Max Montgomery, a young photographer living in England, is living the dream of working for a top notch, reputable photographer Rankin and worked for Mario Testino. Through his passion and hard work, Montgomery feels that it all pays off. The words of Mario, "go home and remember work hard" is what Max follows as he continues his assisting and photography career himself. His work ethic is impeccable, and has the images to go along with it. To have the ability to grow and develop as a photographer under such a great opportunity. Having the equipment: Camera's, Lighting, Film, Editing Software, is one thing. But photography is all about catching the emotion, the inner soul of each human being. Through his "eye," Montgomery takes a very natural approach to his photographs. He never feels the need to retouch unnecessary blemishes because then the "essence of the person is lost and they just look like a doll." says Max. His work captures his generation through fashion, friendly outings, and sexy shoots capturing the true "essence" of the subject.

How old are you?

I am 20 years old

Where are you based?

I'm based in London, although my work entails a lot of travel. Mainly though we shoot in the studio which is in Kentish town London

When did photography enter your life/How long have you been shooting?

Well my dad was a photographer, pretty iconic dude, took amazing pictures. I learnt and still am learning a lot from him. I assisted Mario Testino for about 6 months, even to around a guys like that is insane. He has I think the best natural eye for fashion out of any photographer in the world right now. Currently I assist Rankin, a great British photographer. That is a full time job and is very long hours but worth it but he gives you so much.

How often do you get to shoot?

Well, I’m assisting or digi-teching for Rankin every day as we never have a day without working he is the busiest photographer in the world. Then he lets us being the (assistants) use all his equipment, cameras, studio on the weekend so I try and to my own tests at least once every two weeks. I have also shoot look books for Pussy Glamore Lingerie and am about to shoot new look book for LOT 78 Leathers.

Is there a specific vibe (look) that you aim for while shooting?

I have been born and bred London, (although I do have an American Passport as well) and this city is so dirty, wet and grim. But is pumping with spirit and vibe, young people everywhere trying to make it east London filled with beautiful kids all through Hoxton and Shoreditch. I want to capture that edginess but at the same time with a more classic feel when it comes to lighting. By that I mean I think what Terry Richardson has for styling etc is great but I would prefer to light like Patrick Demarchelier! High aims but that’s what I'm going for, fashion and portrait photography mainly, but I do enjoy my more reportage and documentary photography. I think it will be sick in thirty years to see where all my talented friends will be, obviously with big changes to there lives, but I will have photos of this time now, which for me is the best I have ever had!

Who are some of your influences as a photographer?

My influences are broard, I like elder guys like Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton. They pretty much sculpted everything the big guys are using today. I like Nick Knight and Solve Sunsbo (who started by assisting Nick Knight) as they have pretty much taken on digital and made it the own, with what must be insane post-production. But my real Favorites at the moment, the guys I still just look at their photos with amazement, are Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Meisel, Heidi Slimane, David Sims and my dad.

What inspires you?

My boss Rankin inspires me because he works harder than anyone I know, he had to in order to get to the top. The really amazing thing is that now he is there, he hasn't stopped but is probably gone more into overdrive in order to constantly reinvent himself. I demands fucking every bit of your soul goes to him but if you do it, and mean it and love it after a while he starts giving it back to you too.

Film or Digital?

For me personally Digital, I think its finally caught up with film. Stills are funny because everyone sees it differently, I still love the smell of the dark room, the excitement of developing your film, waiting to see what an image would look like, being forced to take proper light readings and shoot Polaroid. But in reality digital is so much cheaper, the quality is getting better, and storage is on hard drives no rooms full of boxes of negs.

What camera(s) do you shoot with?

Mamiya RZ67(which is a film camera) with a phase one p65 Digital back is the main one I use, its my bosses though so sometimes it's hard to get my hands on it (even though he has about 12 cameras there are only two digital backs). Its nice to shoot digital through a film camera as the lenses are much better especially on medium format cameras. I also shoot on the Canon 5D Mark 2 when i'm on location, I mess about with my dad's Hasselblad when he lets me (usually he is using it). We got loads of other 35 mill cameras and Rolleiflexes too.

Why do you think you started photography?

I like women, clothes, taking pictures, the way light works and mainly being creative. I kind of fell into it but its amazing and has saved me. I dropped out of University and went straight to Mario the biggest photographer in the world, my parents supported me and I have not looked back since. I got lucky, a big risk to drop out with no degree as back up, but so far so good, great job, get to travel loads, made great friends and met some nice girls too.

Is there any advice that you can give to other photographers that are trying to establish themselves as being unique or different from others out there?

It’s difficult to be unique because we are all so influenced by what we see. But what I would say is that I don’t try and not take photos like other people, I just try to take photos that I like. I try to make people look as beautiful and as truthful as possible. I do retouch my images but not to the extent the essence of the person is lost and they just look like a doll. Mario always said to me at the end of every day "go home and remember work hard". It worked for him!

If you'd like to check out some more of his work, feel free to visit his blog, here.