I started to really fall in love with photography when I was growing up in Tokyo, where I lived until I was about 14. Leaving the house without a disposable film camera jammed in my pocket was a rare occasion. I’d use it to document my teenage life on film, through it’s cheap plastic lens and in-built flash. It was so quick and nontechnical in those days and I would literally just point and shoot, then hope for the best. From then on I would always have a camera of some sort on me. This led to sharing some of my more artistic work online, which eventually attracted an audience and in turn, paid work. (I’m simplifying it a bit.)
Like it is for many creative people, there were a lot of different paths, which I tried, and that I could have taken, which eventually lead to me working as a photographer today. I was accepted into architecture at university, but decided not to go through with it. Later, I tried pursuing a career in design and even ended up working in web development for a few years, but it made me miserable. Eventually, I found my place and passion in photography and next month marks 10 years since I started working professionally as a photographer.
I find myself primarily working across my two photography businesses, Mark Lobo Photography and Foliolio. Through MLP, I work on commercial, editorial and portrait projects and Foliolio is a service for designers who want their work photographed well. What I love most about my job is the ability to meet inspiring and creative people who love and believe in what they do. It’s a job that is constantly bringing me to new places and introducing me to passionate people, which in turn inspires me to create good work and start new personal projects.
1.Being too busy leaves no room for progress.
When I started out, I thought saying “yes” to every job was what was going to make me a successful photographer. But it turns out, keeping a fresh headspace and focusing on doing less frequent, but higher quality work, is the only way to grow.
If you keep working on what you love and enjoy it, you eventually become ridiculously good at doing what you love. Find that niche, that subject that inspires and drives you. If you’re not enjoying something about your career, it makes it hard to give it your 100%. So drop it, or get someone else to do it!
My main project right now is called “Handy". I haven’t published them in full anywhere yet, but am slowly putting a few of the images out through Instagram, one of my favourite ways to share works in progress. The project features just the hands of creative people and what they do with them. If you know of any creative or crafty people doing some great work, I’d love to hear about them, so please get in touch!
I also have a few other projects on my website here.
My main focus right now is to expand Foliolio beyond what it is now by working with other photographers to diversify it’s style and continute to grow beyond Melbourne. I’ve just moved into a larger photography studio, which will hopefully make this a bit easier to do. On a personal level, I want to keep working on my “Handy" series and create fresh new works for print, which I currently sell through One Fine Print.