We've interviewed a lot of artists on this blog and thought it high time we introduce you to a few key creatives in the Culprit Crew. Since the first day we first opened our doors as the pocket-size gallery we are, with more artwork than floor space, Markus Ravik has been our exhibition photographer. Shooting almost every show we've ever hosted over nearly two years, as well the giant music events he's renown for shooting, like Splendour In The Grass, Big Day Out, Soundwave, Bluesfest, Big Sound .. (the list goes on) .. we've always felt it an insane honor to have a photographer as skilled as Markus on the team. The way he captures emotion in people's faces, the way people feel when they look at art or shadows when they appear on the walls, it blows our god damn minds. So please get to know the man who makes everything look beautiful.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF SHOOTING?
I try to evoke an emotional response from my images, whilst being as noninvasive as possible. Almost like each person at an event has a personal photographer that catches the subtle moments had between the subject and the event.
DO YOU SPECIALISE IN A SPECIFIC AREA OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
For almost 12 years now I’ve been focused purely on music photography and music festival photography. As the years get on though, I’ve found myself becoming interested in areas that didn’t interest me in the past, such as: weddings, corporate events, professional headshots etc. These areas seem to suit my pace a little more nowadays. Plus the music scene has steadily become over saturated over the past decade.
WE LOVE YOUR CANDID APPROACH TO SHOOTING - IS THERE ANY PARTICULAR THINGS YOU LOOK FOR IN PEOPLE THAT YOU TRY TO CAPTURE?
I’ve always gone for that ‘fly on the wall’ approach, where I generally try to go unnoticed whilst taking people’s photographs. I find having my photo taken at an event quite imposing, and I really don’t want to have people feel as uncomfortable as I do when I’m on the receiving end. I love shooting with a slightly longer lens, so I can shoot from a distance to catch those natural candid moments; no one is posing or necessarily trying to look their best for the shot.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE MOMENTS YOU'VE CAPTURED AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, AND WHY?
Gosh, that’s tricky…
1. I would have to say that some of top moments would include my first real big-scale show at Suncorp Stadium when Coldplay performed to 50,000 people back in 2012.
2. When I got to photograph the Brisbane leg of Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Tour in 2014 and somehow managed to be the only photographer in the pit that night. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I was a massive fan of that album and JT in general.
3. That same year I was asked along to capture some candids of Miley Cyrus and her fans backstage before her show in Brisbane for the Bangerz Tour. I managed to catch some nice little moments of her backup dancers preparing backstage along with a super brief portrait of Miley herself, whilst we were chatting waiting for everyone else to arrive.
4. Also, in 2014 (damn that was a busy year) I photographed Kanye West on his Yeezy Tour. It was an incredibly hard show to shoot with almost nonstop backlit red lighting and strobes, but there was one brief moment where Kanye stood perfectly under a red spotlight wearing his mask. This photo actually won $2,000 in a competition that same year.
5. When I first started shooting festivals is when I was really like ‘Wow! This is what I started all this for’ and I’ve captured so many of my favourite images at festivals such as: Big Day Out, Soundwave, Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, and Bluesfest. One of my earliest ones though, was this one of Pelle from The Hives amongst his adoring fans at Big Day Out 2014.
WOW - THAT IS INSANELY IMPRESSIVE! IF YOU COULD PHOTOGRAPHY ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would have loved to had the chance to photograph David Bowie around the Ziggy Stardust days in the early to mid 70s. He was one of the greatest performers of our time and I would have loved to have been around during his early years.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I started seriously getting into it around the age of 16 when I was able to select it as an elective in my senior years in high school. We had our own black and white darkroom there, and it was where I truly fell in love with the whole film photography process. It all progressed from there.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FIRST PICK UP A CAMERA?
My Dad gave me his old 1976 Pentax SLR at a fairly young age, perhaps early years of high school. That’s where I first started playing around with shooting a few rolls of film here and there.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE CURRENTLY, AND WHY?
Mostly Canon, only because that’s what I started with when I first switched to digital, and once you start getting invested in one brand, it’s hard to make the change to anything else. My Canon bodies and lenses have always been real workhorses through rain, snow, hail, multiple drops - they just keep shooting! Besides that I do have a small Fuji rangefinder camera that I love to use for travel or small social events because its very unimposing and completely silent for catching those candid moments.
DID YOU STUDY PHOTOGRAPHY, OR ARE YOU SELF TAUGHT?
I completed a Diploma of Professional Photography at the Brisbane College of Photography and Art and followed that up with a Bachelor of Photography at QCA. I also completed a Cert IV in Graphic Design at TAFE, which I feel is useful for just about any creative, including photographers. I’m always learning more through YouTube and other online resources though. You can never stop learning!
MARKUS, ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR FREELANCE?
Yes! Up until recently, I’ve been supplementing my photography income with a part-time job. As of May I will be a full-time freelancing photographer, so hit me up for anything you might need.