Tuesday, 17 May 2011

An interview with Santa Barbara-raised photographer Morgan Maassen

Morgan Maassen is an inspiration to many with his photography. To me his photographs are art, a wonderful fusion of colours and textures, dancing in front of your eye balls. I never know what to expect with Morgan... which is a good thing. His love for travel, married with his adoration for the ocean and tricks behind the camera, Morgan really is someone to watch out for! He continues to excel himself and was the 2010 winner of the prestigious Follow the Light Foundation grant. At a young age he is achieving so much, there is no question that he will continue to do so and surprise and tantalise us with his talents. There's no stopping this guy and we wouldn't have him any other way.

To see more of Morgan's work go to his website www.morganmaassen.com

So who are you?
My name is Morgan, I am a 20 year old human who lives in California.

When did you realise that photography was the direction in which you wanted to be heading?
I started shooting photos about 3 years ago, and had no clue photography would become either my passion nor my career until I started traveling. Realizing it could be the catalyst to travel and see the world, I immediately focused 100% on my newfound love.

You are a huge inspiration to many photographers. Who and what inspires you?
Art, music, people, and travel. I don't look at as many photographers, photographs, etc as I should but I think that keeps my ideas and inspiration fresh and more challenging to adapt to photography. In particular, I look up to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Werner Herzog, and Dan the Automator. Their art, films, and music respectively give me so much inspiration to explore, with and without my camera...

What is it about surfing and the ocean that tickles your fancy?
I grew up in the ocean, and surfing is one of the main activities of my life. I love the wildness and unknown of the sea, and the interactions and experiences surfboards create with it. The ocean is my passion and love in life.

Do you have a camera that you use the most? What do you like about it?
My Nikon d700 has allowed me to take photos no other camera or equipment ever could, so it never leaves my side. However, when it's all said and done, my Hassleblad 500cm will be the centerpiece on my mantle.

Do you ever use film (35mm)?
I shoot about 50/50% digital and film. I love to take a 35mm camera hiking, or to the beach, or just cruising around with no obligations or goals for a photo. I wear my cameras ragged, the film bodies especially. I only shoot all manual 35mm cameras, usually with a 50mm f/1.4. I use them to try new things and casually take photos when I am not relying on a perfect digital result.

You've travelled a lot, any particular favourites?
Morocco for its culture, Brazil for its surreal landscapes, Tahiti for its mountains and ocean, and Western Australia for its loneliness.

You've got some British in you I hear! So the big question... tea or coffee?
English breakfast tea, can't go a day without it.

Have you got any projects up your sleeve?
I'm working on a really cool art show with Billabong at their Design For Humanity, I've got some exciting travel plans for this summer, I am editing two short films from Australia, and have got some secret photo series I'm planning out to shoot :)

Where can we expect to see you in the near future?
In the air, on the road, under the water! And in Surfer magazine, haha.

Are you enjoying the ride?
It's a dream come true. Everyday is the best day of my life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.


  1. fuckin awesome interview

  2. This guy is truly inspired. Cant get enough.....thats how I found my way here.