29 minutes with Mark Hunter

& Mo Mfinanga

  • Published December 15, 2014
  • Portrait provided by Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter is the founder of “The Cobrasnake”, the first nightlife photo blog. Known for his eccentric perspective of the night scene, Hunter and his team have built an energising platform that involves a fitness club, contemporary clothing, and fashion campaigns for companies such as Yahoo!, Wildfox Couture, Nike, Lacoste LIVE!, among others.



Mo: Thanks for doing this interview, Mark. I usually promise interviewees cookies, but I end up eating them.

Mark: Cookies! I hope they were oatmeal raisin.

Mo: They were. And they were amazing, too.

Mark: I'm in this whole fitness thing lately, and I'm trying to behave myself by not eating too many sweets, but it's one of my only vices. Even though I've been shooting a lot in the nightlife scene for almost 10 years, I never really partied much in terms of drinking or taking drugs. I've actually never smoked a cigarette or taken any drugs before. Most people think I'm a pretty crazy guy, but I'm actually not that crazy.

Mo: Being heavy on fitness is a nice balance between the two scenes.

Mark: Yeah, part of my newest iteration of what excites me is to inspire people to get healthy and work out. I think I did a really good job of inspiring people to go to parties and be creative. It was really exciting for me throughout the years. I get countless emails from other kids, college students, like, "I'm so inspired by your blog, and I'm going to start my own photo career or fashion line based on the inspiration of your photos." The Cobrasnake was a really great place to be inspired and to inspire myself on a regular basis.

Mo: What led you to kick-start your career?

Mark: My real name is Mark Hunter and I think that's a cool name. A lot of the traditional aspiring photographers would make a portfolio site, and include their name with so-and-so photography dot com. That's a great way to go, but it didn't really fit my personality and I wanted to create a brand that could have unlimited potential over the years. Even from the beginning, I was creating t-shirt graphics that I would produce in a limited edition, and I would screen print them myself. There was countless sticker graphics that were pop culture references, and sometimes random doodles that I would come up with. 

Mark: It [Cobrasnake] gave me a platform to do whatever I wanted. It didn't have to just be photography—it was a whole lifestyle. That's kind of been exciting for the future since I have a vintage store, a brick-and-mortar, an online store, and the fitness club that's in its infancy, which I'll turn into something cool hopefully. On the other side of the plate, I have a really awesome photo career where I'm traveling, shooting editorial and fashion jobs, and ad campaigns. I'm pretty lucky that it all came together. I have an ADD personality so I can't really focus on one thing for too long.

Mo: That's really nice. When you started, what were you really passionate about? What did you grasp at a young age to kick-start those things?

Mark: In my last year of high school, I started an internship for Shepard Fairey, the guy who does the OBEY street art and Obama posters. I was a huge fan of that kind of street art at the time—this was over 10 years ago. It was still more underground; it was before this new generation coming out. As a teenager, something I was really obsessed with was going to concerts. Teenagers and concerts are always going to go hand-in-hand, because a lot of venues are 'All Ages', so it's like a great place for young kids to hang out and sort of feel independent and experience music. 

Mark: I was going to all these concerts in Los Angeles almost a few times a week, because there was so much going on. Working for Shepard, going to art shows, and getting introduced to this sort of underground art world. Both of those were crucial, because it was not only me just getting a photograph of an awesome band, but they would appreciate what I did, because this was at a time where there weren't a thousand kids with iPhone's and 20 kids with nice SLR's; it was maybe me and one other guy.

Mark: With the bands, it was an afterthought having their own photographer half the time. It would work to my advantage capturing these moments, and using the internet to share them. The fans of the bands and the bands themselves would get excited and post the photos on their blogs and message boards. It was a very great moment because they basically promoted my art for me. And I was able to use their audience to grow my name.

Mo: Do you think there’s a possibility for photographers, right now, to bleed into concert photography with that same approach?

Mark: I think it's completely changed. Even a band is their own photographer now with Instagram. They can take cooler pictures of themselves half the time. It's a whole different game. It really changed what I was doing, because the allure isn't there any more. Given if you're backstage with an artist, that's a little bit cooler, but at the same time, half of these artists are putting photos of themselves backstage on their own Instagram. You're shooting that glimpse of something special through the eyes of an artist. You can't really beat that. Obviously a photographer has a vision, but the immediacy of Instagram has really changed the way I think about what I've been doing.

Mo: Although you can look at the negatives with social media, there's still a major positive aspect about it. One of the positive aspects I've found is that it challenges creatives to approach things at a different angle. Stop looking at what Mark Hunter did 10 years. See how you can approach something differently now.

Mark: It's definitely a motivation and a great place to sort of be. I'm always looking for cool, new models to shoot and see what things are going on in terms of fashion and inspiration and also to connect with people. It made the world a lot smaller. Through my online store, we're working with fashion bloggers in Russia and sending them Cobrasnake shirts and they're taking their own photos and sort of building that energy internationally. It's an interesting time to be able to quickly access people, whereas it was way more closed in the world in terms of reaching people that are innovative. Before, you had to meet them in person. Now you can send them a message and nine times out of ten, if they're not too busy, they'll reply to you.

Mo: You're in California and I'm in Michigan. There's barely any way in hell I'd meet you in person and have the possibility of doing this interview in such an instantaneous manner.

Mark: I know! That's really awesome. And to see what you're all about, I frequently get people that want to feature me on their blog, but I was really impressed by your platform and how you're going about this, and how you're also doing photo. It's really a full package you have going on. It's great to be a part of that.

Mo: Thank you, I really appreciate that. I'm starting to ask people this question because this is my last year in high school: During high school, what were your plans for the future? And where are you now within those plans?

Mark: My passion for photography was really ripe in high school. That's why I was spending hours in the darkroom, printing and developing my own film, ditching other classes to do that. I didn't really apply to any colleges. I knew that it wasn't really my path, which was really hard and not fun, because everyone else—my friends and the entire school—was going to college. I wanted to focus on my art and get straight to work.

Mark: I've been working all types of jobs since I was legally allowed to, so I was very passionate about making enough money to support what I wanted to do. At the time, that was a balancing act between eventually getting hired to work for OBEY and shooting photos on the side, while saving money on the side to pay for new equipment and kind of building that. Eventually, work started coming in where I couldn't come into my normal job. 

Mark: In order to pursue a passion, you have to work way more than one-hundred percent, ya know. A lot of the younger kids that I meet now don't always fully understand how hard it is to accomplish a creative path, because I was basically working all day and working all night. [laughing] So, it was really dedicating all your free time to build something and to master what you like. Over the years, I've shot so many photos where the camera would feel natural in my hand, and I wouldn't necessarily have to really look through the viewfinder. If you get hung up on your equipment, it slows you down when you're shooting with models or a client. You have to work out all those kinks.

Mark: To answer your question about then to now, I had really big hopes and dreams when I was young, and a lot them came true. And then a lot of surprises came in. It's been 10 years, but I feel like it's just the beginning of what I want to accomplish. Part of being a creative person is not being fully satisfied and you're always excited to see what's next.

Stab Magazine ; styling by Palma Wright

Stab Magazine; styling by Palma Wright


Mo: Trekking back to when you started, did your family and friends support your decisions? 

Mark: Well, my parents were always supportive and they knew that I was pretty financially sound on my own. So, it wasn't really up to them what I decided to do. Along with that, this was a funny time, because of photo blogs—Myspace, and all that—no one really understood what I was really doing. My friends wondered what was the point of all of the stuff I was shooting. It took a little while for people to warm up to it, and a switch turned; I was getting written up on LA Times, New York Times, and all these magazines wanted to feature my images, and they were fresh and different. It wasn't overnight, but it definitely made everybody understand what I was trying to prove.

If you can create an edge or something that makes you more exciting than the next guy, then that’s what really matters.
— Mark Hunter
Mila De Wit and Nyasha Matonhodze for Wildfox Resort, 2013

Mila De Wit and Nyasha Matonhodze for Wildfox Resort, 2013

Mila De Wit and Nyasha Matonhodze for Wildfox Resort, 2013

Mila De Wit and Nyasha Matonhodze for Wildfox Resort, 2013


Mo: To an extent, it was an "Aha!" moment for you, since they had a tangible representation of what you were doing. It's one thing to show what you're doing, and another to say this is what I've done.

Mark: Yeah, and If you told someone that pretty much my career was going out and shooting parties, they'd go, "You get paid to do that?" Most people would pay to do that. I have this funny line where I used to pay to go to concerts, because when I was a kid, I would make sure to line up to get tickets and I didn't want to pay more than the original ticket value. So, a time came where I was getting paid to go to the concerts. It's funny from paying for concerts to getting paid. 

Mark: People always say that you have to do something with the intent and passion that you would pay to do it. If you're going out hungry to just make money from it, then that's not going to work so well. Your heart is in the wrong place.

Mo: When you're fueled by money, to an extent, it can get you there. With creative satisfaction, you're fueling yourself from the work itself, rather the money. Yes, money is important and you have to be aware of it, but you have to acknowledge the work itself.

Mark: Yeah, especially that at this point I'm a bit uninspired to shoot night-life and I'm trying to find the next thing that's going to inspire me that will fuel me for the next ten years. As I said earlier, its changed so much and it's not not what excites me any more. I'm in an awkward stage currently, because I have a bunch of commercial work and jobs coming in, but I want to find a passion project that I could be excited to wake up in the morning and go shoot.

Mo: It's good to go, "I'm too old for this shit," and lean towards something else.

Mark: Yeah, now that I'll be 30 next year—that's not even old to be going out since most people who go out to parties are 21-35—I don't want to be in that so much. I want to do something new.

Mo: I don't know if you mind sharing, but what are a few things you find yourself leaning towards?

Mark: Over the past few years I've been doing more fashion shoots, either editorial or for brands. I've been really loving that, because it's been interesting to see people not expect from me in my work. They love the energy I bring to a fashion campaign because it still has my brain for being spontaneous, because that's what I was used to in parties and concerts. It gives you an element of care free candidness. It's been really great to have some really strong images that I'm really proud of. I've always wanted to do a road trip across all the states; I've been to most of the states, but never via vehicle. It would be nice to have Mark Hunter's view of America.

Mo: You get on your Vespa and I'll get one and we can do a road-trip.

Mark: It'll be sweet. Do you drive on a Vespa?

Mo: Nah. [both laughing]

Mark: It's good for gas, but it's probably too cold for where you are.

Mo: [laughing] It is. Comparing your recent Wildfox shoots and early work, I see that growth and distinction. I really, really love the direction you're heading with the Wildfox imagery rather than previous work. The night scene put you on the spotlight for a lot of people, and now that you have all this attention you can capitalize on it with really fresh, unique work. 

Mark: Yeah, exactly. My advice to any young creative person, especially photographers, is that if you can create an edge or something that makes you more exciting than the next guy, then that’s what really matters. At times, I was getting criticized for being overrated or getting too much attention for the quality of my imagery, but that's because I'm really passionate about marketing and branding. I spent equal amounts of time promoting myself, because that's more than half the struggle. 

Mark: In all honestly, any photo can be taken by anybody; that's a scary thing to think about. Especially now, people reference other photos and want something like it, and they get an intern to do it. Half the time it's fine, but it's a questionable field. Having the creative vision is unique, though.

Mo: We're all aiming for the same destination, but it's not going to be the same route. That's just with anything, but easier to interpret with visual arts.

Mark: Exactly. I think that my career path has changed a lot in the past few years. In the peak of the night-life, I was getting annoying amounts of emails asking what camera, flash, and lens I was using. All these budding photographers would set up on what camera to get and what settings to put it on, but not thinking creatively. There's a saying about it's not the tool you have, it's how you use it.

Mo: That mentality is prevalent with a lot of people. It's like going. "Wow, this was a great meal, what stove did you bake it with?"

Mark: [laughing] Yeah, and I think, for me at least, I'm a Californian guy with really positive vibes, and I try to put that out there as much as possible, because when I'm so fortunate for what I get to do, there's no reason to be negative or nasty about it.

Mo: Why you do think people are so focused on what gear to use and all of that?

Mark: It must just be that if someone has the same camera as so-and-so, then they’ll be able to get a great shot. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not about imitation, to be flattering, but I think you have to start somewhere. I remember when I was younger when I wanted to be in a band, and I would practice my favorite Blink 182 and Green Day songs just to play them like they did instead of creating my own music, but you have to start somewhere.

Mark: From a professional, there's so much garbage out there in terms of camera gear and weird accessories. I've filtered through all of that through the years, so if somebody asks me about what camera they should buy then I can tell them what camera to buy so they can be happy. I'm a Canon guy myself, but you can weed out the bad stuff and tell people what they should invest in and things of that nature.

Mo: I agree with you on that. I think the main issue in that is just how people approach it. If people have the mentality of thinking they 'need' a certain thing, because Mark did a shoot with one. When you control so many variables, you're not getting that raw, pure vibe from it. Speaking of a raw stance in your images, it seems that your images could be interpreted in a disciplined, controlled manner, yet having enough space for freeing variables.

Mark: Yeah, a lot of the times it scares clients in terms of lighting and things like that, because it's so minimal. People just ask if that's all I'm bringing, because they're used to having all this stuff on a set. I like to be able to move around so working with available light and whatever nature has to offer is great. I don't really shoot in the studio too much because it's boring. You have to find what works for you, really. I think what's so great is that there's no right way to do anything.

Mo: Because technology is so accessible, we have the ability to look deep into how someone does something, and if you lean towards the aspect of replicating how someone did something, then that's not pure. Instead, you should approach it from your own style, yet be aware of the technique used.

Mark: Exactly. If you can share your personality through the images, even better.

Mo: It's probably the most important thing to do as a creative. Showing that emotion through a desired medium is crucial; it's something I notice a lot of people not working towards. How do you work towards that?

Mark: I think my approach is to be less intimidating. I don't really hide behind my equipment. I usually try to look at who I'm shooting when I'm shooting them, and not be all under the camera focused. A lot of the times people don't like having photos being taken, you know, they're very awkward and all, so I'm very good with getting them fun and friendly. A reputation is helpful, so a lot of the people I shoot with now are familiar with my work or how I am.

Mark: It's very interesting shooting a bunch of models with different experience levels, because you have some that want to move every frame. Literally, they're changing their pose with every frame I take, making something different; with others, you might have to direct them more. I've been forcing myself to be more vocal and just fun with it. Sometimes I'll tell a really stupid joke that doesn't make sense, and the whole crew would laugh, and I would grab a great shot after that—a real, natural moment. 

Mark: The other thing that is not a trade secret or anything, but I shoot really fast, because I don't like to overshoot because it makes the situation awkward if they're not doing their job right or, "Does he not like this," or "Do I look weird?" You get to a point where it won't work anymore. I don't rapid fire when I shoot, because that's a lot of extra work when you're editing.

Mo: Who wants gigabytes or terabytes of files to deal with?

Mark: I know! What are we going to do in the future when files are like 100 megabytes? I think Nikon files have reached that point now.

Mo: How do you set-up your hard drive and such?

Mark: Well, I would advise any photographer to get a proper system. So, I have a RAID system that has 16 terabytes. Instead of getting tones of those little hard drives and losing them, I have one place for a lot of things. It's something I was I did earlier on. The first three years of my work was on CD-R's and DVD's, because that was what we used. [laughing] I had to transfer those disks on hard drives and those hard drives on this RAID system. Now it's nice because all my work is on there and I don't shoot a lot of RAW, at least for my party stuff. Archiving is something I'm not good at, though.

Mo: It saves a lot of time longevity-wise. It's a bitch to deal with at first, but you want to do it as soon as possible.

Mark: I wish I was more descriptive when I was shooting and tagging things years ago. [laughing]

Ralpha 01.jpg

Mo: So, 2015 is around the corner. What have you accomplished this year?

Mark: Definitely a lot of the work I've done for Wildfox. The crazy thing with that is that we've shot campaigns that won't come out until Spring/Summer of next year. It's really cool in a weird way to have that stuff in an incubator, knowing that this amazing work is going to come out and build momentum when its needed. A lot of the Wildfox stuff is getting better and better. A lot of people are more impressed with the images, and the directions of the shoots and locations and all these things. We shot the spring campaign in Lake Tahoe, which was beautiful and the girls and clothes looked great. I was lucky enough to continue working for them for their upcoming perfume in the spring. 

Mark: I just got back from a two week shoot for a surfing magazine. That comes out in the spring, too. I'm mostly looking forward to all this working coming out soon. A friend of mine who's an amazing airbrush artist, Malcolm Stuart, airbrushed this 15 passenger van that I have. It's covered in Cobrasnake graphics that we've sort of collaborated on. It's really cool. 

Mark: I want to make more things. Everything is so digital. I want to do more things that are tangible. Also, I'm really excited with platforms like Squarespace. Things on the internet are getting so easy to manage, it lets creative people not spend hours coding for their website. I'm hoping to use something like Squarespace to revive a version of my portfolio site.

Mo: Emmazed is actually powered by Squarespace.

Mark: Oh, nice. Do you like it?

Mo: I love it. I’m able to manage a huge collection of unreleased content, while focusing on present content. And their UX is really killer. 

Mark: Yeah, it lets people work on their art more and provide an easy way to share it. Ya know, it's been funny for me because I haven't even updated my index exhibit on my portfolio for a long, long time. It's embarrassing. I don't even know why I don't do it, but I need to. [laughing] I need to get my act together.

Mark: I've been playing around with it and it's really fun. I think with other stuff, I'm trying to figure out how to grow my fitness empire. It's cool because the people that get involved really like it and get excited about it. I'm trying to target a really tough audience, because I don't want the people who are really good at fitness. I want the people who don't really workout to workout and get excited about it.

Mo: During the interview, I've noticed you leaning towards fitness and trying to reach people by it. Imaging a way to impact someone in a different country might be hard, digital-wise, but reaching them via a tangible experience creates the same amount of value as if they were physically in your fitness empire.

Mark: Yeah, that's why the internet is so helpful to connect with those people. I just did a random promo through the fitness club to send out free t-shirts to ten kids, and they went out really fast. We sent a note saying, "Enjoy this, workout, and share it with others." They get excited and share it with their friends. It's one thing to go on a run by yourself, yet feel a part of something big.

Mo: It's funny how we've grown into the web and now seeing the real, non replaceable value in tangible items. 

Mark: Especially for young photographers who probably rarely get their photos printed. Most images are living on digital screens, but its different to see them in a physical form. I wanted to create something that would live on if computers didn't exist. I'm slowly learning how to get a book published with the images I had from the night scene. Again, a lot of the people out there have seen half of the images, but would be excited to see the culture of the 2000's, because it was an interesting cultural period where pop stars were budding and technology was growing.


Mo: I really love what you're doing with Wildfox Couture. What fueled your inspiration towards this collection for Wildfox?

Mark: The people that are behind the scenes from the company are close friends of mine. We've known each other from previous lives, where they didn't have a clothing and I wasn't even a photographer. We sort of grew our careers at the same time. Kim is the creative director and she comes so strong with a vision of what she wants out of a shoot, and trusts me to sort of translate that. They do an amazing job setting up these dreamy situations and it all comes together in a very awesome way. It's also really cool because those images become semi iconic, because there's a whole generation of girls that love this brand and obsess over when the next lookbook is coming out. You should email me your mailing address, because they've been printing a lot of lookbooks in catalog form; they're insane coffee table pieces and I give them to my grandma and she can't stop loving them. For her, it's exciting to see something printed. And she goes, "How do you know how to pose these girls? Don't you run out of ideas?" It's really cute to hear her perspective.

Mo: When I saw the girl, Jaguar E-Type, and handgun... That's a perfect formula for James Bond.

Mark: There's a great story about that shoot in particular. The E-Type belongs to a close friend of mine who is a car enthusiast. I was telling him we're shooting at the famous Goldstein house and we're doing this Bond themed shoot, and he was like, "I'm bringing the E-Type." He cruised up in the afternoon, and it was a magical moment. We posed the girl with the car, and they became some of the best shots of the day. It was totally random. He came on his own volition, and most of the time you'd have to pay a lot of money to rent cars like that. 

Mo: I really loved what you guys did with that shoot. 

Mark: That's probably one of my favorite shoots I've done for them. 

Mo: What was the process behind that shoot?

Mark: What's funny in LA is that everyone kind of knows each other or connected in some way, so the owner of Wildfox was buddies with the guy who has that amazing house. They do a lot of shoots in that house, but this was super last minute. The house had fit the Bond theme perfectly. They [Wildfox] designed a lot of these swimsuits that were simple. The model, Cintia, had everything—the hair makeup—that put her into that Bond girl vibe. You can't take a bad picture in that house. All the angles are cool and the lighting is great. It was cool to enact Bond-ish moments: hiding the gun, climbing the roof, looking out in the view... 

Mo: What is one of the most memorable shoots or situations that you've experienced in your career?

Mark: I think overall is being able to travel the world and see everything from Japan to Australia to all over Europe and Asia. My prime in doing the nightlife, I was seeing over 75 cities a year easily. Getting to experience the culture of all these different places was really special and memorable. A good friend of mine, Steve Aoki, a DJ, would make the most of each trip we had, even if he had a few extra hours to go and see some monkeys in Bali, or jet skiing in the middle of Thailand. I'm thankful for having my camera as an excuse to travel. 

Mark: From shoots, I was touring with Katy Perry, which was awesome. A lot of the music festivals were fun for me, because I enjoy watching people have fun, which makes me have fun. I'm not the guy that goes and dances, or the guy who jumps off a cliff—I'm too scared—but I enjoy watching other people do that. That's my contribution through my photography, just capturing those moments of those people.

Mo: What are a few things you're going to focus on in 2015 and beyond?

Mark: I really want to—hopefully through Squarespace—create a platform to showcase my new work and there was a really exciting time when I started The Cobrasnake, using Dreamweaver and building the site from scratch. The current site is run by WordPress and it doesn't run well in my opinion. It doesn't inspire me to post my images, so I'm trying to reinvent the site to focus on more stories and series'. I'm hoping I can launch that by January, but things always take longer for me. 

Mark: I have photo friends of mine who feel bad when we're not using the camera everyday. I'll be honest and say that I'll go a week without touching my camera bag, and I feel bad. I have an amazing tool and a gift, so I should do that as much as I can do it. So, I have to reinvigorate that spirit that I had 10 years ago. I do things for free because I love it. I just want to be creating and more creative than I've ever been. I'm hungry for it and I feel really good about doing that now, whereas I was more confused before. It's embarrassingly hard how hard it is for me to focus.

Mark: The other thing really hard for me is trying a lot of different things. Even though I have this vintage store that I'm not in everyday, I still have employees there. I'm always thinking of 10 other things I can be doing. I don't put one hundred percent of my efforts into my photography, which is a shame because I've been lucky enough to have a career as a photographer, and I should be spending more time dedicated towards manifesting my success. 

Mark: Another thing to note is how it's important in the "Instagram age" to promote what you're doing. It's just so funny with Instagram, because models and the stylist are posting images from shoots that I'm doing that are giving away the whole concept of the shoot. It changes the whole landscape of what it means to shoot something that's going to come out in a magazine in three months.

Mo: I get what you're saying. I've witnessed it a countless amount of times with upcoming lookbooks and images. Someone would assume it's harmless, but the results are harmful. 

Mark: Yeah, it's defeating—and thankfully not so much on my shoots, because I don't have this setup—but when I'm on Instagram and seeing a screenshot from a station of what outfits, makeup, and setup looks like. It spoils this beautiful editorial that's going to be printed.

Mo: We live in a very picture friendly environment.

Mark: I'm very excited to see what's going to happen next. Anywhere you go in LA now, everybody is taking pictures of this and that, which is very overwhelming. It will be interesting to see if it quiets down or changes in any way.

Mo: It's not going to quiet down, Mark!

Mark: [both laughing] I know! But I'm trying to think of another example where something was out of control and it quoted down. It seems like there's not an end to this.

Mo: Accessibility comes hand-in-hand with technology, so people will become very self aware of themselves at a very young age. It’s amazing to see an ordinary person critically focusing on lighting and composition with whatever they shoot, including a selfie.

Mark: Yeah, I have a lot of young people come into my store  and their pictures are really good, which could be fashion campaign images, because all they do is spend all day getting that right. It might build a whole new army of female photographers. They're going through trial and error with lighting and composition.

Mo: It's good when it's used in a contextual manner. There's been a lot of times where I don't take a picture of that great moment or skyline, because I want to really indulge myself in that moment right then and there. There's more pro's than con's with the accessibility of technology, though.

Mark: And also, that's part of why the party landscape has changed. Now all these girls are going to the party to take photos for Instagram. They don't even get to enjoy themselves or let loose and dance. 

Mo: Exactly. So, what's the purpose of your work?

Mark: Oh, man. I saw that in the e-mail and that definitely got me thinking. Not to get all funny about it, I felt that originally my intent was to create something that would inspire other people to be creative and do something different. Back to not going to school, I went against the norm in my career and with my focus, it was a hard thing at the time—you had to have a really strong will. I think that if I could do anything, I want people to question the status quo. If it doesn't seem right for you then don't do it.

Mark: I don't even think I've figured out the purpose of my work, honestly. After all those years of partying, documenting that is going to be really cool in the future, because there is so much that has already come from the current culture, and you look back from the photos in the 80's and 60's, and this will be a document of a generation. I'm pretty excited that I did that and I can now focus other things and discover what my purpose is. I definitely want to inspire other people and being a life-coach.


  • Where can we follow you?

  • Cobrasnake site and Instagram.
  • Most used apps?

  • I love music apps like Milk music. Also, Spotify makes it easy to listen to music and discover new artists. Shopify is amazing for my online store and POS system. The Starbucks app is an easy way to pay for overpriced coffee drinks. HBO Go is not TV, it's HBO. Hotel Tonight is great for last minute hotels.
  • Favorite foods?

  • I'm trying to eat healthy—been vegetarian for 10 + years. I got a VITAMIX, which is amazing for smoothies.

  • Favorite music?

  • Morrissey, Arcade Fire, Taylor swift, One Direction, Magnetic Fields, HAIM, Cure, Sylvester, and Phil Collins.

  • Places you like to visit?

  • Love the beach, nature, mountains, music festivals, night clubs, Chipotle's, and juice bars.

  • What's your setup like?

  • I don't have tons of equipment and I like that. I show up with one small backpack of camera gear and I'm set. It lets me move around quick and not have to carry tons of heavy stuff.

  • Any books you love?

  • All the Malcom Gladwell books. I wish I read more, but sadly I don't.

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