Marc Muench Q&A:
What motivates your work?
My guiding message in my personal work is the concept of freedom! This is especially true with regards to my wildlife and recreational work. My landscape work is a perpetual quest to find that unique experience where many unique elements come together, location, subject, light, composition my presence and most importantly a touch of unexpected luck.
What skills or qualities are most important to the success of your work?
I attempt to stay in physical shape to get to the locations/positions where I have been diligent in finding and locating the compositions I know are possible. To be prepared for those rather unique situations, I constantly study new technology.
What was your biggest break professionally?
Having a grandfather and father as well known landscape photographers was something I did not want to sacrifice. My job was to find my own way once the doors were open.
How do you break out of a creative block?
There is a very simple solution to a creative block in this line of work. I will usually go hiking or running somewhere in my local mountains or beaches. Even though this does not always solve the conceptual problems I’m dealing with it clears my mind allowing me to refresh my approach or methods.
Who are your most significant influences and why?
My family was a profound influence on me, both my father and mother were creative thinkers with the will to do what they talked about. Other artist such as the Japanese painter Yasu Eguchi and western painter Albert Bierstadt. Other photographers who’s work I was moved by were Chris Nobel, Galen Rowell, Jerry Uelsmann.
Why are you excited to be working with Visionary Wild?
I look forward to working with new people engaged in the pursuit of wilderness photography.
What are your greatest strengths as a teacher and workshop leader?
Many have told me I am able to approach a person at the level their at and decipher their next step, what ever that may be.
What are your favorite things about teaching and/or opening the eyes of passionate photographers to new ways of seeing, new places, etc.?
The magical look on a persons face when they experience a creative epiphany! Years ago when I taught large format printing, I’ll never forget the look on faces when the print emerged from the printer after hours of the head travelling back and forth while we ate lunch. The same can occur while reviewing learned concepts during crits.
As a teacher, what do you consider a successful outcome for your students?
I want them to learn at least one lesson in their personal quest to improve their skills. This can be in either the exploration of the subject, the technique of capturing the picture or the processing of their existing work. The very best lesson to have taught is the ability to see something out of what others consider nothing.
How do you find ways to take your own work in new directions?
I am fortunate that I still have clients who hire me to capture their concepts. This is always a great challenge. For my personal work, it’s all about seeking new locations where I am able to pursue my passion for portraying freedom. Most recently it has included the process of mixing still images with moving.
What do you think is the most important role for photography today?
Of all the important rolls photography plays in our lives, it is a testament to our beliefs and experiences. We all need creative outlets and this is still as true today as it was years ago.