by Samara Mroczkowski, age 10
Samara: What’s a software tester do?
Alex: You know how there are games on your phone? I’m the guy that takes those games and tries to find out all the things that could go wrong with them first.
Samara: Wow. Cool! When did you start taking pictures?
Alex: In high school, so 1991. I had a teacher who encouraged me to take photos for the school yearbook. I got hooked and learned how to operate a dark room and how to take photos. I got into photographing concerts because I liked going to shows and I thought it would be more fun if I took photos. Here I am almost 20 years later still doing the same thing. I must like it a lot.
Samara: What do you like about photography?
Alex: I can capture a moment. Within that moment you can read that situation in some sense. You can look at a photo, especially with people. There are so many different things you can tell from photos. From the situation that they are in, to the expression on their face or their clothing, there is a lot to experience that is really interesting as opposed to landscape photography which happens to be more subjective.
Samara: Do you have a favorite photograph?
Alex: Yes. My favorite photograph was coincidentally from a 1996 PUSA show at the Moore Theatre. It’s a photo from the front row. There’s a woman crossing her eyes and a kid wearing a mask and a Dukakis shirt. It’s probably my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.
Samara: What kind of photography is your favorite?
Alex: First music, then documentary. Do you know what that is?
Alex: It’s like reality TV, you pick a subject and you follow the subject or situation around and capture a series of moments and tell a story with photos. I’ve always thought of myself as a documentary photographer for music. I go to a show and try to capture the experience and take the viewer to the show in a 250th of a second slice of time. After that is landscape photography. I like going to new places and find new and interesting places to photograph.
Samara: Do you have any favorite photographers?
Alex: Glen E. Friedman, he captured some amazing amazing moments in music history. Alice Wheeler, she and Charles Peterson are kind of the two people who made seattle famous for music photography and her work is amazing.
Samara: Why do you think music photography is important?
Alex: People want to see their favorite bands on stage in a different light. Not everybody gets to go to the shows to see the bands they like and it’s nice to give people a moment in time to experience. Bands need photos for publicity and press releases and I feel like we fill that niche.
Samara: Is it easier or harder to take pictures of bands you like?
Alex: It has less to do with whether or not I like them as much as whether or not they are interesting on stage. Some of my favorite artists will come out on stage and just look at their guitar the whole time and then there will be an artist like Pink who has multiple costume changes and dancers and it’s very theatrical and interesting to shoot but I wouldn’t listen to Pink.
Samara: If you could go back in time and give your self a piece of advice what would it be?
Alex: Do more marketing and learn how to build websites. A lot of time, if you’re very good at networking and marketing yourself, you can create more opportunities for your art.
Samara: What’s a little known fact about you?
Alex: I collect snow globes. I have about 300.
I like taking pictures. I like finding ways to match colors together and capturing moments that I can look back at when I’m much older than I am now. I like being an artist because I can use any colors or patterns I want to express how I’m feeling with colors or how crazy I want my patterns to be. And you know you can think the same way I do about expressing yourself with colors and patterns or you can express yourself with loud and crazy music [crazy patterns] or quite and soft music [any color you want to use]. You can be free.PI think it’s important to support art and artists because if you purchase a t-shirt or a record or anything like that from an artist or one of their helpers then the artists get the opportunity to buy new turn tables to make their music better, canvases and paint brushes to make paintings better, or lenses to improve their photos.P