I first saw the photos Max was creating a few months ago and was incredibly impressed. I like how humble and genuine Max is. I reached out to see if he would like to speak a little bit about the photos and to help spread the word about this exciting project. I’m delighted Max agreed.
“In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.” – August Sander (1876 – 1964)
I’ve always liked photography. When I was about 12 years old I saw a roll camera in one of those stores that sells everything for the same price. My dad bought it for me. Of course it wasn’t a good camera but surprisingly the quality of the prints were. I never took the hobby seriously, another crush took most of my youth years. Music.
About 15 years ago Photography knocked on my door again but this time harder. So I bought a much better camera and started taking more photos mostly of landscapes. Then I started playing with Photoshop with the help of some YouTube tutorials I started doing some simple editing. I had a lot of fun doing some horror photo shoots. And somehow I was getting some satisfactory results and that gave me more confidence to try other things. By 2014 I was getting noticed for some of my photographs here in my city. Unfortunately by 2015 my mother died suddenly and I lost something that day. Again my taste for it went numb and I only did a wedding photoshoot in 6 years. After all these years, and thanks to COVID, I grabbed my PC again and started to edit some of those old photographs I have taken over the last 15 years. I never wanted to share them to the world on Instagram but this time I said… Why not? But after a little while my mind started asking me to create something. So, I listened, and created a photograph inspired by Stephen King’s Elevation. It received some likes in a few days and my friends in the horror community started praising and noticing my work.
But the reason why now I got more noticed among the horror community is thanks to my daughter. I always wanted to try to do one of those “Double Exposure” photos, but as I said before I haven’t picked up my camera in a very long time. I was asked for a photo of my daughter for school, and when I was doing the shoot it came to me. So I asked my 6-year-old to pose for me and that was it. That was my first one. Then a friend of mine posted a photograph of his cat, I asked for it. He accepted and another one was created.
As I was getting more attracted to this style I went online and looked for a photograph of Shane Douglas Keene (@shanedkeene) downloaded it and did something with it. I know one shouldn’t do that, but I was just looking for something to practice with. When I finished it I showed it to him and thank God he loved it, so I asked permission to put it on my account and then the great writer (and wonderful lady) Cindy O’Quinn (@COQuinnWrites) insisted on getting one of those made for her. And that was really what started all this.
I started asking some Twitter friends for photos only to try and do something nice for them, cause those people have been nothing but great to me. I also asked Kealan Patrick Burke (@KealanBurke) and he said yes as well. So I ventured and asked Josh Malerman (@JoshMalerman), yes THAT Josh Malerman, he was so nice to me a few years ago and I always have wanted to do something in return, so I did a photo for him and he loved it (Thank God). They all accepted and, well, my Instagram tells the rest of the story.
People have been approaching me to do some photos on commission, but people sometimes think it’s an easy task and it really isn’t. If I know the person I try to mix the photo with that something I know they like or are recognized. If I don’t know the person I try to do something that looks nice or goes along with what they send.
But I have to search for a free stock photo, see if it works, and if it does, then do the hard work on Photoshop. There have been photos that I’ve been editing for 10 or 12 hours. So, my friends told me I should be charging for that work, and I listened. And now some really famous people have been asking me to do one of those for them. I just ask for 3 or 4 photos send to my mail, to choose the one that I can work with and when I finish I send them 2 files, one for print and other for Instagram. So far people had been very pleased with my work.
I really want to thank all of the people in the list below because they have been very supportive with me and in general they are great and amazing people. Without them I wouldn’t have done any of the photographs I’m doing now. And if I miss someone please forgive me. You are so many. Starting with you Gavin.
The Horror Community Top Class:
Kim Nappi (@kimnappi)
Steven Gomzi (@sjgomzi)
S.D. Vasallo (@diovassallo)
Book Monster (@Sshh_ImReading)
Brad Proctor (@brad_proctor)
Richard Gerlach (@Rudy53088)
Wayne Fenlon (@waynefenlon)
Edward Lorn (@EdwardLorn)
Stephanie Ellis (@el_stevie)
Laurie Bark (@BarksBooks)
I love books, music and photography. I try to take decent photographs every now and then.
Follow Max on Twitter @Max_Stark8
Follow Max on Instagram @max_stark8