Sean Mundy Mysterious Portraits

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Sean Mundy

Sean Mundy is a fine art and portrait photographer from Montreal, Canada, creating surreal, yet impassioned images that convey a palette of emotions. Led by sentiment, his work offers personal glimpses into moments of pain, confusion and self-doubt. Working through questions of identity, Sean constructs austere, yet neutral and distant scenes of palpable tension and uncertainty. With a subtle, minimal approach he aims to disrupt, select from, and delete classical narrative formula to form scenarios that are reliant on subjective associations. For more information check out the interview below and visit his website www.seanmundyphotography.com.
 
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’d say I’m someone with a lot of ambition, sometimes too much for my own good. I have a lot of ideas for photos and songs/music projects that I’m afraid I’ll never get around to doing because there are so many of them, and I can be very scatter brained at times and have trouble focusing on one thing.
 
Sean Mundy
 
Whom do you look up to?
I look up to a few photographers (in terms of their work, at the very least). Nicholas Alan Cope in particular is a photographer who has mastered (in my opinion) multiple styles of photography, while still having a recognizable style that runs though each. I would absolutely love to be there at some point in my career, so he is definitely someone I look up to in terms of being an overall well rounded photographer/artist, instead of just being good at one particular style.
 
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path? 
As cliché as it is, my parents and my friends have definitely been a huge influence on me taking photography a lot more seriously. I’m super lucky to have parents that are very supportive of what I want to do with my life (as opposed to what they’d like to see me do), and I have very supportive friends (photographers and non-photographers) who help me shoot my ideas and make me want to get better and better as they progress as well. I would definitely not consider my career path “successful” though, I’m still very much in the beginning stages of everything, but I’m very excited to see where photography can take me if I continue to work hard at it and push myself constantly.
 
How did your photographic career start? 
I got a camera in high school from my parents for a school trip I had gone on, and started to use it to take photos of friends I would be with, parties I’d go to, just documenting my life essentially for several years. I then started coming up with ideas that I’d shoot once a month when I felt like it, and that eventually got more serious, and has become where I am today. I was always really into art as a child, but when I hit a certain age drawing and painting did not interest me as it dawned on me that I was pretty bad at both, and didn’t have the drive to get better at either. Photography was the perfect solution. I was able to come up with ideas, and use my camera to make them happen.
 
What was your favourite project, and why?
I don’t know if I have a favourite project in particular, but I love working with other creatives, in particular musicians/bands, as it combines 2 things I love. I’ve been approached by a few looking to get me to shoot photos for their album art, and it’s just really interesting combining multiple visions together for a single project. As far as my own work, shooting “Kings Upon The Main” and “Sigil” were probably 2 of my favourite shoots to do, in terms of content and that they are both photos that I didn’t think would turn out, but did. After shooting both, I was re-inspired and my self-confidence was much higher than usual as I actually really liked my own work, which is very rare for me.
 
Sean Mundy
 
Quotes and Wisdoms 
 
How do you define creativity?
I’d say creativity is the ability to think of things, make things, or do things in a slightly different way that has already been done. This can be used to describe an artist, a scientist, anything where ideas and problem solving or having a vision to any degree is involved. 
 
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret”. I think that sums up what is on my mind a lot lately. I’m a generally lazy person with everything but photography, so reminding myself that I will regret not having taken things more seriously in the future helps me keep my perspective and pushes me to work harder now.
 
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell them?
Take it seriously. Develop a work ethic similar to that of an athlete. You have to work just as hard if not harder than others to “make it” as an artist from what I can tell, and too many people do not take their own crafts seriously. I find myself guilty of this often, but it’s something I’m constantly working on, and I think I’m getting better at developing a personal work ethic as far as photography goes.
 
Sean Mundy
 
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I’m still really at the beginning of my career as a photographer, so I haven’t faced too many huge challenges yet, thankfully. I’m planning on trying to get some of my work shown in galleries here in Montreal, and if it works out, maybe even being represented by a gallery. I think that becoming versed in the art world will definitely be a big challenge for me, since I’m still very new to photography, am pretty much self taught, and don’t know how anything really works haha, but I’m pretty excited for the possibility of my work being shown in galleries so it balances out.
 
What do you now know that you wish you knew at 21?
I’m only 2 years older than that, but I do wish that I was a lot more serious with photography when I was 21, and I wish that I knew to keep focused on photography and make it more of a priority in my life. I had just started a 52 weeks project then and was still very new to coming up with ideas and executing them. I can’t really blame myself for not being as focused though, since it took a long time for me to really find my confidence with photography; I still struggle with it to this day. I was also in school, working, and in a band, so even without photography I was constantly busy or on the move. Still not an excuse, but it gives a bit more perspective I guess.
 
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
As much as I love photography, I’ve always been a musician in some regard and absolutely love music. The writing aspect, the recording/producing aspect, and the performing aspect are all parts of music that I love partaking in. If things worked out for me after releasing a project (which is something I’m currently working on, several projects actually), I think music would be the only thing that could “replace” photography, but I would definitely miss it immensely and would really want to do it on the side still. 
 
Sean Mundy
 
Sean Mundy
 
Sean Mundy
All images © Sean Mundy

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