With headshots remaining the most important and valued tool for the performing artist and actor, Media Inc Magazine got a chance to sit down with one of Los Angeles most reputable and talented photographer whose new career path now also involves filmmaking.
MARC CARTWRIGHT has been working in the entertainment business since the 90s starting off as an actor in New York City while attending NYU majoring in Mass Media + Human Behavior. Fascinated more with what was going on behind the camera during his work on TV/Film sets as a performer, Marc enrolled in a photography course that ignited his desire to pursue the craft full-time.
Marc soon moved to LA in 1998 and built a photography client list that now includes Emmy+Golden Globe nominees Lou Diamond Philips and Ariana Grande as well as Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden. His highly sought after photography sessions now book out many weeks in advance, so we were lucky to catch up with him for our own photo shoot and interview at his high-rise studio overlooking the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Q: What brought you to LA?
Marc Cartwright: I moved our to LA in 1998 to pursue acting and my photography. After arriving I met a friend that introduced me to a publicist that quickly referred me to new clients that helped expand by business.
Q: Tell us about how the digital revolution impacted your business.
MC: Obviously it makes it cheaper and much quicker regarding turn around and sharing images immediately with clients. But I’m really glad I learned the craft on film because I feel that people who learned this way take more time with images. You really had to develop your eye before the shutter was snapping. I truly enjoy the process and working with clients getting them what they want and capturing them at their best moments for the camera more than the efficiency and technological advances of the craft.
Q: Tell us about the process of working with you and coming in for some headshots.
A: The idea is that I encourage my clients to have an idea as to where they want to go as actor in the industry prior to coming in. And if they don’t quite yet know and they are new to the business, I ask them to think about that. Prior to booking with me, I email out a series of questions asking them to prep with their wardrobe reflecting these ideas that will allow me to help with the creative visual telling component of the session. Before we get started I like to talk with my clients to get a sense of their personality. Some people like to be coached harder, the tough love kind of thing and others come in and know exactly what they want and how to react to the camera. Although photography is obviously visual, it truly is a mental medium. For instance, when you look at a photo and the lighting, wardrobe, etc. all seems perfect but the feeling isn’t there, we’re not going to like the photograph. You really want to capture that cerebral connection or it will seem forced. This approach I use also works well at reducing any nervousness and apprehension with the client knowing a bit more about who they are and how they want to be photographed.
Q: Tell us about your recent transition into cinematography and Filmmaking. We hear you won some recent awards to!
A: GLASS CABIN FILMS is my production company that we started in 2015 with my friend Baker Chase Powell. After I came on-board a web-series as a cinematographer and producer, he and I shared a number of interests in filmmaking. Then it developed into a partnership with him where we have now since produced three short films all in the horror psychological thriller genre films.
With our film VEXED currently on tour and getting selected by many film festivals as we speak, we just won BEST FILM and BEST ACTOR at the Twister Alley Film festival in Oklahoma. The film was also1 of 15 films screened at the UCLAx Entertainment Studies program in West Hollywood where I”m currently taking a course in producing this year. We also won best horror thriller short at the NORTH HOLLYWOOD CINEFEST this year as well.
Marc Cartwright grew up in New York on Long Island’s East End. Partially raised by his grandparents who were avid fans of Hollywood classics, he developed a passion for film. In 2008 Marc opened Marc Cartwright Photography which developed into a successful business of photographing established and up and coming talent in Film and Television. In 2013, Marc was asked to co-produce and be the director of photography on various projects which cemented his love of film making and created a deeper desire to explore the art.
As Creative Director of Glass Cabin Films, Marc oversees the identity and vision of the company.