DOWNTOWN 500 MAGAZINE MET ÁRON UNDER THE FINEST CIRCUMSTANCES. ÁRON SUVEG IS A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE FIRST HUNGARIAN SNOWBOARDER CREWS, HE AND HIS SNOWBOARDER FRIENDS FOUNDED THE FIRST HUNGARIAN SNOW- AND SKATEBOARDING MAGAZINE, THE BORDER IN THE 90IES. DURING THE NEXT 10 YEARS HE HELPED FOUNDING VARIOUS OTHER MAGAZINES, SUCH AS SNOWBOARDER ALMANAC, WAKEBOARDER MAGAZINE, AND FONTOS!
IN 2009, AFTER MANY LONG-LASTING AND CHAOTIC YEARS HE DEDICATED TO BOTH GRAPHIC DESIGN AND PHOTOGRAPHY, HE FINALLY PUT THE PENCIL DOWN. LEFT HIS LIFE IN CARDBOARD BOXES BACK AT HIS PARENTS GARAGE, AND TOOK OFF FOR THE U. S. A. THE GOAL WAS TO FOCUS ONLY ON PHOTOGRAPHY, EVOLVING, LEARNING AND TRAVELING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. HE IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE WITH NEW YORK CITY AND GOT STUCK THERE FOR A GOOD PERIOD OF TIME. DURING A YEAR OF COUCH SURFING AND SHOOTING, ÁRON DID AN ACTION SHOT OF OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST MIKE ROBERTSON FROM CANADA, WHICH HELPED HIM TO WIN THE 3RD PRIZE AT THE HUNGARIAN PRESS PHOTO AWARDS. AFTER A WHILE, THOUGH, ÁRON WENT BACK TO EUROPE TO LINK UP AGAIN AND TO WORK WITH THE RED BULL OFFICE. ÁRON PUBLISHED NUMEROUS COVERS AND ARTICLES SENSE IN THE GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, A FÖLDGÖMB, AND MANY OTHERS, SUCH AS WHITELINE, BLANA, KNOX, URBAN SNOB, CHILI, AND BULLETIN.
Áron, combining classical documentary style with the newest photography trends and fields, brings to life something wholly unique and personal with special spices.
DT 500 MAG: – Áron, you were a hyped up snowboarder in ”the old school,” you founded and edited a skating/snowboarding magazine, you’ve worked in action sports photography, and you have traveling habits a kind of a rock star. What is your conclusion on all that?
ÁRON: – I’m not actually traveling like a rock star, and probably I don’t want to be a one. I like to be invisible when I’m shooting, I don’t like directing the happenings around me. I love capturing moments and atmospheres that you could be part of even without a camera. The beauty of human beings and the way they act amazes me, it doesn’t matter if you are a snowboarder on a mountain or an urban artist on a stage or just part a street scenery. I think extreme sports photography has influenced the whole visual culture around the world during the millennium and after, but it has also cleaned down and gotten more and more artistic in the classical sense. Back in the days, our magazines looked like a salad of sorts, with different layouts, frames, and typography on each page. These days most mags see like either Vogue or a business report. I’m not saying it’s wrong, cause I like these new ”minimal” styles also.
” I think I have to think for a few more decades to come up with a more proper conclusion.”
DT 500 MAG: – Can you tell us a story that defines you the most?
ÁRON: – I’ve got thousands of stories, it’s not easy to choose. I’ll select a two-year-old tale when I was shooting one of my best friend’s wedding on a Sunday. The next night I took them to the airport to go on their honeymoon, I also picked up a few other friends in the morning. I had to sleep 15 minutes on the couch, 1 hour in the car and then my girlfriend went into labor with our first baby. I was asleep on her bed, next to her, and finally, she gave birth to a beautiful boy. I was taking pictures the whole time, and the entire photo series about a human being born into this world and earning his first breaths was very special to me.
DT 500 MAG: – How has your work developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
ÁRON: – UP until now, there have been three significant parts of my career when I think about photography and workflows. For the first 5 to 6 years I only shot the Border subcultures, actions and lifestyles, and a few portraits. At the time I was also working as a graphic designer and editor, the camera was just a toy to me. After a trip to Asia, I started focusing more on the environment, cultures, and a lot of things different to action sports. Five years later I spent a year in the States alone, couch surfing and shooting every day, or sitting around with albums in bookstores. I had just realized I didn’t know anything about real photography. I started opening doors, and there were more and more doors behind. I became really motivated. That was the end of the second part, and after I came home, I started working on an internship at Red Bull where I gained a lot of useful knowledge about post-production, selection and professional skills. Now I know how to learn, and I try to do just that every day. Soon I’m at the end of this 6-year extended period, and it looks like a significant change will come to my life again.
DT 500 MAG: – What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
ÁRON: – I’m shooting with only digital cameras these days. I love uploading the pictures at the end of the day and seeing what really works and what does not. What I have and what I don’t. After two weeks in China, I promised myself I wasn’t going to shoot any more bikers on the street. But, I did anyway. Soon, I want to buy a intermediate format analog camera so that I can bring it with me to the most critical places and shoot just a few but perfect pictures.
DT 500 MAG: – How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary photography?
ÁRON: – I’m still looking for my own style. Dan Vojtech (a Red Bull photographer) should be really proud of his personal style, using lighting stands, flashes and hanging ropes in his pictures. This is something unique. You can not copy it, but you are always waiting to see something new and similar from Dan.
” My style is more documentaries and reportage, and I’m combining it with action sports or contemporary post productions. Harsh contrasts, deep colors and minimal style compositions.”
ARON: – In the last years more and more conceptual projects have come into my mind so all of these could change in the future.
DT 500 MAG: – Tell us a bit about your creative process and what environment you like to work in?
ÁRON: – As a photographer, I have to improvise a lot or just float with the real life and catch the moments. Mostly there are no floor plans or exact angles for us, but you have to get something in your mind before you get on location, so briefing and research is a critical part of the process. During commercial shootings, I compose the scenery and the area of the models, and I let them act naturally. They are mostly pro athletes, musicians, and models and they have a clue about why they are there, how they want to look in the photos. The trust goes both ways, and it’s way easier to work in a happier atmosphere. This is the key also when I’m shooting street portraits anywhere in the world.
” With a small conversation, a few questions or just a smile you can get closer and deeper to your models, it doesn’t matter if he or she is a pro athlete, a rock star or just a monk in Buddhist temple.”
DT 500 MAG: – What currently inspires you?
ÁRON: – I want to be good enough to make my kids proud of their daddy when they take a look at my pictures as grown-ups.
” I think photography is an excellent way to teach anyone about our world. How diverse, how beautiful and interesting it is, how other cultures are doing it their ways, what does it mean, good, bad, enough, how do you find a balance in your life and more.”
DT 500 MAG: – Tell us about a piece of work you have fond memories of and why?
ÁRON: – I was just on my way home back in New York when I saw from a distance a few silhouettes painting over one of my favorite street art mural walls on the Bowery NYC. I was holding my Indian take-out food in my hand and thinking, why are they destroying something so super cool? When I got closer I saw that they were copying the style of one of my favorite artists, Obey, so I got even more pissed. When I arrived at the corner, I saw Shephard Fairey, the Obey himself, he was painting the wall with spray and a few stencils.
” For me, it was something like seeing Van Gogh on a landscape field. He was really cool, and we shot a few portraits where it looks like he is spraying over my camera lens. He is really one of my heroes, and I love the shots we did.”
DT 500 MAG: – You have this genius hype series ”THEN NOW,” what do you personally like about it, any stories to share?
ÁRON: – I made this series during the 11 months I lived in the States.
” They portray the atmospheres that I love about the USA, timeless moments, land- and city-scapes, characters. Sometimes melancholic and humid like a Hollywood old school crime movie from LA with retro music in the background. Sometimes lonely, sometimes colorful or just like movie scenes.”
DT 500 MAG: – You have been traveling around the world, how has it influenced you? What made the biggest impression on you?
ÁRON: – The whole world and all the people in it are beautiful! In Japan we, Europeans, are as exotic ones, as the Africans are to us. I love that kind of unique diversity. If I have to choose some peak points, New York City -as an urban and the Bromo Vulcano in Indonesia – as the natural environment highlight.
DT 500 MAG: – Top three things to do in the world?
ÁRON: – Getting lost in a new place where you haven’t been before. Biking from Brooklyn to Manhattan, taking photos along the way.
DT 500 MAG: – Do you care when people say bad things about you?
ÁRON: – I do not care, I try to listen to what they have to say instead. I try to figure out why they say the things they say or what the motivation behind it is. Nobody’s perfect. I don’t stress about this when I read the comments I get on my publications. Luckily, on professional forums, I haven’t received any wrong critics,
” but I remember two comments that really changed my mind and technique, so I thank the people who commented. I don’t think we could learn if everybody was just putting our shoulders and giving us fake smiles, we really have to listen to our critics.”
DT 500 MAG: – Aron you are shooting a lot of exciting stuff, what is your favorite? Why?
ÁRON: – I don’t have a favorite. As I said, everything is exciting, maybe you just have to change your perspective. Working for Red Bull is also interesting. Sometimes the stage might be set up deep in a construction tunnel, you’re shooting top pro athletes with incredible skills, or you are just part of something innovative, something fresh. I like how this company rethinks and transforms classic things into new formats.
DT 500 MAG: – What is your statement today?
“ Get up, stand up! “
DT 500 MAG: – Have you been to Oslo, if not, can you picture it?
” Not yet, but I always wanted to go. I’ve got a lot of things on my mind about Norway, so I’m really looking forward to capturing it.”
Interviewed by: Arthur Sopin
Photography by: Aron Suveg