Since you and I will most likely get sick of my brain, I will periodically interview different people and get their take on things. So without furthur delay, welcome to the first session of "Someone Else's Brain."
My first brain belongs to that of photographer Mark Owens. Mark moved to NYC in 2002, from Northern California. He has a diverse artistic background ranging from acting scholarships to band memberships. While writing for a local publication Orange Coast Magazine, he discovered a talent for photography. After making the cross-country trip to NYC, he apprenticed with photographer Mark Seliger. Nowadays you can find Mark at Def Jam offices, getting a contact high from the likes of Method Man.
A: Let's begin. what's your favorite color?
M: Blue
A: What's in your walkman right now?
M: Uh, lets look. Its either going to be Sahara Hotnights, or The Smiths Live album - old school. I don't know.
A: You have to check.
M: I have to check?
A: Yeah, I am all about the facts.
M: (opening CD player) Oh. Ryan Adams Gold.
A: Right. Favorite Concert poster:
M: There's a store in Southern California called CD Exchange, that I love to go to. They had all the old school posters. The Fillmore always had cool posters. There's a PJ Harvey one, that was so freakin' cool, back in the "To Bring you my Love" era. There's an old like "Siamese Dream" era Smashing Pumpkins one that was pretty cool.
A: Where were you last Wednesday?
M: lets check the ole calendaria! Whats the deal with all the Wednesday's?
A: I have only mentioned one Wednesday. Oh my god! Is that a Keith Haring Calendar?
M: No. Its an Edward Curtis. Lets see, the main thing I was doing. oh. I was doing jack. I was sick, and I was picking up some photos for my portfolio.
A: Okay, photography. What camera do you use, and what lenses?
M: for 35[mm] I shoot with Nikon F100. My just kind of everyday lens is a Nikon 8 - 200 fixed 2.8. The one that I used to shoot a lot of concerts and tight stuff is a 8200 fixed 2.8 all Nikon.
A: I didn’t know you were a Nikon guy. Do you belong to the Nikonians?
M: no.
M: My favorite new lens - is a 120 macro with a 6.5. that’s kind of my favorite because like you can shoot, like, an eye, and get all the details.
A: Fave photographer?
M: B/W portraits: I love Arnold Newman, Yosuf Karsh, and Nigel Parry. By far my favorite portrait guys. Color... recently I am into Martin Schoeller's work. I like his stuff. Anton Corbin does color and black and white.
A: So far, tell us your most memorable shoot?
M: top of my head - probably the one I just did with Method Man. We were in at Def Jam, in the CEO's office, and I was shooting Method playing this new game called DJ Vendetta. It's basically a wrestling game, except all of the wrestlers are rappers - all Def Jam music. There was a lot of second hand pot smoke, which kind of sucked, but other than that, he was really cool. When a guy is nice, and outgoing, it just makes for an easy, less tense shoot.
A: You won't be able to sleep until you have shot _________??
M: I would love to go to Greece, and shoot some people against those white walls. Kurt Vonnegut - such and interesting person. I mean, end all be all? Bob Dylan
A: What photo shoot, has had the best snacks?
M: (laughter) There are no snacks - we are low budget! You know actually the best snacks was probably a Jerry Seinfeld shoot. They had really nice catering. Because he likes cereal- they had like ten boxes of cereal. He walked in total Jerry Seinfeld style, picks up some fruit loops and starts talking.
A: Cool. Last roll developed were pictures of what?
M: I am going to pick up a ton of rolls today of two bands - Mooney Suzuki, and the Ravonettes.
A: next photo assignment:
M: Next week is rapper Keith Murray.
A: pick one: Audio or Visual?
M: Visual
A: Map or Globe?
M: Map
A: Okay, Top 3's. Cereal:
M: Okay - I'm going with Life, Frosted Mini Wheat's, and uh, you know Grapenuts w/ honey is pretty dope.
A: Brands names (encompasses everything from Volkswagen to Levis):
M: I would say the Mini Cooper, (I love that car right now.) Merc- (it’s a british. Its so awesome.) But the old reliable is probably Volcom - a lot of my friends work there. After that I would say Gibson guitars.
A: Websites:
M: 1-Quiksilver, my friends site - hovenvision, and Pollstar.
A: Love Pollstar. Hot or Not: Laura Flynn Boyle?
M: Not. I mean she is hot, but I think she is a little skinny.
A: Beck:
M: Like if I was gay or something? I think he's got a good look for sure. Hot.
A: Coby Bryant:
M: Not. He's a poser
A: I say a word, you say a word: Tragic
M: Hip
A: Robbery
M: Jail
A: Plastic
M: Southern California
A: Cool. What's your motto, if any:
M: What's my motto?? 'Be true to yourself and you will never fall!' - beastie boys. Yeah, I mean I would say that - which is also a play on Hamlet. I could give you a quote from my Grandfather - this is how it goes: "You should always remember that one should avoid the course of least resistance. Which makes both men and rivers crooked." -Grandpa Mark B. Garff.
A: Word. Thanks Mark.

++Be sure to stay tuned for next week's interview with schoolteacher/sportsman Ryan Townsend from North Dakota.++