Maassen