Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Hammond.
Mark, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It’s been instilled in me ever since my father put a camera into my hands as a young man & said, “Use this to tell your artistic stories!” I’ve always had a passion for photography as my way of artistic expression. I started my studies independently on my own and just took photos of what captured my eye. I took up my initial photography studies at Pasadena City College and received a few AA certificates of completion. But that wasn’t enough! I wanted to develop more, so I continued my journey of photography at Tri-Community Photography School in Covina, which allowed my photographic skills to excel! I just currently received my Certificate of Proficiency which has recognized me as being Adept, Skilled, Expert, and/or Master of the Applied Photographic Arts and Sciences in a numerous amount of courses taken at the school. I’ve also received several honors for my images in which I received a gold medal at the 2016 Los Angeles Chinese Photographic Festival which had images on display in a gallery at the Nixon Library, Tri-Community Photography School, and ended up having several images sent back to China to complete their exhibition. This was definitely a true highlight within my photography achievements.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it hasn’t always been a smooth road. I’ve missed out on assignments, but I’ve been fortunate, remained positive and learned from these experiences. Although, I will say that the challenges were putting in countless hours of study & practice along this journey. Creating art within your photographs requires a lot of work, dedication, and you have to have a creative vision. The more time you put into your craft, the better your results in the long run. Overall, it’s an investment and I’ve taken a long-term study and turned it into a passion!
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
To be honest, the proudest moment of my career was receiving an email that some of my photographic work was selected to be on display at the Nixon Library among some phenomenal photographers amongst distinguished known Chinese professional photographers during the 2016 Los Angeles Chinese Photographic Festival. It was an honor to be selected and to engage amongst such dignitaries & being recognized during the opening ceremonial luncheon. In addition to that, receiving a gold medal for my work was an amazing experience & to find out my work was included to be sent back to China for their closing exhibition was exciting!
Because of this, it’s opened some doors for me to put me in a position to shoot professional L.A sports teams and NCAA teams. Now I’m about to continue to embark on the newest journey in the world of collegiate & professional LA sports teams! The latest chapter in my life has started & I’m enjoying every moment of this journey… I thank all those who allowed this opportunity to take place and believed in me. I’m forever grateful & feel truly blessed!
One more: The Tri-Community School of Photography has a booklet called “Focal Point’ It list’s the class courses for the fall term & on one of the pages they listed the names of those who received an International Gold Medal & my name was included among the list of photographers. I thought that was pretty fantastic!! The event was called, “The Chinese-American 2016 Photographic Festival and International Exhibition.” We were considered Tri-Community’s best fourteen photographers for winning the gold. The school also received the “Educational Achievement Award.” I’m proud to be a part of this outstanding program!
Every story has ups and downs. What were some of the downs others might not be aware of?
Yes, the struggles to break into this industry & getting people to take you seriously are real. As a photographer, you put in countless hours into your craft: Courses, seminars, workshops, private/group mentoring programs, equipment, computer software, time, watching video’s from top Photographers, practicing, preparation & planning, self-teaching, creating, building up your portfolio’s & scouting locations. All of these things cost money and time, but some people see it as, “What can I get for a bargain?” ” Will you work for free?” Well, the answer is, “No!” No-one gave me the above mentionable’s for free, so why should you consider hiring me for free?…
What’s your outlook for the industry in our city?
Yes, Los Angeles and the surrounding cities is a great location for shoots. Hey, it’s L.A! I love what the city has to offer. It’s a photographer’s playground. There’s just so much to find & allows one to create their artistic style! Lot’s of hidden treasures if you’re willing to research & scout your locations…
I’d say, yes, but be prepared for the competition. It’s a competitive field, so develop you craft in order to stand out & separate yourself from the others.
- Website: DreamPassionPhotography.com
- Phone: (323) 547-1050
- Instagram: hamski24
- Facebook: Mark Hammond