PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT: CODE RED BY MARK TIU
“Code Red”, is a series of photos that bleeds of strength, passion and power shot by Mark Tiu and featured in Elements Magazine.
When asked about the purpose of the shoot coming together, Tiu said, “Initially, I set my intention to shoot this concept for myself. I needed to create something for my soul and this shoot definitely hit that spot. Eventually, with how everything came together, I decided to submit the set to magazines to see if I could get it published. Luckily enough, Elements Magazine out of New York decided to pick the series up to publish.”
The inspiration behind the idea was crafted from Tiu’s curiosity with bold colours, a concept he’s dipped his toes in before when wanting to add more colour to his book in the beginning of 2018.
“Red was the colour that struck me the most and I wanted to put together a monochromatic series with bold colours.”
It wasn’t until the end of 2018 that the idea came to fruition when Tiu’s best friend visited him from her latest European modelling contract.
“It became kind of a spur of the moment shoot that we both put together on the few days that she was in Toronto,” he says, “The styling came together that afternoon, our favourite make up artist was brought on board, and we shot it that same evening.”
Tiu’s takes inspirations from photographers such as Lindsay Adler, Mario Testino, Michael Woloszynowicz and Joey L. “This list continues to keep growing and I could go all day trying to enumerate these photographers that constantly inspire me.” Tiu adds more on Adler and Woloszynowicz, saying, “When I started to really dive in and learn photography and the process, these two were the people who I heavily invested in for online education. It’s not so much a favourite shoot that inspires my work, it’s the body of work of my favourite photographers that keeps me on my toes.”
Tiu leaves us with some great advice for photographers, mentioning the highs and lows that most of us know all too well when it comes to creative pursuits, learning how to enjoy the process and the importance of listening to our own voice:
- Embrace the process. Don’t take any shortcuts. Nothing worth creating comes easy.
- Photography will take you on a roller coaster journey of endless highs and lows. You will get inspired to shoot some days and feel uninspired to shoot on other days.
- If we’re really being REAL with it, you will get frustrated with the process too. But the most important thing I’m learning as I go is to just embrace it and never rush it. You have to shoot for your soul just as much as you shoot for all other life-supporting reasons.
- Eventually, you’ll find your voice. Stick by it. Don’t try to chase after trends. Try to create a body of work that has the potential to outlive you.