Mark ‘Cobrasnake’ Hunter is certainly a charmer. And he’d need to be – his career is reliant upon the tanned, be-bangled arms of popular culture’s coolest and hottest being wide open to him. His candid, colour-saturated shots of ‘It’ girls Cory Kennedy and other mainstays of the LA party scene are his hallmark, and have lampooned a type of fame that these days come along with a clothing line and top-billing alongside some of the world’s top DJs and electro musicians. At only 24, he is successful in a uniquely Gen-Y way – knowing what he wants, and not being afraid to go for it. We spoke to him as he was packing his Speedos for a summer tour of Australia …
This is your third time touring with music festival Stereosonic. What do you think of the scene in Australia?
It’s amazing, the energy, everyone’s so friendly, everyone wants to have fun, good positive vibes, theres a lot of sexy guys and girls – I always get a lot of great shots. It’s quite an honour, coming all the way from LA and having such a warm welcome. It blows my mind!
What’s it like being a photographer billed alongside top musicians and DJs?
I was surprised! Not to say I wasn’t happy to be on the line up – I even wanted to be up the top! Last year I did a little hosting thing online and I got a lot of emails from kids saying they couldn’t wait for me to come back.
You have a blog, a clothing line and have appeared on Beverly Hills 90210 – what are your thoughts of the increasing relationship between culture and commercialism?
I am all for it – the great thing about everything I do, the larger it grows, I don’t have to compromise it at all. I am not getting watered down as it gets bigger and more mainstream, and it is exciting to reach more people. It’s also the accessibility of the internet – you can learn and become a master of more than one thing even faster. People are realising that you can do more, I am not just a photographer, I also do clothing – why not try more things? Photography mightn’t even be the thing I’m best at.
Have you ever run into any opposition or criticism from within the photography world?
I got an email the other day that said, “You have no skill with photography” and I don’t know how people can say that! I go to Paris week and shoot with style, for someone to say you’re just a bohemian with a camera is pretty stupid. I am also a pretty genuinely nice guy. If people say anything it’s generally because they’re jealous of my lifestyle.
You are famous for your candid party shots. As your fame increases, is it getting harder to take a ‘natural shot’?
I am good at catching people off guard, I try to get a moment to do it when they don’t know a camera is around, at Stereosonic there is so much going on, no one is really super aware of the camera and I can sneak around.
Sat Nov 28, 12-10pm, line-up includes Deadmau5, Crookers, Laurent Garnier, Dragonette, Miss Kittin & more, Area 2 Hordern, Moore Park, $127, stereosonic.com.au