Take A Trip Inside The Wavy World Of Mad Visuals
We caught up with the photographer for a lil chat on creative influences, on-set energy and a brand new upcoming project.
Mad Visuals is coming for the jugular. Producing some of the coldest photography to come out of Birmingham est 2017, “MV” continues to create uniquely unmatched projects, working with a variety of other creatives to capture some insane shots.
Blending hints of both nostalgia and futurism into his work, MV creates a one-of-a-kind tangible experience for his audience, exposing them to the raw personality and emotion that pours out of his images. Having shot the likes of Svciety and SVC MOB among other talents bursting through barriers within creative industries, he cements himself as one to watch through his eye for intimate detail and unforgettable elements. With an undeniable presence and a “vision to enrich your vision,” MV’s blow up is imminent. Don’t sleep.
What is it that draws you to photography?
Seeing people’s reaction to what they actually look like rather than looking in the mirror. It’s just fun. Because it’s fun, that’s why I love doing it, and that’s what draws me to keep doing it. It makes me happy as well, that’s literally how I feel.
Do you always have a strong idea of how you want a shoot to turn out? Or do you work off of spontaneity?
If anything, I run off vibes. Hardly any of my stuff is actually planned. Literally 99% of my shoots, they’re just very impromptu. I say “Yo, let’s shoot,” they say okay. I meet them that day and I just work with what I’ve got. Or if it is planned, it’s barely planned. It’s very base level planning where I’m like “Okay, I want this and that. That’s all I want.” And from there, if it doesn’t go according to plan, no biggie. But if I like it, I’ll smile. I don’t really love planned work because me, I’m very just for vibes. That’s literally how I live my life, I’m vibes. I feel like sometimes planning work means setting an expectation for yourself, and I believe expectations lead to disappointment and limitations. But when I’m just on vibes, the world is my oyster. I do what I want, you know?
Whose work has most inspired you and your process?
You see this question. Now, I have multiple inspirations. So, I have the likes of RAYSCORRUPTEDMIND. I have Gunner Stahl. I have Vuhlandes. Those are my three main inspirations for what I do and my style of photography. Behind the reason why they’re inspos…, so RAYSCORRUPTEDMIND is Travis Scott’s personal photographer, and that inspires my flash photography and everything I’m currently doing. When it comes to Gunner Stahl, he’s more of like, a lifestyle, so he photographs people like A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, all of those guys. The Playboi Carti album cover, that was shot by Gunner Stahl too.
And then Vuhlandes. I can’t lie, Vuhlandes was the reason I got this camera I’m using right now. I actually wasn’t even gonna get this and then I saw one video and I was like “Yep, I’m gonna buy it. Right now.” I’ve literally only had this one for like two weeks, and I wasn’t even gonna go for it. But I also get inspiration from any Tom, Dick and Harry. It can be like some of my mates, it can be someone I don’t even know and I’ll see their work and be like “I like that.” I don’t believe there’s any wrong form of art. Someone can say that art is amazing, someone can say that art is terrible. Art is art. It’s very subjective.
What has been your fave shoot so far?
Oh shit. I actually don’t have a favourite shoot. They’re all different in many ways, the style is pretty much similar, but a lot of them… I can’t say I have a favourite. But I might have a favourite coming up very soon. I have stuff in the pipelines. I do have a project on the way, what we’re shooting now is part of that project. I have a few shoots lined up, hopefully they’ll be my favourites. But at the moment, no. I don’t have a favourite. I fuck with them all.
How do you get the subject/models to move in just the way you want?
I literally live by “Do what you want.” That’s literally me. I will adapt to them. Because once I tell a model or my subject to do what they want, they become more comfortable in themselves. So, me telling them to pose in a certain way, they look more stiff, more staged. And I can’t work like that. So, I’d rather a subject feel more comfortable and from there, if I have a certain image in my head, I’ll work around it. The majority of the time it’s just do what you want. Just listen to the music. Be fluid.
What is your favourite lens to use and why?
Honestly, again I don’t have a favourite. I say this because… I don’t understand the theory of photography. The theory behind it is to do with the lenses, the lights, exposure, all of that scientific mathematic kind of stuff. I don’t know. I know how to compose a picture, I know what I’m looking for. The reason I don’t have a favourite is because number one, I don’t have many lenses. I’ve never actually tried many lenses in my life. And number two, I believe it’s more than the lens when it comes to taking a picture.
What do you do if you’re not happy with the outcome?
I just do better next time. It is what it is, I can’t change it. I won’t redo it. I’ll just learn from my mistakes. The only way my pictures don’t turn out the way I want them to is on the basis of the vibe that I’m getting from the shoot itself. That’s why I don’t think I can redo it, because it’s to do with the vibe. For me, it’s all about the energy. But everybody’s different, you know? But yeah, I can’t really change what’s already been done. Like I said, I just strive to do better next time.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Shall I be honest? I’m gonna be completely honest. There’s nothing. There’s honestly nothing. I mean, I still don’t know the theory. When I first started, I should have learned it. The only thing I would say is just continue networking, be true to yourself. Because the society we live in, there’s a lot of pressure from social media. When I first started, it was a case of “I want x amount of followers and x amount of likes.” Nah, don’t do that.
If anything, if that’s what you’re living for, you’ve failed yourself. That’s the only thing I would tell my younger self. I’d just say forget social media. I don’t care about how many followers I have, I don’t care about how many likes I get. I don’t really care about the profile layout, my layout is more versatile than to do with an actual theme. That’s what I want to show off. I want to show off what I can do rather than sticking to one specific style. I just do what I want. I just live by that.
What can you tell us about the new project?
Without saying too much, this is going to be me in a book. This is who I am. I can give you the name, the name is going to be Archives by MV. 95% of everything in this book will be unseen images. So what you’ve seen on my website, on my Instagram, that won’t be in there. It was initially gonna be like a magazine, but it’s now going to be a hardback book.
Everything’s gonna be in there. From people to jewellery to cars to food. Food’s in there as well. Bitch, we’re all hungry, right? I’m not trying to say that it’s gonna be sick and all that. It’s just going to be me. You’re going to see who I am through these images. You’re gonna get the type of vibe that I live for. There’s gonna be a lot of lifestyle and stuff like that. It’s just gonna be a whole experience. It’s not just gonna be a photobook, you’re gonna feel what I go through.
Next up, Meet The Wondrous Women Bulldozing Through Barriers With The North Face