Bon Vivant Interview Series with Morgan Maassen

A little while between drinks but we resume the Interview Series with Morgan Maasen.  Hailing from Santa Barbara, California the 25 year old Maassen is turning heads and achieving his dreams one day at a time. A photographer and filmmaker using old and new / film and digital to translate what is in his minds eye to the screen and page. What is in his mind's eye most often? Water. The Ocean regularly playing the main character in the vibrant and compelling stories he weaves. 

For a young man he has achieved a lot, winner of numerous awards and shooting credits that include advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. Not one to name drop but to give some idea, Apple, Audi, Nike, Mercedes Benz, Corona, Quiksilver, Patagonia, Facebook have all been clients. Also working on Editorial for some of the biggest names in media, Harper's Bazaar, Wired, National Geographic, New York Times, Condé Naste Traveler, Esquire, Marie Claire, ESPN, you get the picture.

We try to get to know what has brought him to this point and what keeps him going. If you want to see more of his work check the links: Facebook Instagram

Do you have a personal motto that guides you?
challenge yourself more every day.

If you could start a new area of study with any specialist in the world what would it be and who would it be.
I've always been fascinated by architecture, and have studied it casually in private for years. I would love to revisit my interest for it in school and then in real-world application.

Dogs or Cats? Why?
Dogs, always. I grew up with dogs, and will forever love them more than anything else. my current dog, Moose, is the absolute love of my life. we go swimming, hiking, beach walking...

Is location important to your personal and professional happiness? ie Could you do what you do how you do it somewhere else? Would you want to?
I'm fortunate that i can photograph and make films anywhere I go... I try to search for a story, a feeling, or a moment of curiosity anywhere i find myself, whoever it may be with.

Carry on or checked luggage?
-for places with water, that always entails surfboards and water-housings... but when I'm exploring cities and jungles, its usually just a backpack and a camera on my hip.

What are 2-3 things you need to be happy?
my dog, the outdoors, and an idea.

Who inspires you and how?
I'm really fascinated by art, and entrench myself in it daily. art history, art theory, and most all mediums surrounding painting in general. I look to a lot of neo-contemporary painters and artists for inspiration, like Ashley Bickerton, Zio Ziegler, Wassily Kandinsky...

How do you go about creating your ideal life? Who is working behind the scenes?
There is no ideal life... just the constant pursuit of artistic gratification, with brief interludes of well-earned bliss at the beach with my dog. I do look forward to taking time off traveling and focusing on building a family and exploring other avenues like painting, architecture, and music.

What are some of the thorny issues you find yourself dealing with whether ethical, emotional, practical?
Time management is huge for me. I'm constantly traveling, constantly emailing, constantly struggling to check everything off my to-do list. I also grapple with trying to create work that is more than just a pretty visual. I often look to photojournalists and documentary filmmakers and realize they are spreading information.

What are the books that you have most gifted other people or most recommended to other people?
"the caine mutiny" by Herman Wouk, "A Fraction of the Whole" by Steven Toltz, and "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Minstry.

What advice would you give to people out there thinking of following your footsteps, starting their own business/pursuit of dreams?
Be prepared to work incredibly hard. a lot of people think my parents bought me my cameras, paid for my travel, or just think I somehow can whimsically afford to travel around the world having a blast. Its quite the opposite - a long series of jobs led to me affording my cameras and travel, a lot of time and effort went into building my websites and blogs, and at least 75% of my travel is shooting for clients, i.e. 6am call times, shooting 7am - 6pm and editing photos until midnight...

What gets you excited about waking up in the morning?
The two things i love the most are visiting places I've never been before, and being able to turn off my phone and spend the day at the beach with my friends and family.

What's happening for Morgan Maassen on this day in 2021?
I don't even know whats happening next Monday!