WHA Creatives: Marvin King—Photographer
Marvin’s a well rounded creative based out of Oakland, CA. Trying to identify Marvin as any particular type of creative is pigeonholing his capabilities—as far as we know, he’s a videographer, graphic designer, entrepreneur, and a tailor from time to time. He’s been a great of friend of ours and has always had his hands on some new projects whenever we catchup. But considered we’ve collaborated several times with his photographic work, we decided to keep things simple and tapped more specifically into his journey with photography.
Current Favorite Work-space
There’s no place like home when it comes to my work station… but I’m around a lot honestly. So if I were to be out, I say my favorite work spots are the ones with high ceilings and open space, good coffee, good wifi and plenty outlets. Currently, my favorite spot is Workshop Cafe in San Francisco Financial District. First 10 hours of wi-fi is free, everything after is charged but the cool thing is that you can order coffee and food right from your table.
Why and how did you get into photography?
One of the main reasons why I got into photography was that I wanted to be able to freeze moments in time, in my life. I picked up my first DSLR in 2006 and since then, I’ve been firing away.
How long have you been shooting and what gear do you shoot with?
I’ve been shooting for about 9 years now, but I would say on a more serious level for about 4-5 years. I currently shoot with a Sony A7ii equipped with a Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 and a Canon FD L series 85mm f/1.2
“Shoot the hell out of everything, everywhere.”
What was the moment when you decided to pursue this professionally?
I would say I am a very very serious photography hobbyist. Although I have been blogging for a while now, it wasn’t until around 2010 when I really started taking photography more serious. My blog was getting huge numbers and people started dropping me messages and emails telling me how much I’ve been of influence and an inspiration to them. It was that moment that really pushed me to really commit to it full time, well… full time hobby.
What’s the toughest challenge you face as a photographer?
Honestly, finding the time. As you get older, you take on more responsibilities and thats the cold hearted truth. Whether we like it or not, we have bills to pay and we have loved ones to care for. I think one of the toughest things for me was finding the right balance for everything; so a well deserved standing ovation goes to my newly-wedded wife for sticking by my side through all my ‘figuring-things’ out phase. At times, you just have to accept that you don’t have time to go travel somewhere to shoot, but that’s sort of the fun challenge of photography. You have to make due with what you have in front of you and just make the best of it.
Any photographer(s) you lookup to?
I used to have a huge list of people I looked up to but not anymore. That’s not to say that they aren’t an inspiration, because they are, without a doubt. But through the years, I learned that everyone has their own style and creativity when it comes to photography, or any art of that matter. The more and more you look up to someone, you tend to mimic their style subconsciously and I try to avoid that. If you see my numbers on the amount of people i follow, it’s pretty hefty, and still growing. That’s because I want as much variety as possible when scrolling through my feed.
Are you working on any personal projects you’d like share?
I’ve been working on a brand for a few years now, MIGHTY KILLERS. Started out just myself and a friend I went to school with but since then, it’s grown. We are a creative brand that focuses on the telling visual stories with the use of well-thought design and photography.
What advice would you give a novice in the field?
My advice is to stay strapped. Strapped with your camera that is, at all times. Shoot the hell out of everything, everywhere. Through my experience, I only got better through time. Tons of trials and errors, and eventually, you’ll find your niche. Don’t ask too many questions, just figure it out and try it out. I see a lot of people these days asking for advice, asking for how to set up your settings on-camera, shit like that. It’s so unnecessary, if you learn the basic functions of your camera, the rest is all up to you. That’s how you learn.
Latest Collaboration with WHA