Max’s website is an interesting one. I documents his trip to Australia and back in a kind of photoblog setup. He’s managed to capture some great images so I recommend you check out his work on both his website and flickr.
Tell us a little about yourself?
As the title says: I’m Max Friedlander and 18 years old. I was born in Manhattan, New York but moved to the Bay Area after only a few months. I lived there up until a month ago when I left for college. Currently, I’m attending Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia as part of an exchange program with a hundred other freshman college students. I’m red-green colorblind. I enjoy teaching myself new things and spending time with friends.
What made you get into photography?
It would be hard to point at a single thing that got me interested in photography. I spent most of my life admiring photographs, more so than any other form of art. Whenever my family or school went to a museum I would seek out the photography exhibits first. I would stand in awe of these captures of life. They represented, to me, both the beginning and the end of art. Art had been for centuries (and I apologize if my opinions are incorrect and I’m ignoring surrealism and other artistic movements, sorry) about capturing life. Whether it was the cave paintings of Australia or the massive canvas paintings of the Flemish and Dutch — they had all been trying to freeze life in a single moment and show the world what that moment looked like. The camera was the first item actually capable of doing such a thing. It gave birth to a whole new world of artistic and journalistic life. And, I wanted in on this world of art.
How did you get started?
I got started by borrowing a camera from my high school (a Canon XTi) for a much longer period of time than allotted and returning it only when finally threatened.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I’ve found myself tending to do a lot of events in my paid work. I can’t say that it’s the most enjoyable photography for me. Unless, it’s concerts. Those are always a impressive amount of fun because the band wants you there as much as you want to be there. I’ve yet to meet a band member hostile to me, as a photographer, and has made the experience of photographing the concerts (and getting to listen to good music) that much better.
But, I would like to do more portraiture and architecture photography. Something, I try to do in my free-time. I’m also trying to foray into street photography. I read a couple of free online e-books on it by Thomas Leuthard (You should check these books out) and I was inspired.
What gear are you using?
Currently, I have a Canon 60D and an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. That’s the full range of my equipment. I’m a broke college student.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Well, by default it is the one I listed above. But, even if it wasn’t the only one in my collection, it would likely still be my favorite. I just love having that nice range of magnification. It really allows me to walk around and get any number of shots from any number of angles without having to switch lenses or get extremely close-in and attract attention to myself.
How are you marketing yourself?
Right now: I’m working largely off word-of-mouth business. But, I’ve been trying to get more active on flickr and 500px. As well, I’m constructing my own website and getting in contact with some local photographers in my home area.
I can’t forget — I’m also doing this interview with RAW. Which is an amazing website full of astounding people.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
For me, the first one really just represents the first good photo I had taken in Australia. It was on the first day we arrived and myself and a few other friends were lounging on the fake grass outside of our lodgings and I was just fiddling with my camera getting ready for the day and I looked up and saw this moment and I darted to capture it.
The second — represents what can happen when a model and a photographer are in sync and willing to listen and work off each other. We were just cruising around the top of an empty Safeway parking lot and he said he wanted to get some photos of him breaking. He threw up a couple moves and I asked him to move a few feet over to directly in front of the light. Didn’t work. But after a few tries and some collaboration — it all came together.
The third, for me, encompasses the feelings I’ve had for Melbourne and my photographic experience in their entirety. The photo has a feeling of randomness and danger as well as intrigue. These seemingly random moments in my daily life that create opportunities for the best experiences I’ve ever had as well as the the best photos I’ve ever taken or at least, the most fun I’ve ever had taking.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Place the bar out of reach. I know that’s a little peculiar of advice. But, I don’t think I can overstate how essential it is to hold yourself to the highest of standards in order to improve yourself as a photographer. Find photographers who inspire you in your field of photography and make it your personal goal to reach their level with every photo you take.
People who are looking for a photographer are looking for quality of photos. If you have the highest quality photos work will follow. Just be sure that people are seeing your photos. Otherwise, there’s no point.