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ANTHONY MAULE – Photographer

1. WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

Honestly, I can’t really remember. But I know that I had a very creative childhood and that I was always looking for an outlet that felt right. When I was 14, I took a class in photography and that was it. From then on I’ve been obsessed.​

2. AS A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER, WHAT IS YOUR MAIN FOCUS AND APPROACH WHEN DOING A SHOOT: THE MODEL, THE FASHION, OR THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

Ideally, I always think editorial work should be very self indulgent. For me, it’s about projecting myself into my work, so most of the time I’m always questioning whether what I am doing has some relevance to me as a person. But it’s complicated, as editorial is not always that free or straight forward. There are lots of other people involved in the process with their own visions, so it’s a fine balance to make sure everyone is getting something out of it as well. It just depends what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with, I guess.

When I’m shooting, I think more like an art director than a photographer. In general,I find it quite amusing that we all have these different job titles that differentiate us. I mean,we’re all after the same thing. I just think of everyone as collaborators on the same project. I want people to be very vocal with what they’re thinking or doing. I always want to understand exactly what it is I’m actually looking at before I come to shooting it. Even though my education was very technical, these days I can feel very detached from the camera and photography. Just the fact that you have everyone and everything together is not enough—you have to make sense of everything. If you’re not thinking about the final result and how the ideas are going to translate on a page, then how is anyone else going to understand them? That’s the basis of how I think on every job. We can all take a ‘nice’ picture of a ‘nice’ girl, but to make it personal, relevant and to take it a step further requires more concentration. I always think about the final result—how it will look like on the shelf. Not just the story but the magazine, the issue, the timing, the paper stock even—you have to think about everything as standard. Unless you think that way, it is easy to get lost in creation.

3. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES FOR A SUCCESSFUL SHOOT?

​That’s such a difficult question to answer and it kind of depends on what you mean by ‘successful’.You know, I can say for me it’s about the right girl, the right team, the right time,the right publication. That will generally produce something that will be commercially successful that the industry will understand, but it won’t necessarily make it a personal triumph.A successful shoot for me is when I look at something I’ve done and feel personally attached to it. From that perspective, having total freedom to do what I want to do helps to make it more successful for me.

4. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR HEROES?

Any artist that dedicates their life to their work I have much respect for.

5. ARE YOU EVER 100% SATISFIED WITH WHAT YOU JUST SHOT OR DO YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS YOU WOULD SHOOT DIFFERENTLY ‘NEXT TIME’?

​Artists always feel like they’re searching for the impossible; something that either doesn’t exist or is unreachable. That is their motor, soI just don’t think that you’re ever completely satisfied even if it’s been a great day, season or year. It’s not that you walk away from it feeling discontented but complete satisfaction kind of feels like it breeds complacency in my eyes,so it’s more about appreciation and reflection than anything else. Your work is always evolving anyway, always moving, always transient;so you always feel like you’re playing catch up and reacting to the times.

6. DO YOU HAVE A ‘SECRET WISH JOB’? IF YOU HADN’T BECOME A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN DOING?​

This is it for me, it’s all I ever wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine being a doctor or a lawyer, it’s just not my world.

7. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY? AND WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT THE EXTRA WORK IN POST-PRODUCTION?

Digital changed everything. It changed our connection to photography, it changed the way we work and it changed our expectations of what can be achieved with photography. Now it’s challenging the platform for photography and the perception of the modern photographer so it’s a lot to take in.With the meetings I go to now, the first thing people say is, ‘have you done any video?’ Digital Media has caused a seismic shift recently in the expectancy of what a photographer should be capable of delivering. Now we’ve got things like the iPad, online digital media subscription and viral advertising campaigns—it’s just all opened up. I think we all have to accept it now as standard, embrace it and move forward.

​8. WHAT’S NEXT FOR ANTHONY MAULE?

Paris and New York, in that order.

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QUICK RANDOM ONES

FAVORITE NEW YORK DESIGNERS?
Steven Sprouse.
FAVORITE LOCATIONS TO SHOOT IN NEW YORK?
Pier 59, Milk, Industria.

WHAT MUSIC MIX ARE YOU PLAYING IN THE STUDIO?
I leave that for other people to decide.

DREAM CLIENT?
French Vogue.

FAVORITE VICE?
Smoking.

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Interview by Lara Antonelli