It’s been almost two months – a long time (too long in fact) – since we last had a non-MakeItGood feature (not that that’s a bad thing of course)! Tonight sees us break that long spell and return with a new feature.
On a side note, if you think you or someone you know would be interested in a FKOF feature feel free to get in touch – contact details are at the bottom of this interview.
Our latest feature is with one of the most exciting photographers we’ve seen coming out of the UK – this might be our opinion but hopefully these photos and these words will convince you.
We’ve been following Max Stone aka Not Today UK for a while now. Max has some serious, serious skill behind the lens and is one of the few photographers we’ve come across who prefers to shoot with print rather than digital. We sat down with Max earlier this week. Read the results below…
Who or what is Not Today? It’s a change in priorities that anyone can adopt.
Education, work, and other commitments inevitably cause us to neglect our passions, forcing them to take a back seat… and I hate that. I promote procrastination, but for a positive purpose.
I believe that, what we can learn through our natural curiosity, what ideas we can generate with an unconditioned mind, and what we can produce through ambition outside of education and the workplace, is far more beneficial to our development than any curriculum or occupation.
I believe personal development should come before anything else. How will we evolve if we continue to repeat our cycle with the same set of priorities, that have no consideration for what drives us individually.
How long have you been taking photos? Are you self taught or have you studied photography? What’s been the best and worst experiences you’ve had taking photos? About seven years on and off. It began when I was 14, pushing compacts to the limits and teaching myself how to use Photoshop. I never set out to shoot anything in particular, I just shot whatever I saw potential in. After experimenting with digital cameras, I began exploring film. I was instantly attracted to the raw and imperfect qualities… I think film will always be my preference.
When I came to uni the interest developed. I study Graphic Design, but I don’t find shooting for briefs satisfying enough. Not Today allows me to express myself, and give others a view of life through my eyes.
I taught myself, you can teach yourself anything if you put the days in.
The best experience is embracing what’s happening while you’re shooting. For example being there, half asleep as the sun rises, watching the sky cycle through different hues, sniffing that morning-fresh air, listening to the early sounds of city noise and watching everything below you slowly come alive again, is a reward in itself.
The worst experience is not being able to travel. Because of money I’m restricted as to where and how often I can travel. It’s frustrating when you feel like you’ve almost exhausted an area but you can’t afford to go anywhere else.
How do you describe your style? What makes your photos stand out? I think the best word would be instinctive. I never plan exactly what I will shoot, I always have a concept in mind, but I leave it wide open. It’s free.
I’m just doing me, I’m not trying to stand out but if that means people recognise my work then that’s sick.
Who or what influences you in your work? Wherever I am and whoever I’m with at the time. I try to capture moments that present an insight into what the mood was like that day, how people were feeling, and what we were experiencing… And hopefully making you feel like you’re there.
What’s your take on the UK streetwear scene at the moment? Who’s releasing the best lookbooks? There’s more choice now than ever, but I feel like I’m seeing a lot of the same. I buy into a brand because of what they’re about, how original it is, and how well I can relate to it. I guess I wanna see more about why people are doing what they’re doing before I commit. Overall though it seems business is booming, good luck to everyone doing their thing and staying true to why they started.
Where do you see you and your work being in 5 years time? The dream is for the Not Today family to emigrate to California and evolve into a film and photography studio.
If you are interested in purchasing a print, please send me an e-mail specifying which shot, what size, and any additional details, and I will get back to you with a quote.
Top 5 favourite brands? That’s too hard to answer, but here’s 5 I’d keep an eye on:
Shoutouts Safe to Big Hoolea for coming on shoots with me, Danny for the ongoing support (check his edits here), my 34 crew for letting me invade and expose their lives, Mary Jane for keeping me sane, Butterz for keeping me entertained and my grandparents for sharing their wisdom – if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am now. Real OG’s. Peace X
Max’s photos are next level awesomeness – and he’s a total dude to boot. There’s not much else we can say! If you agree (which we hope you do), let him know on his personal Twitter account (@max_stone) and be sure to follow Not Today on Tumblr and on Twitter (@not_today_uk).
If you have any thoughts on what Max has had to say, or want to recommend us a new artist or brand you’ve discovered or just want a chat about something you’ve seen on FatKidOnFire, fire us a comment below or get in touch via email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.