We had the good fortune of connecting with Will Mordell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Will, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
This is a big one for me – I just got out of college last year, a time where many of us feel busy all the time, only to look back and realize we had all the time in the world. Now, having been out for over a year I’ve found that my time is more valuable than ever. I work a full time corporate job that often requires me to travel, I have commitments to friends, family, my girlfriend, our dog, and obviously try to pick up my camera any chance I get. I’m still learning how to balance all of this to be honest. One part gets out of whack and the rest quickly suffer for it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has changed significantly through the years, be it the what it is, the way I go about it, or even how I think of it. There are many days still that I don’t think of much of it as art, instead calling it my body of work. I think a big struggle for anyone with a creative mind is finding the worth in yourself and what you create. Ups and downs and struggles with our own varying degrees of inferiority complexes come with the territory. I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process, and have finally begun to embrace the joy in my photographs again. Not everything has to be perfect, not everything has to be compared to what everyone else is making. Your work and your art can stand on its own, It is, after all, your world to create. I started out years ago shooting landscapes that could be called aggressively mediocre at best. Over time I’ve dabbled in concert photography, portraiture, documentary, and about anything else you could think of. As it sits today I’m most excited about street photography and cinematic, conceptual portraits. I obviously still dabble in other genres when it comes to paid work, but my art is now focused in those areas. I find that the balance is nice; street can be a very out of your hands process that has you just hoping your subject behaves the way you need, whereas the portraits allow a high degree of creative control.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am the world’s worst planner – vacation for me means showing up in a new place blind and hikes, walks, drives, buses and trains till I can’t go anymore. That being said, I’ll try to break this down by categories Food – We’d obviously have to hit some Atlanta favorites, Vortex burgers, The General Muir for a lox bagel, Hankook’s Korean tacos, a pizza at Antico. I could go on, but you get the gist. I like to eat.
Drink – Everyone who comes to visit me ends up at 97 Estoria. I’m a sucker for a PBR bar, especially one I can clumsily bike home from. Beside that I frequent Monday Night Garage, Hampton + Hudson, a few other spots around town. For a nice night check out Lyla Lila, they make this duck fat bourbon drink that’s transcendant.
Visit – The art museum is always cool. Stop by Wing’s Camera to see my friends there. Stroll through the east side neighborhoods, maybe a day trip to North GA. After all the food and drinks we may not be moving much. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to extend a special shoutout to Fujifilm US and everyone who makes that company what it is. Last year was a tumultuous one for all of us, and right when I was feeling my lowest, I ended up getting the email that told me I would be doing a project with them for the summer. In an instant, those aimless, downtrodden months became full of purpose, learning, and incredible new friends. So to the whole team at Fujifilm, to my cohorts, to my friends, I would like to sincerely thank you.