Brent Malone is a young pup working and attending college in the Boston area. Keep an eye on this kid. He shoots a mean photograph and is coming up quick. We’ll tell you a little bit about him so when he’s big you can impress all your friends and tell them you knew about him “back in the day.”
interviewed by Dylan Ewen
Q: For all the photo geeks out there, tell us what gear you shoot with.
A: Lately I’ve been shooting a lot with my Pentax 90 WR and my Olympus Infinity Twin. They’re a lot of fun, and really accessible. But all together, I shoot with eleven different cameras. Mostly 35mm’s.
Q: Tell us about the Lil B portraits. Did you meet him? Are you based? What’s the story behind that.
A: Haha! That night ruled. He played a show last weekend at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA, and I waited a good while outside behind the venue after it ended to ask him if I could take a few portraits. Luckily, I got what I wanted. He’s an hilarious fellow with a good heart and mad brains. Am I based? Well, what do you think?
Q: What started you off in photography?
A: Well, there’s a long story and short story, however, I haven’t ever told the longer version so here it is. When I was around nine years old or something my father gave me this silver Olympus automatic 35mm that was thrown out at some rental storage place that closed down in Marietta, Georgia. After that day, the idea of taking pictures became apparent to me. It’s funny though, because due to the lack of knowledge my dad and I had, for years I thought it was just a digital camera that never worked. As I got older I became more interested in making visuals. I picked up drawing, like everybody else did. I was alright at it, and I kept getting better. Finally, when making visuals turned into actually making pieces of art, I realized that making something as complicated as a drawing wasn’t something I enjoyed all that much, so I started exploring other mediums. I took my first photo class in the 9th grade, and that’s when it hit me that I actually sucked at drawing things and that I had just found something else that I was exponentially better at, not to mention something that I enjoyed more. I began looking at other photographers, learning about the medium on my own, and felt instantly inspired to make photographs of my own.
Q: How do you find models to shoot?
A: Typically I Just ask people I know and people I want to know.
Q: Who are some photographers you look up to?
A: Yay, my favorite question. My style of shooting has evolved dramatically due to my influences, and still hasn’t stopped. Lately I’ve been really into Darren Ankenman. His work is ice cold, and beyond any other skill level that I could imagine. However, some classic favorites of mine would have to be Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Francesca Woodman and Larry Clark.
Q: You mentioned that you shot for a Swedish underwear line. Tell us about that. What’s it like getting paid to shoot sexy ladies in their underwear all day?
A: The brand is called Frank Dandy. They’re one of Scandinavia’s leading underwear, swimwear, and accessory manufacturers, and as of now, they’re trying to branch out into the states. I had an awesome experience. The interactions were completely different from what I was use to, and was the leading influence of me starting to shoot fashion inspired photos. I began doing exactly what I wanted, getting paid for what I love to do. It’s a great feeling, especially when you’re around beautiful women everyday.
Q: Black and white or color?
A: I enjoy both. I shot only black and white for several years and just over the past two or so I’ve been working solely in color. It’s a giant transition, gaining options when it comes to composing a picture.
Q: Digital or film?
Q: What inspired the prune photos?
A: If you’re referring to the pictures of the blonde girl covered in black stuff, those are actually blueberries. But anyhow, those photographs have to do with an idea I had about unobtainable desire, violence, and a sense of revenge. As of now, it’s an on-going idea that I’m brainstorming along with some of the other new works I’m making.
Q: What are some common themes than run through your photos?
A: Honesty, shamelessness, and contemplation.
Q: What do you do for lighting? Is it all natural or do you have a specific setup?
A: I work a lot with both natural and artificial lighting. When I choose to use specific lights in a photograph, I tend to haul my industrial flood lights along with me. I haven’t ever used dangerous, expensive softbox lights. These here are cheap, easy to use, and work beautifully.
Q: And finally, how’s Boston been treating you thus far? What do you do for fun or in your free time?
A: Beautifully! I love this city more than any other place I’ve been to in my twenty years of life. I really couldn’t ask for more of a perfect set up as far as college goes. I feel like I’m in the right place for what I’m doing. And aside from shooting, I bike and go to a lot of shows. I’m constantly peddling around the city and keeping up with live music. Lately, everything has been more than awesome and I’m really looking forward to the future.