AG: Would you kindly give us your name?
JM: Johann Marx
AG: Where are you from?
JM: I was born in Bloemfontein in South Africa and I currently live in Johannesburg with my partner of ten years, Shane.
AG: How long have you been doing photography?
JM: I got my camera in 2005 and basically did landscape stuff. At the end of 2007 I got a set of lights for Christmas and as that horrible cliché goes: the rest is history :)
AG: Is photography a chosen career choice or a hobby?
JM: It's a hobby. I would love to do it full-time one day though.
AG: Do you possess any formal training i.e. college, workshops, through work experience etc?
JM: Nope. Everything I know, I taught myself and learnt through trial and error. Come to think of it, I went on one one hour lighting "workshop" a long long time ago. But it wasn't very informative :)
AG: What kind of equipment do you use?
JM: I have a Canon EOS 20D and I use Canon 50mm f1.4 lens most of the time. I sometimes switch to an 18-55 lens for fuller length shots, but because I prefer to crop my images closer to the model, I normally only use the 50mm lens. My lights are two Hensel Pro 500 lights and, most of the time, I use a beauty dish on the main one. I also shoot with two softboxes sometimes.
AG: What is your creative process? Do you have one?
JM: Hmmm. Well, for starters, I take the pictures! :)
Seriously though, most of the time I just wing it. Sometimes the model or the make-up artists have an idea up front, but a lot of the time we just make it up as we go along, depending on the outfits the model brings, etc.
The same goes for my lighting as well. I fiddle and prod until I like what I see. I have a few setups that I favour, but I normally just tweak it until I like what I see.
Once I have the shots done, I do some adjustments in Adobe Lightroom 2 before moving to Adobe Photoshop CS3. I don't really have a set exercise that I follow and the images take their own path most of the time.
AG: What is your main source of inspiration?
JM: Oh my! deviantART, for starters. There are some INCREDIBLE artists on this site! But I pick up inspiration from all over the show, really. And like I said: sometimes, it just happens. I'm very fortunate to work with some incredibly talented people. So that makes my job very very easy.
AG: Do you have any favourite photographers?
JM: Oh, definitely! Zoemon (Monique Zöllner) on deviantART is one of my top favourites. Her lighting is incredible and she's really talented. I guess the best thing to do would be to check through my favourites on deviantART. There are so many exceptionally talented people there!
AG: Are you currently working on any projects?
JM: Well, I'm working my way through seven shoots that I have to finish and I have another eight coming this month. Does that count? :) I have decided to take a month off in May to catch up and also get some time to relax. I've been working myself silly over the last couple of months, and I need a bit of a break.
AG: Has your work ever been published?
JM: Yep, it has. I've been published several times in a South African gay lifestyle magazine called GayPages. I've also had some of my photos published in a Greek magazine called CityUncovered.
AG: Any advice you would like to offer to our aspiring photographers out there?
JM: Ignore what people tell you about what's "right" and "wrong" in photography. Do whatever you think looks good and works for YOU. Rules will keep you from really expressing yourself.
AG: Cake or Pie?
JM: Neither. I'm on a very strict diet at the moment :)
AG: Any other comments?
JM: I'm just unbelievably fortunate and grateful for the opportunities I've been given since I started doing this. I've met some amazing people, made some friends for live and it's been one hell of a ride so far. I can't wait to see what the next five years bring me!
Check out more of his photos at his deviantart page
All images©Johann Marx
Do not redistribute without prior permission!