Jarrod Reno – Colorado based Destination Portrait & Wedding Photographer » Portraits and Weddings on Film & Polaroid

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Photographer Spotlight : Mark von Minden

PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT : MARK von MINDEN

A great friend that I need to shoot with more! Thanks Mark for being down for this interview! You art is pure and carries truth and inspires. Keep it up! Hope all you reading this will head over to Marks Flickr account and check out more of his stuff!

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Lover

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Lover

>>> who are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m Mark von Minden. I live in Longmont, CO with my wife
and daughter (and twins on the way!).  I work as a software
engineer on networked storage systems.

Mark von Minden - Polaroid

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Artistic TZ

>>> when did you start with photography, what kind of
journey has it been?

I’ve been fascinated with cameras and photography for as
long as I can remember.  This was probably due to the fact
that my dad is a talented amateur photographer (I learned a
lot of basics from my dad!).  During my senior year in high
school (1992-93), my dad gave me one of his old Pentax 35mm
SLRs, and I started shooting black & white film.  I taught
myself how to print in our school darkroom and eventually
set up a darkroom of my own.  After high school, I worked in
a professional photo lab doing menial jobs (cut and number,
tagging proofs for dust spots, etc.) for a couple of
summers.  At the lab I met photographers who introduced me
to medium format film, thus getting me further hooked.  At
my university I took a few photo classes in the art
department, which is the sum total of my “formal”
photography training.

I spent the summer of 1996 living and studying in Germany,
and when I came back I started working toward a master’s in
computer science.  This also marked the beginning of a long
period where I didn’t use my cameras much at all.  Every
couple of years I would get excited about shooting photos
again (mostly digital at that point), but I never really
produced much that excited me.

Then, last year, I got myself a new digital camera (a Canon
G9
) and just started shooting more regularly.  Around that
same time, I met Jarrod (whose blog I’m writing this
overlong answer for) through a mutual friend.  He turned me
back on to analog photography (Polaroids in particular).  I
soon pulled my old camera bag out of storage.
Coincidentally, around the time I met Jarrod, an old friend
sent me his old LOMO LC-A on a whim.  Suddenly I was hooked
again, and I’ve been going strong ever since.

Mark von Minden - Holga

Mark von Minden - Holga

>>> describe your artwork?

I think I’m still trying to figure that one out!  I’m not
sure I have a style or a particular focus.

Mark von Minden - Yashica Mat 124

Mark von Minden - Yashica Mat 124

>>> what photographers or artist (whether traditional
artists, authors, musicians, etc.) have inspired or do
inspire you most?

My biggest influence is without a doubt music.  Music
permeates my life, and I probably get most of my ideas and
inspiration while listening to music (or while reading a
myriad of different fiction authors).  My music tastes are
rather diverse, and I’m always looking for something new and
different.  Anyone curious to see what’s currently feeding
my brain can check my last.fm profile here:
http://www.last.fm/user/mrkvm

My art tastes run toward the modern.  I’ve always been
fascinated with the expressionists of the early 20th century
and the abstract expressionists that came later (especially
Mark Rothko).

My greatest photographic inspiration of late has been the
film/polaroid community on Flickr.  There are just so many
talented photographers out there!

Mark von Minden - LC-A+ Double Exposure

Mark von Minden - LC-A+ Double Exposure

>>> are there themes, messeges that you try to get across
with your images? is it something random or are you mostly
specific when you crack open your camera?

I love minimalism, abstractness, and quiet, meditative
works.  I’ll also admit to having a bit of a romantic
streak.  I definitely try to work those into my photos (with
varying degrees of success), but I also think there’s just a
certain innate way of seeing the world that comes through
when anyone takes a photo.  I often go out with a camera
without any particular idea, but lately I’ve been attempting
to work with more preconceived ideas and extended series of
photos.  I like capturing a mood or a small moment.
Sometimes my photos tell a bigger story in my head, which
I’ll hint at with a bit of text or song lyric, but I’m not
good at spelling those out completely (nor am I sure I’d
want to).

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Artistic TZ

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Artistic TZ

>>> what is the challenge you face most with your art?

I’m my own worst critic.  I’m self-conscious and unsure of
myself.  I usually have trouble just admitting that I’m
making art at all.  So, you know, the usual stuff.:)

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Artistic TZ

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Artistic TZ

>>> whats gear do you use? like to use most?

Cameras: Polaroid SX-70, Polaroid Automatic 250, Yashica
MAT-124, Holga 120S, Holga 120GFN w/ Polaroid back, LOMO
LC-A, Pentax 35mm SLR, Canon G9.

Right now I’m having a little love affair with my SX-70,
though my Yashica is also a personal favorite.

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Auto 250

Mark von Minden - Polaroid Auto 250

>>> anything else youd like to add….?

Did I mention we have twins on the way? Donations of
diapers, film, or Hasselblad 500 series cameras would be
most appreciated.  In all seriousness, thanks for doing
this, and thanks to all the talented and friendly photo
people I’ve met on Flickr and Twitter recently for their
inspiration and encouragement.

Tweets that mention Polaroid Photographer Spotlight : Mark von Minden | The Lantern Room : Colorado based artist and photographer -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mrkvm, Jarrod Renaud. Jarrod Renaud said: posted an interview with the talented @mrkvm on my blog http://thelanternroomblog.com/?p=76 #polaroid #photography […]

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