Philosophy

When my camera is in my hand and my eyes are locked in the viewfinder, it's as if all my senses are heightened. The technical hemisphere of my brain operates my hands on autopilot, configuring the shutter, aperture, ISO and various other settings. I am able to read my environment, from timing the lights that sweep throughout the venue and assessing the rhythm and beat of the music, to calculating the amount of backwards steps I can take before I fall off the stage.


“I become the apex predator, locked onto my prey.”


Muscle memory snaps into action and an ancient part of me is stirred into consciousness.

It is in this space that I am able to feel the moment,  absorbing the subtle nuances in body language and facial expressions while tapping into the soundwaves in the air and vibrations in the ground. If something happens while your camera is not pointed directly at it, you’ve already missed the boat.

You need to board the ship before it sails which requires a vigilant pair of eyes and an acute set of ears. That may sound impossible, short of being a psychic. But it simply boils down to rhythm. Everyone has their own tempo whether they are aware of it or not. I’m talking about the pace in which one does things.

Sharp observation reveals concentric patterns in behavior that make humans rather predictable. Access to this ability is something I was blessed with and may not be for everyone. Years of photography has further honed this talent, and is the most powerful medium for sharing my perspective of the world and the people in it.


“If rhythm is the pulse, then my veins are the conduit between my heart, my mind and my shutter finger.”

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Testimonials

Kevin Flores
Head of Product Design at 23andMe

I've worked with Mark for many years on numerous projects. First off, Mark IS absolutely one of those Swiss Army Knife resources and, as Malcolm Gladwell defined in his book "The Tipping Point", a true Connector. His extended network of all types of people is impressive. 

Mark can hold his own in user interface design and creative graphic layouts. He can light, direct, shoot and edit video. He can produce motion graphics. He handles any hardware or software with ease. He brings creative perspective to any task at hand. 

But, his true mastery is the photographic image. He is a real natural at capturing a moment in unique compositions on the fly. Mark's secret, however, is that he is an expert in the technical post process to enhance an image's emotion - everything from color correction and balance, temperature and leveling, just the right crop, to multi-image compositing, texture, layering and any other imaginable Photoshop technique. His work speaks for itself. 

For all his experience and expertise, Mark remains humble and understated. I highly recommend Mark except for wanting him always available for my projects!

Roger Jennings
Video Producer and Director at ServiceNow

Mark Sebastian is a top-notch photographer and video editor. I have had the pleasure to work with him at both Hewlett-Packard and Visual Matter. At Hewlett-Packard, Mark reported directly to me. In his included a variety of tasks: lighting for video, editing video, and studio photography. Mark was always on top of projects and never late. He did not need direction -- he immediately sizes up a situation and takes action to move a project forward. As a manager, it was always a pleasure to see him take the lead and "just get it done". Mark has an above average understanding of photography. If you need studio or photojournalism shots you should not hesitate to hire him. If you are looking for a creative video he will meet or exceed your expectations. Now that Mark is freelance, I try to hire him for projects when he is in or around Cupertino. Mark is a true professional who gets the job done without fuss. He has a great manor that soothes the problematic client. Feel free to contact me directly for a reference.


Steve Ha
Creative Director / Graphic Alchemist

If your camera lens looks like a bazooka then you are only half way there. If you can take said lens or a lousy lens for that matter and snap brilliant, thought provoking imagery that is respected world wide then you are where Mark is ... a highly sought after professor/student who balances between past and future. Jump on the spaceship before it's too late.


Logan Rosenstein
Manager, Social Tech and Insights at NVIDIA

Working with Mark at NVIDIA for the past year and a half was absolutely amazing. He is a remarkably talented photographer and designer, and was our go-to photographer for some of the more complex asks. He was the man behind some of our best social media assets across every part of the business, both composition and social performance. From events, to product shots, to special case shoots... he was the best man for the job.


Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri
Award-winning director, photographer, public speaker, female empowerment and anti-slavery advocate

Mark is an expert and excels in a wide variety of areas from photography to film-making. He is uniquely imaginative, brilliant, and fun, a true artist.


Elisabeth Sporleder
Engineering Project Manager at Apple

Mark's job title of "The Swiss Army Knife" says a lot about his ability to quickly shift gears and multitask. Whether a video needed to be processed, photos retouched and uploaded, or a user guide formatted and graphics added, Mark was the man for the job. In his spare time he helped QA track down and report product defects, doing an excellent job of always being mindful of the enduser. He also worked with our lead designer and product manger to design widgets, pages, and guided tours for the website. Is there anything this guy can't do?

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Biography

Mark has developed a wide range of experience not only as a self-taught digerati of the Silicon Valley, but also as an established artist.

In his quest for knowledge and challenges, Mark moved to Los Angeles where he was casted for the BravoTV reality show “Double Exposure.”  And later, he moved to New York where he assisted fashion photographers Markus Klinko & Indrani on projects with celebrities such as Usher, Dita Von Teese, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Mary J. Blige, Daphne Guinness and more.

Moving to New York and starting a new career path was the biggest challenge he had ever faced.

“I moved to NY and thought I’d find success at being a ‘NY photographer.’ But as soon as I moved there, I found out that everybody was a NY photographer. Even though I was going nowhere, I felt compelled to stay until I earned my way home.”

Mark eventually found his answers – not by out-new yorking New York City but by embracing his roots.

“As a New York photographer, I was just another grain of the sand washed ashore.  But as a Silicon Valley transplant, I was from the future.”

From that point on, Mark made it a mission to change New York. At his work as an assistant photographer, he began by revising workflows, training in motion graphics, animation and video editing software, automating redundant and tedious tasks, and reinforcing security. 

Since then, photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani have managed to successfully jump from photography to video. This included televised music videos for Alicia KeysDavid Bowie and Mariah Carey plus a short film starring billionaire and fashion icon, Daphne Guinness, who won four awards at the La Jolla Film Festival for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Fashion, and Best Special Effects.

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