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Max Montgomery If it makes them feel anything then it’s done its job

We asked Rankin to choose five up-and-coming photographers whose work excites and inspires him, whose talents he wants to share with the world and whose names we’ll all soon know. See the full selection here.

Max Montgomery is a British photographer now living and working in the US. The son of David Montgomery, Max was born into the industry but has forged his own path thanks to his playful and stylish sensibilities, which are a big hit with big brands and top magazines alike.

Rankin says, “Another amazing talent who worked as my first assistant, Max is now based in New York and is smashing it. He knows how to push people’s buttons to get wild portraits and he approaches photography with a smile on his face. He takes his subjects on an adventure.”

What’s the job or project you’ve done that you think changed who you are as a photographer?
Shooting the Kings of Leon for the cover of Q magazine felt like a real achievement. It’s exactly the kind of photography I set out to be involved in, so when all the pieces came together, it gave me a great sense of confirmation in purpose.

How do you ensure you remain consistent with your style of photography when taking on commissions?
I think it’s important as a photographer to be able to adapt in style. The thing that I hope keeps my images somewhat cohesive is that I try to implement a sense of humor, a youthfulness. Also from a technical standpoint, colors are very important to me.

What’s the relationship between your personal and commercial work?
I’m always shooting – I always have a point-and-shoot – so from this I have documented all parts of my life. I often pull from this archive, when drawing up concepts to pitch to brands or researching. I regularly find that most great brands don’t really want their advertising to look like advertising, more for it to have an editorial or personal feel.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given as an emerging photographer?
David Montgomery told me, “Keep it simple. Simplicity is everything. Reduce the elements.”

Who or what had the biggest impact on you becoming a photographer?
Rankin without a doubt. I became his first assistant and spent the formative years of my career being trained by him. He gave me everything. My dad as well was instrumental, and has been there every day with the best advice.

What do you most hope viewers take away from your photographs?
If it makes them feel anything, then it’s done its job. Being emotive is enough.

If you wanted to show an alien how powerful photography can be, what would you show them?
Steve McCurry’s photo of the Afghan girl. The eyes….

Do you have a personal wish list of publications, models, celebrities you’d like to work with?
Obama, Woody Allen, Fleetwood Mac!

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