Photos: Geoffry Rush, Dev Patel, and Andrew Garfield
Mark Rogers is known for his innate ability to distil the essence of a story or character into a singular image. His portraits are defined by an ease and directness that balance intimacy with presence and feeling. It is this approach that has secured him over the past two decades work with prominent clients and a regular spot as a finalist in The Head On Portrait Prize, National Portrait Prize, Moran Photographic Prize and Olive Cotton Award.
Mark recently took some time off the set of the upcoming movie ‘Peter Rabbit’ where he is working as the stills photographer to talk about his approach to portraiture and what it is like working on set.
“The personality, the presence and the approach of the photographer are somehow written in the portrait. For me, it’s a process of manufacturing spontaneity. With people, particularly celebrities, who have been photographed a lot, there is always a tension between them performing a portrait and finding an intimacy together where this mask may drop.”
Photos: Hugo Weaving, Dennis Hopper
Mark is always thoroughly prepared before his subject arrives so he is ready and relaxed when he takes the first picture. “Setting the lighting with an assistant sitting in, preparing the backdrop and props, using music for the right atmosphere – whether calm or energetic, so that I am happy with the image and can then concentrate on breathing the life of the subject into it. Then it [the process] can become a direct relationship with my subject, where we are both relaxed and spontaneity can occur.”
Being prepared is equally important on set where ‘action’ is repeated over multiple takes and the actors are different each time. “Magic only ever occurs fleetingly. Often the best portraits of actors are between scenes when they bring the character and performance we need for a powerful shot.”
The Head On Photo Awards are open now
Deadline for entries is 11 pm (EDT), Sunday 25 February 2018