Celebrity, fashion and commercial advertising photographer Mark DeLong speaks softly and carries a big camera, or rather two cameras, one for stills and one for the moving image. Whichever tool he picks up, the results are the same, meticulously crafted, striking images.
DeLong is at the cutting edge of the transmedia world, providing multiple visual services. Not every still shooter can "see" in motion. DeLong can. At the core, he’s an extremely solid photographer. This creates the foundation for powerful motion pictures. He uses gear as diverse as ultra-high-resolution Phase One still camera systems to RED EPIC and ARRI ALEXA motion outfits.
With bases in Nashville, Miami, Los Angeles and New York, DeLong is involved in every aspect of a shoot and makes each photograph personal by working on it from preproduction through to the creative retouching and compositing of the final still image or edit of the video project.
DPP: You’re known for being very involved in a production from concept to conclusion. Why this approach?
Mark DeLong: If you put in a little bit more and make a project more personal, it becomes more a part of you. I think the results reflect this level of involvement. This weekend in our Nashville studio, I welded a frame for a mirror that we constructed to be used for a teleportation idea, science-fiction/fashion motion-stills project. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to working. It’s a delicate balance. But if I’m happy with the results, it seems that everybody else is happy as well.
DPP: How do you base yourself in four places at the same time?
DeLong: We’re in the air a lot. We own a studio in Nashville, then rent ones in the other markets when needed. Nashville is a nice place to regroup and work on the pre- and postproduction of projects. My wife, Melissa, is involved in the sales and production. She’s a go-getter. We both really put heart and soul into what we do. We really care about every client and everything that we do. I think that can come across in the end product.
DPP: How did you learn your craft?