Mark will be sharing his insights about SEO at this year's Inspire conference. Website: Mark Andrew Photography
What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that every day unfolds differently and that there is always a curve ball being thrown in every situation.
Where do you find inspiration?
Not to sound cheesy, but my son, Mac. He's handicapped, but he works his tail off to keep up with everyone and he always has a grin on his face. When I see him trudging along with a smile it really forces me to kick myself in the butt.
What was your first experience in photography?
I remember going with my Dad who was shooting a winter landscape on an early weekend morning when I was 6 or 7. I remember it clearly because we were on an unplowed road and went into a snow bank. My Dad was a high school teacher back then so on vacations and summers he would be out photographing and I'd go so I could hang out with my Dad. Is there a defining moment in your growth as an artist? May of 1988. I came from a small rural town and at Maine Maritime we would go on a cruise every year and I had the experience of traveling to Russia, UK, Ireland and that cruise really opened my eyes to seeing the world differently. I had my Dad's old crappy Minolta backup camera and I remember walking around with an open mouth shooting everything around me.
Aside from photography, do you have other creative outlets?
Print making. I like to experience printing on different s papers and other mediums like coated aluminum.
If you could go on a trip where would that be and what would you hope to do there?
Paul can split the cabin with me so we can save some money. I want to go on a month long cruise from Argentina down South Georgia Island and then to Antarctica. My second spot would be the UAE. I spent a few months there in the late 90's and would love to see how it's changed with all the explosive growth.
What advice do you wish you had received (or followed) when you were starting your business?
It's seems simple, but you are a business person if you want to be a photographer. If you want to shoot you have to pay the bills. I'd also say that you should keep shooting personal projects so that photography always remains a passion.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a little guy I wanted to be a Boston Bruin. After I went to visit the Training Ship at Maine Maritime in middle school I wanted to be an engineer. The huge engine room just brought out all my curiosity on how anyone could know all about every piece of equipment in there.
What do you think of the current state of the wedding industry?
It's the Wild West right now and the barrier to entry is nonexistent. I'm also disappointed in the whole "Rockstar" mentality. Do we call other professionals Rockstars? To be taken seriously we need to elevate the professionalism in the industry and work our tails off for our clients and realize that it's NOT about our personality it's about bringing out the personality of our clients in photographs on one of the biggest days in their lives.
If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you?
Chevy Chase and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Just ask me about our Christmas vacation this year!
What are your pet peeves or interesting things about you that you dislike?
I have really curly red hair and hate it! Think of the actor Carrot Top. So I have had a buzz cut or shaved my head since I was a freshman in high school. My pet peeve would have to be every one of our kids taking long showers leaving me with no hot water.
Last song you listened to?
"Live Bites" from Def Leppard. I was a child of the 80's!