Snus, Cessnas, and Steely Eyes: The Photography of Mason Mashon
Catching up with Mason Mashon is no easy feat, however it has always been on my list to track down this Whistler-based nomad and grill him a bit. He’s a character that may well need deciphering and the laymen can be easily confused by his aura. He has steely, unwavering Miles Davis eyes and his hands, having seen so much raw ‘environment’, are over-weathered for his age. When he laughs, it’s LOUD and you can see snus under his upper lip dipping out, only to be tucked back in by his flittering tongue… but don’t expect to get that much pure laughter out of him on a first encounter. Don’t be overzealous. Expect, at first introduction to be enchanted by a man occupied – his presence at times feeling fractured while he cerebrally scouts a location or an angle in some far away place simultaneously while beside you: no matter how present he may seem. Mashon’s body of work is equally as vast as the horizon-broad scope of his memories. We should be so lucky that he’s happy to share.
DL: So Mason, are you more of a one shot sniper or rather a collector of the days events that works more selectively in the editing process?
MM: I tend to be more of a sniper these days, but when those special moments are lining up, I don’t hold back.
DL: Who are your favourite people to shoot with?
MM: The ones who are motivated, and love what they’re doing.
DL: What did you learn about yourself/your work while working on UnderExposed, your television series with APTN?
MM: The most important lesson I learned from working on UnderExposed was to know who you are, and where you came from. Subsequently, staying true to myself and the progress of my work, I left the show to have the freedom to do the things I’m passionate about.
DL: How would you describe your relationship with Rory Bushfield? How did you two connect?
MM: Bushy is the pilot, and I’m the navigator (haha). We originally connect through mutual friends and skiing, but I feel that our shared fondness of surfing and exploration took our friendship to a different level.
DL: Is it difficult to fund your life? What would your recommend to someone flirting with the high stakes game of exotic travel and expensive technology?
MM: At this point in my career, I don’t feel it’s difficult to fund the lifestyle. The technology is always changing, and there will always be things I can’t afford, so I tend to weigh my needs vs. wants regularly. I started with a Canon 5DmkII, and three lenses. You definitely don’t need all the bells and whistles to get started.
DL: What did saying goodbye to Voleurz mean to you? How has it affected your work?
MM: I was definitely saddened to hear that Voleurz was going to dissolve. We were a tight family, and I think being around all those happy and creative people is what I miss most. I pretty much stopped shooting video after voleurz, and focused solely on still images.
DL: What is your yearly migration like? And how important is your girlfriend Diane to your work?
MM: Once the mountain biking season wraps up, I pack up the surfboards and head to the tropics with Diane for a couple months while the snow piles up. We cherish our down time in the fall, because it’s one of the only times in the year when we get to spend more than just a few days together. Some of my personal favourite photos are of Diane. She’s a babe.
DL: Where you off the grid to next? For what?
MM: Looks like I’m going to be travelling across Russia by train in March, with Sherpas Cinema and The North Face. It has the makings to be a crazy ski trip.
DL: Any memorable trips from the past year you’d like to mention?
MM: Rory and I flew his Cessna out to a remote beach to camp and surf for 5 days. We nearly drowned the plane in the tide, I nearly drowned my camera in my housing, and we almost ran out of provisions because the fog wouldn’t let us leave. Never forget that one. ha!
DL: Who or what has influenced your photography primarily over the past year?
MM: I pull inspiration from my peers, and generally just dream a lot. I also spend a lot of time on google earth thinking about places to go and shoot photos.
Mason on Instagram