An award-winning professional photographer and television personality, Justin Mott is best known for his role in History Channel’s Photo Face-Off, a photography competition show that introduces 16 amateur photographers, and with Mott as the show’s resident professional photographer. Having photographed for clients including the New York Times, TIME, The Guardian and the BBC, Mott’s experience has allowed him to travel the world and shoot images from elephants in swimming pools to luxurious holiday resorts. So, what is a day like in Mott’s life?
Originally from Rhode Island, U.S.A., Mott now resides in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he calls home for the past 10 years. A city that is undergoing a rapid transformation, Hanoi is where one finds an evolving arts scene, streets that surge with scooters, and city folks who practice t’ai chi on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake. That is where we start the day with Mott, as he takes images – using the Canon EOS 5DS R and EF35mm f/1.4L II USM – of local residents going on their daily tasks.
We follow Mott back to his visuals office, where we discuss his future plans. “I’m looking to start a personal project. The idea of this project is to capture the true beauty of Vietnam. It will be a mix of photojournalism and art,” he says. Having shot across Southeast Asia on assignments for a decade, Mott thinks that it’s time to do something for himself and the society. “I want to take these images and work with the Vietnam Tourism… This country has given so much to me, and I feel that it’s a way for me to give something small back,” he explains.
The invigorating conversation leads to a catch up with Nhung Nguyen, the Vietnam winner of Canon Photo Face-Off Season 2, who is also Mott’s protégé. Together they set off to explore Long Bien Bridge, which is claimed by the locals as the symbol of resilience of the Hanoian people. The bridge, built by Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris, boasts a historical charm. It was destructed several times during the American War, but was also quickly restored by the Vietnamese. The pair ends their day at the bridge, photographing workers and hawkers, and transforms mundane scenes into the work of art through their lenses.
Justin is an award-winning documentary, editorial and commercial photographer born in Rhode Island USA and based for over eight years in Southeast Asia. His work has featured in publications as diverse as the New York Times, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Bon Appetit, Forbes and numerous other international publications.