Very recently I got the pleasure of talking with and getting to know Los Angeles based professional photographer Mark LA Shark. He gave me insight into how he first got into photography, celebrities he's photographed and his favorite experiences as a photographer along the way.
1. How long has photography been important in your life and when did you start to take it seriously?
When I got my first phone freshmen year of high school in 2005, a razr flip phone to be exact, I’ve always had an interest in taking photos of random shit I thought looked cool. I eventually started working and bought my first camera in 2009. But it wasn’t till around new years 2015 I decided to drop my other dreams and ideas to really focus in on my photography.
2. Who are your top 3 favorite people you have ever photographed and why?
Kanye, I had to opportunity to catch a moment with him when he appeared at the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour at Madison Square Garden. I’ve looked up to and been inspired by Ye since 2004, from his music to his interviews even his fashion it molded me into who I am today and taught me to “believe in myself no matter what anybody else thinks.” Fearless
Diddy, I had the opportunity to shoot personally for Puff for the last 5 months and seeing him work and his drive to always seek new ways to innovate really motivated me to work harder. Money doesn’t sleep and puff doesn’t either. He’s up at 3 AM thinking about what he’s gotta do at 7AM.
Ammish, Last but definitely not least, Amy was one of the first models that I had the opportunity to work with when I decided to take my photography to the next level. She had a big platform on social media and had worked with only the best and known photographers in the industry. I was just starting out so I didn’t really have much work to show, but she didn’t hesitate to work with me. Having her really appreciate my creativity and aesthetic, it made it so much easier to create. If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t have gained so much popularity and got noticed so fast in the industry. I’m forever grateful.
3. I see from your work that you photograph a lot of concerts. Which ones were your favorite to photograph and why?
I love concerts, all aspects of it from performing, photographing, and being in the crowd, live music is the best. I haven’t done a ton of concerts to be honest but I would say my top three would be
Vegas with DJ Mustard when he brought out Post Malone. Sushi, who is DJ Mustard’s photographer brought me out to vegas with him to shoot, and it was so live! and being able to meet Post Malone and catch some dope portraits was awesome.
Dok2 at Wiltern, a good friend of mine linked me up with Dok, this show was especially dope because I was able to have the stage to myself after the first three songs so having the freedom to roam and not have anyone get in the way of my shots was amazing.
LA with Pdiddy and the bad boy family, I was on tour with them but LA was probably my favorite show of all. I was able to shoot in my home town and share the stage with nothing but LEGENDS in the hip hop industry. Everybody was there…Snoop and Dre, G Eazy, Vic Mensa, Bobby Brown, Asap Ferg, Asap Rocky…the list goes on. It felt good to be home.
4. Do you have a favorite place/ places that you got to travel to for work? Also what is your favorite company you have ever done a shoot for?
I was on Tour with Puff and we went to about 20 cities and 2 countries. I would have to say New York was my favorite because I’ve always wanted to visit New York and the people there are my kind of people. They engage with no hesitation. Toronto was definitely a vibe. The six got the prettiest women hands down!
Favorite company ? I’ve worked with so many companies from fashion brands to executive businesses but I can honestly say Mint Crew is my favorite brand to shoot for. When I shoot photography I don’t really consider it a job its more of a hobby of mine, so when I work with companies, I like it to be more then just a business. And with Mint Crew they are more than just a company, they’re considered family. Plus they make amazing affordable quality clothes!
5. What are your plans for the near future? Do you have any cool shoots or projects planned?
By the end of this year I’m hoping to have my first Art Show in LA to show case all my work I’ve done so far. Been having so much positive feed back and people wanting to know more I wanna have this show to give everyone an opportunity to meet some people whom I’ve worked with or even ask me a question or two. Will also be having my photos available to purchase for the first time as well was my release of my clothing line I’ve been working on for the past year. For the next few months I’m probably going to be staying in LA and working on my brand as well as finding my next Artist to shoot. So If you know any Artist who you think needs some dope visuals let me know!