Marc Cartwright is a BACKSTAGE headshots expert who grew up in New York on Long Island’s East End.
Before we knew “National Headshot” day existed, we spoke with Los Angeles headshot photographer Marc Cartwright. In this interview, he shares his love for film which was influenced by his grandparents and what exactly does it take to nab a great photo. Read more here.
Who is Marc Cartwright?
I am a photographer and director who shoots actors and direct films.
Did you know early on that you wanted to become a photographer or director?
I have always been fascinated with the film industry. I started out as an actor myself doing commercials and small television stuff, but I was also fascinated with what went on behind the camera. When I went to college I attended NYU and took a photography course to fill an art requirement. I fell in love with it because it was like telling a split second film and from there it progressed into a career. The next logical step for me was taking the jump into film and directing. I always knew I wanted to be involved doing photography and directing and it’s been evolving ever since.
Marc Cartwright shoots actors in Los Angeles as well as direct films which include horror.
You grew up in New York on Long Island’s East End where you were partially raised by your grandparents, who were avid fans of Hollywood classics. Which do you prefer, to be in the forefront or in the background when it comes to your talent?
I definitely like being behind the camera. Ever so often someone will ask me to do something in front of the camera. I really do like creating a story and putting together the elements like a puzzle. Whether it’s a photo shoot or film. I find it fascinating and powerful!
You are the creator of Marc Cartwright Headshots and Glass Cabin Films. What is great about the two?
What’s great about photography is that it gives me the time and the income to really be able to focus on the film and directing side of things. It affords me not to have a 9-5—which doing what I do, I would have to work for myself. With film, I am able to create fascinating short stories and features.
What has been a highlight and a challenge working for yourself as an entrepreneur?
A highlight is you really do get to create your life. You are the one that fits what your day is going to look like. You really do feel a sense of empowerment. No one else is giving you that. With that joy comes a lot of responsibility. I would much rather have that responsibility than giving my life up to someone else’s dream. The challenge—would be you are generating one-hundred percent of that motivation. Another would be meeting new people that can be more difficult than other clients. It’s all a part of the joy of it.
In a world with many photographers what sets you apart from the others?
One thing that is important to me is being personable with my clients—making sure people don’t feel like they are in a photo factory. Everyone who I photograph is different. What works for one person may not work for another person. I only like to shoot one or two people a day to make sure I am focusing. I definitely listen to my clients to hear what their needs are. When you are taking someone’s headshot or a promotion for a celebrity, you are dealing with people’s dreams, hopes and desires. They are coming to you because they want to move on to the next level as artists and you have to respect that. It’s a collaboration. My clients are asking me for my help. I focus a lot on those things and that’s what sets me apart
Marc Cartwright Headshots and Glass Cabin Films were created by the photographer and director.
How do you help new clients feel comfortable with starting out their dreams?
Preparation is always key. I give my clients a little bit of homework to look into why they are wanting to do what they are doing. Things like where do they see themselves and where they should end up? Actors who do not come prepared or have no idea what they want—it is going to be harder for me to capture their vision and they will end up nervous. Communication is key as well and it helps me to tell my clients what they need to come prepared.
Upcoming projects related to your photography or directing?
My photography is always expanding and I am always working. As for film, me and my team have three shorts and one feature we are currently writing. We are about to go into pre-production for one of the films which is a dramatic horror short.
Fun question. Last place you traveled?
Interview by Twins of Media
“Vexed” is one of the films (dramatic horror) made by Marc Cartwright’s company, Glass Cabin Films.