an interview with MAX FERGUSON

an interview with MAX FERGUSON

Max is wicked! He's young and witty, ironic and quick thinking. He's curious and has a fine taste for great photography. By reading the interview and looking at the spreads published here below you can hopefully get sense for what it takes to produce, commission and promote excellent projects with engaging content and arresting aesthetics.

Can you tell me briefly how and when did you start working as a photo editor?

I thought I was a photo editor when I set up Splash & Grab after leaving Uni in 2012, but when I started at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine I realised I had no idea what a photo editor really did. Since 2015 I have been working for various magazines as a real photo editor. So officially I’m still new to the industry.

 

As well as curating the photography for Port magazine you also run your own editorial project Splash and Grab. How do you articulate your vision across two different platforms?

It’s always seemed natural to me to work across various publications – maybe because I’ve never had a fulltime job. Port allows me a lot of freedom to commission the photography I want to, which seems quite rare in this industry. I like to commission photographers based on their personal projects and I often first work with them at Splash & Grab and then go on to commission them at Port of the FT. The areas between art and editorial photography are very exciting at the moment.

 photo credit: ©  Adama Jalloh

photo credit: © Adama Jalloh

 

Talking of vision, you must have developed a real sense for what is relevant in today’s contemporary photography. What does excite you in photography? Can you illuminate us?

Everything has been done already in photography and I try to look at old references as well as new stuff. Following the zeitgeist is pointless if you don’t understand why people are doing things. That said I get excited by photography most days on Instagram, I spend a lot of time on it looking for new photographers and when I find something different I’ll try and think of ways I can work with them. Instagram is only good for so much and I always try and meet photographers in real life as well. As I alluded to in the previous answer there are particular spaces where interesting things are happening in photography. Artists are shooting the best editorial photography at the moment and good magazines are allowing the photographers freedom to be creative.

 photo credit: ©  Berber Theunissen

photo credit: © Berber Theunissen

 photo credit: ©  Gabor Arion Kudasz

photo credit: © Gabor Arion Kudasz

Now, everyone always asks for a piece of advice to give to young photographers, but we do things differently here, so...Do you rather have any advice for mid-career photographers dealing with the ever changing world of photography?

Seeing as I still see myself as a failing photographer, these questions are always hard to answer. I think my advice would be to keep shooting, or start shooting, personal work. It will nearly always be more interesting to people than your commissioned work.

 photo credit: ©  Lewis Khan

photo credit: © Lewis Khan

 photo credit: ©  Pari Dukovic

photo credit: © Pari Dukovic

 photo credit: © Suzie Howell

photo credit: © Suzie Howell

 
 
 

Max Ferguson

Founding Editor of Splash & Grab Magazine, the Director of Photography of Port Magazine and Port Creative and a freelance Photo Editor at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine