Patrick Marek

22 September, 2014
  • Patrick Marek Jazz Photographer interview 1
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  • Patrick Marek Jazz Photographer interview 10
Date and place of birth: 
17.02.1966. Rychnov nad Kněžnou Czech Republic
Place of residence: 
Hradec Králové Czech Republic
Website: (web under construction) |
How did you ended up in jazz photography, starting from jazz or from photography itself?
I started with music photography 20 years ago, first of all it was mostly rock music, but jazz become the main. 
Is jazz your main activity as a photographer?
At the beginning I was taking pictures of everything around just for my pleasure. Then I fell in love with taking pictures of dragonfly and music photography, that's what I do till now.
Do you have any other activities related to jazz?
Yes. A lot of my friends are musicians so I organise some concerts from time to time or I recommend some musicians for music festivals. I work with festivals in Czech Republic, mostly with Jazzinec.
In 2013, I organised an exhibition for 44 photographers from different countries. There was the idea to start Jazz World Photo in 2014, jazz photo contest. For this project we have created a team of people working on improvement and on the promotion. The contest is followed by exhibition of 30 best images selected by jury, travelling around the world. 
Do you stay in touch with the musicians that you photograph?
Mostly yes. Some of them are my good friends.
How important are social networks in your work?
They are. I was honoured to be among the first to facebook Jazz Photographers which inspired me to organise photo exhibition, transformed to Jazz World Photo contest. To me facebook is a good communication channel.
In jazz words, how would you label your most recent work: mainstream, fusion, free, avant-garde…?
Hard to say, let's say free :-)
Can you tell me 3 features of jazz photography that make it so interesting to your eyes?
For sure it's the atmosphere and magic of the moment. Tension and release of music itself. To me jazz is the music i love, so i stay till the very end and sometimes even long after the concert. 
Do you think that there’s a relationship between the quality of the music in a concert and the quality of the photographs you take there?
If I like the music I take photographs it can be seen on the final photo. But i think you can make a good photograph on the street, just some street band playing. It's always about the very moment, atmosphere and bit of luck as well.
What side of jazz photography is more attractive to you, the creative side or being a jazz reporter?
I'd say it's mostly the creative part of it. But the photo reportage is also close to me. It is all about to capture the moment from my point of view and my way. As some photographers I know, I know who took the photo without reading the name under:-)
Some so called ‘jazz festivals’ diversify their offer in favor of other styles of music. Do you think that this trend is a thread for the consistency of jazz photography?
I've got nothing against mixing styles, if festival put another music style to me it's mostly a benefit than something disturbing.
Can you recommend a contemporary jazz photographer?
Thanks to the Jazz Photographers I found out there is so many photographers making great photos, so it's difficult to name individually. But if I can I would probably name William Ellis, Didier Jallais, great photographer and double-bass player from Slovakia Robert Ragan, also Seda Ozguven Edrogan and more others. It's hard to choose just some of them and I don't think I'd be able name them all. I like them all and I like to look at their photos.
Also I will be very honoured if other photographers join our contest Jazz World Photo 2015. It's not about who is the best photographer, the point is to show your pictures to people. First of all it's about photography!
Thanks, Patrick