Mark Peckmezian is a London based photographer working predominantly within Fashion. His work has been published by the BJP and regularly shoots for Art Review, The Gentlewoman & AnOther Magazine.
Can you remember your first ever paid commission ?
I was in my last year of university in Toronto. I shot the CEO of a Canadian telecom company for the cover of a Canadian business magazine. I was so nervous and jumpy.
What is your favourite photographic tool ?
“Once you commit like that you’re free, free to really make honest work”
How do you balance commercial and personal work ?
That’s the big question. I think that it’s something you work on for years and slowly start to figure out, the right balance, financially, creatively, personally. I haven’t figured this out yet, and it’s painful.
Are you working on a personal project currently ?
Yeah I’m in the conceptualisation phase for a lot of different projects. I’m producing drafts piece meal for some.
What do you look for in an assistant. Were you ever an assistant yourself ?
I’m pretty picky with assistants I think. I value personality more than technical skill, although it’s good to put together a team of assistants that have both. I like people that are easy going, because I think photoshoots ought to be fun, and who have good taste, because I often think aloud or bounce ideas off my assistants.
How do you use instagram ?
In a really slapdash sort of way I think. Sometimes I’m into it and post a lot, sometimes I lose interest and don’t post for weeks. I like it but overall I think people take it way, way too seriously.
Advice for someone making the change to a full time, self employed photographer ?
I really should not be the one giving out advice I think. But with that caveat in mind, for the me the important thing was to fully commit to it. I thought deeply about it and knew in my bones that I wanted to do this work no matter what — poor or rich, successful or unknown. Once you commit like that you’re free, free to really make honest work, which is to say the best work, which is to say at least somewhat sellable work.
“I really should not be the one giving out advice I think”
Which photographer should we check out now ?
Historical: I’ve been into Erich Saloman lately.
Contemporary: Elad Lassry is my #1 favourite photographer now.
Emerging: Criminally underrated photographer Hudson Hayden.
Can you tell us about something inspirational from your office, a book, a print, an object?
I’m sort of nomadic now and don’t have an office anymore. I have this blue handball ball that is part of my camera bag and that I fiddle with constantly on set.