“photography was not in the picture”

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Ahhh… dreamy, sun-drenched negative space. Today I’m chatting with LA based photographer Max Wanger… not Wagner. I’ve written about Max, and featured a few of his pieces in a show at The Fig House, but we’ve only met once very quickly. I didn’t know much about his story, but I do now. The first thing that shocked me – spoiler alert – he’s completely self-taught! Anyway, I can’t give it all away… you can listen right up there under those little legs, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the work we talked about in the order that we talked about it. First up, design bloggers. That’s who Max reached out to when he finally decided he wanted to follow his bliss and become a photographer:

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And it worked! Not only did they write about him, but he also photographed them… and became good friends along the way. If you follow design blogs you might recognize (above) Bri Emery from Design Love Fest  ; the hands of Joy Cho (and her husband) of Oh Joy  ; and Joanna Goddard (and her husband) of Cup of Jo. So, how did a self-taught photographer who was working at Fox Sports get the attention of a bunch of design blogs? He staged a fake wedding, with a fake ring, starring his sister as the bride, photographed it, and sent them these images:

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So smart! This was in 2007 or so… and he hasn’t looked back. In fact, he’s still doing weddings! Here are a few of his more recent shots:

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Gorgeous. He splits his time between weddings and commercial work. He has all sorts of clients (Vans, Nordstrom, Outrigger Resorts, and more), but my favorite stuff is the work he does for LA based ban.do:

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See? Sun-drenched and so happy! We talked a bit about the brilliant woman behind ban.do, Jen Gotch. She does some really cool personal Polaroid work, if you want to check out what Max and I were both drooling over. This of course led us to talking about Max’s Polaroids. I asked if he had a favorite… iPhone or Polaroid. See if you can decide. First up, a few shots from his iPhone:

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Love! … and a few of his Polaroids:

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Oh, more love! He voted for iPhone at the moment, but I think it’s a tie. I might even be leaning toward his Polaroids! It’s cool to see some grit on his normally perfect images. Speaking of which, I dare you to look at these perfect beauties and not immediately book a trip to Hawaii:

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Ahhhhhhh. Yes. That. And finally, the little peanut that was being put to bed while we were talking, Max’s two year old son:

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Oh my goodness. Ridiculously cute. So, I learned a lot about Max, the most shocking information being that he’s never had a gallery show. That is crazy. Ok, galleries… someone scoop him up! And with that, I’ll say thank you to Max for skipping bedtime reading to talk to me, and thanks so much to you for listening (and looking)… there will be another episode waiting for you next Saturday!

ps. here’s a link to Max’s print shop.






comments (5)

  1. tijana /// 09.05.2015 /// 3:41pm

    yes. plz shoot pharrell!

  2. the jealous curator /// 09.05.2015 /// 4:09pm

    right?! how amazing would that be? i spotted mos def in his portfolio, so pharrell can’t be far behind!

  3. Elissa S Nesheim /// 09.09.2015 /// 11:38am

    oh yes, i love all of the lovely open space! I am super surprised at his not having any gallery shows! What a great interview… <3

  4. Wiktoria /// 09.11.2015 /// 1:44am

    I’ve just discovered your blog yesterday, it’s fabulous! This post is my favourite! I can’t stop looking at these photos. I love the colours and just as you mentioned in the podcast the use of negative space is brilliant and beautiful. I’m also so grateful I’ve listened to the interview, the story resonates with me so much and it gave me a huge doze of power and inspiration <3 greetings from Barcelona… 🙂

  5. Pattern Pulp - Friday Quick Links! /// 09.11.2015 /// 2:01pm

    […] Correct 4. Enamel pins stage a comeback via Miss Moss 5. Interview with photographer Max Wanger via The Jealous Curator 6. Interview with artist and industrial designer Derek Bruno via Sight Unseen 7. Love these glass […]







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