For Mark Jansen, the creative process is a release, an expression of a concept that he may carry within his mind for a long time before it comes to fruition.
Mark’s photography covers some wide-ranging ground, from vintage racing automobiles and aircraft printed in black and white to sweeping land and waterscapes in breathtaking black & White and color. "My work reflects the intricate points of nature that people never seem to notice, or can't escape to see. I like to use extreme perspective and depth of field in my shots.
Mark started shooting in high school and never stopped. “I’ve always done photography and always had a business around it,” he explains. His first big commercial success happened a few years back when he hung some of his landscapes – mostly 8x10’s - in a coffee shop in Camarillo, California. “I got a phone call from a client who said he saw my photos in a coffee shop and wanted to buy some prints for his office.” When they got together to discuss which images and sizes, it turned out the “office” was 135,000 square feet and he wanted imagery for the entire building! “At first I panicked. I thought, there is NO WAY that I can come up with that many images – especially since the he wanted landscape scenes from all over his territory. But I ended up agreeing to do the job, which involved 300 images and took about a year and a half to complete. After that, I don’t fear the size of a job anymore!”
In addition to his commercial work, Mark has also spent time on the Fine Art Festival circuit. But since the commercial work has taken off, Mark has cut back on the festivals, although he still does a number of charity events. Mark also explores portraiture finding it yet another expressive release.
When asked how he promotes his business, Mark reveals, “I used to do print ads early on, but they didn’t generate a lot of action. What worked better is if I put my photographs on display. Coffee shops, Hair salons and Wineries generated more sales than the ads did.” He also attends networking groups and offers Power Point presentations of his images and his photographic workshops to these groups, in addition to Architects and Designers. He takes every opportunity to direct potential buyers to his website, which he uses as an online catalog. He also sends out a regular email newsletter to keep his name and images in people’s minds.
In the beginning, Mark relied a lot on his wife, Holly’s organizational and project management skills to run the business end of his photography career. “I’ve pretty much taken over management myself now,” he says, which frees up Holly’s time up to help me with selection, placement, and creative installation of the imagery. At this point Mark is a one-man show production: he shoots, prints, builds frames and stretches his canvas works. “For me, I enjoy the whole process. I would say about 90% of my time is spent marketing, and 10% is the creative end. I do cold calling and look for opportunities to get written up in the press. It’s a full-time job and then some.”
In addition to photography, Mark enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, x-country skiing and fly-fishing. His dream is to someday live in a mountain cabin in California’s central coast area. Most of Mark's images are studies of the West Coast and the Southwest areas of the United States. Photographs from the rushing streams of the Big Sur Redwoods to the deep canyons of the Southwest, and on up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains are included in his collection. He also has a selection of Vintage racing Automobile and Classic Aviation imagery. In addition to Images of Venice Italy and Old Hollywood.
Within the next five years, Mark sees himself moving his studio where he can have a gallery front. “I feel optimistic about the future,” he says. “Things are moving in the right direction.” You can view Mark’s work here. You can also join him on one his vast and interesting in-field photography workshops through out the Western United States and beyond... Go to JansenPhotoExpedition.com and see what new workshop tours he's offering...