Brooke Mason is an Australian born Fashion, Entertainment, and Fine Art Photographer currently residing and working in Los Angeles, by way of New York City. Her avant-garde, often visually seductive work has graced gallery walls, as well as the covers and pages of fashion and lifestyle magazines around the globe. Her style is not the safe, stale, politically correct imagery we see in the commercial media today, far from it.
A former international fashion model herself, Mason challenges our popular precepts of sexuality, including our mind-numbed gender roles of pre-millenial front porch family values. Mason expands her viewer’s consciousness to introduce culture-smacked spins on gender, or even turning our idea of the safe, sweet swimsuit covers into libidinous works of photographic genius. (This is merely an editorial palette-wetter for a feature we will present on Brooke Mason’s Fine Art photography in an upcoming issue, so stay with us…)
Brooke Mason doesn’t want to merely capitalize on today’s trends, rather she strives to stay just a few paces ahead of them. Unlike mere trendsetters, Brooke is adept at finding ways to introduce humor while challenging outmoded ideas of gender in society. A feminist pioneer she is not, nor would we suggest she attempt to be.
An Excerpt from Mason’s website bio:
“In her photography, she is dedicated to challenging gender stereotypes of perceived female roles in society. With societal lines between the feminine and the masculine blurring continually. Mason captures both aspects in a single shot. She has a keen eye for representing the physically sensual and sexually provocative in her art and with this powerful new vocabulary. Mason is creating a visual dialogue for us to explore.”
We sat down with Brooke Mason and asked her about her inspirations, her process, and her aspirations. So without further adieu, in her own words, ladies and gentlemen…
Meet Brooke Mason…
Articentric: Thank you for taking the time to meet us Brooke. If you would, talk a little bit about how you came to realize your talent, and how you decided to make it your profession.
Brooke Mason: As an artist it’s a tricky thing to decide to make that will be your primary profession. Coming from a family of professionals it was even more difficult, but at some point you have to make a choice, take a risk and just go for it. I started back in 1993 as a photographer, but didn’t make it my actual profession until around fifteen years ago.
Articentric: As a photographer, what subject matter do you enjoy the most? Commercial? Celebrity? Other?
Mason: My favorite thing is to create a story with the final product, I usually incorporate humor in my work and hope others see it. As long as I’m laughing at the humor I’ve created that’s what’s important to me. I like challenges, so pushing my limits, boundaries and expectations is what gets me excited!
Articentric: Tell us a bit about your process? How do you visualize a shoot? Is it all about meeting the client’s requests, or are you given creative freedom with the models? Do you have a dream shoot that you’d love to create that you haven’t been able to yet?
Mason: I am really lucky that my clients feel safe with me and give me a lot of creative freedom. I enjoy working with a theme and often that’s what a client comes to me with. Sometimes if I haven’t worked on a project that I’ve envisioned I will commission that shoot myself. Fortunately I have my fine art too and that gives me an outlet to express my social views creatively.
Articentric: You have quite the roster of clients. What was your first “big break”?
Mason: My first break was working in the plus model arena, I shot for Plus Magazine and was a mentor for starting out models in Venus Diva Magazine, shooting many of their covers and spreads. I was able to travel quite a bit and shoot across the country.
Articentric: Can you think of a favorite shoot you’ve done? What made it stand out from the others?
Articentric: You’re from Australia, but you’ve been a professional photographer in New York City, and now in Los Angeles….talk a bit about your creative influences you’ve taken away from each area? Do you notice a tremendous difference between the east and west coast? What is your favorite characteristic of each market?
New York, NY
NYC is a very fast paced life and it has that mentality of staying ahead of itself. The European influences within the city are wonderful, inspiring and exhilarating, but at the same time it’s nice to have quiet to let creative energy flow.
Los Angeles, CA
LA in that sense is much more stable and now my home. I lived in NYC before LA and I will always have a connection to that city. I am fortunate to still travel there and work from time to time.
Articentric: Is there one legendary creative talent that you’d love to spend a day with and learn from? If so, who and why?
Mason: I adore strong creative women. Lina Wertmüller is unbelievable. She is truly an inspiration with a strong point of view. She worked with the movie director Fellini and then went on to direct her own films. The original Swept Away is her work and one of my favorite films of all time is Seven Beauties. I relate to her, she incorporates humor in her work, even when she covers the most solemn topics she cleverly shows the foolishness of situation. I would love to meet her in Italy where she lives.
Mason: Social Media is a great way to stay connected.
My Instagram: @brookemasonphoto
My Facebook page: /brookemasonphoto
My Twitter: @photo_mason
www.brookemasonphotography.com – showcases my commercial work
www.brookemason.com – my fine art and upcoming exhibits