We had the good fortune of connecting with Morris Malakoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morris, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
To start, I have always been fascinated with the technology of recording life, since I was a child; when I was five years old. I took pictures using film at the time. In my mid-teens, I lived briefly in France and Germany and continued to photograph. In my early 20s, I worked in a restaurant to see if that was my “thing.” Then I got a job as a warehouse worker at a furniture and design company. By doing these and other various jobs that I was not meant to do; jobs that did not align with my purpose at all, it, strangely, drove me to my purpose. It does not seem so strange looking back now, as this seems to be a constant theme in life. I may have had ill feelings about these jobs at the time, but I do not anymore. I appreciate the experiences because they led me to my purpose. It has been a long journey of evolving myself. This continued evolution has brought me to the point I am at today. Learning and never thinking I knew it all, knowing I will never know it all. This has been my perpetual mode of thinking.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I do a lot of everything— It’s not just cinematography, not just portrait photography, it’s not just architecture, or commercial, or publication photography. It’s not even just art. It’s about relationships with people, the clients I work with. And of course, the quality of the work. My techniques use natural available light, occasional distortion, and extreme wide angles. My signature series, Civic Illuminations, captures creations that imitate their creators, because all things built by man resemble the builder. A building is the representation of the human form. A congregation of buildings is a collection of these forms coming together. They all have their own personalities, their own purpose, and their own life force: they have a circulatory system and electricity flowing through their bodies. They wake in the morning; they sleep at night. My recent series is in Downtown Houston using ultra wide-angle perspectives and the different vibrational qualities of color. There are many more implications discoverable in the works. The path to reaching the point where I am professionally has been challenging at times but is as smooth as I have let it be. If I start concerning myself, worrying myself, or stop learning, the road will become quite turbulent. For the most part, it has been smooth. One of the most apt quotes regarding this art-form was said by a man by the name of John Berger, “What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Starting a night by taking a night drive in downtown Houston to see the sights, and from there, deciding on one of the many international spots for places to eat & drink— I especially enjoy late-night locales. The first that come to mind, Axelrad, Buff Brew, R Bar, La Carafe, the rooftop bar at Le Méridien— Z on 23, and an assortment of hoohak bars. Hayat Cafe and Ranosh Cafe. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNALe0_9PNY&t=138s (Short film about British artist Stephen Wiltshire)
Morris Malakoff (Portraits, Lifestyle, Commercial, Advertising, and final photo is from my fine art series, Civic Illuminations, titled “Diamond”) Reece Moffett (Portrait photo)