A C: So John, how did you get into this industry? J M: I’ve always been interested in photography and art from childhood. The inspiration probably came from my grandfather, A K Macdonald who was a very successful commercial artist whose work graced the pages of up-market publications like The Tatler and Vogue. My first working experience, brief as it was, was working for a company called Photosummit in Poland street, Soho, which gave me a great deal of experience in fine art print as a junior printer. On the premises were a number of photographers and artists with who I assisted during lunch breaks. This gave me the basis for becoming an assistant photographer. From this, I managed to gain an opportunity as an assistant to a photographer in Primrose Hill where I spent 5 years learning my profession. Throughout this period I completed countless test shoots to assemble a portfolio. I then pursued clients of my own. In fact, one of my first jobs was for Vidal Sassoon through the agency DMB & B who were at that time agency of the year. The campaign I produced subsequently went on to win numerous industry awards, which in turn helped to procure more clients. A C: Why Mac & Pearl? J M: After many years of working with great creatives, all of whom have really inspired me, I felt there was a distinct gap in the market for an agency that specialised in producing creative work of the highest order for the luxury market. A C: So who exactly inspires you? J M: First and foremost Irving Penn. He was able to produce fashion and still life for leading publications with a great deal of skill and finesse. Also people like Richard Avedon who completely changed the look and style of fashion photography. And, of course, Helmut Newman who took fashion and glamour work to a new artistic level that created quite a stir back in the 60s and 70s. These were the foundation builders for my artistic aspirations I could go an and mention Norman Parkinson, Cecil Beaton and Henri Cartier-Bresson, all of whom are my heroes. A C: What’s your take on luxury brands? J M: Things have changed over the years as far as media is concerned. The priority for luxury brands is now point-of-sale and conventional advertising media. This is down to increasing development of technology and the evolution of moving imagery, all of which makes point-of-sale a more prominent medium for luxury brands. The reason for my thinking this is that you can become more creative and exploratory with these new advanced media channels. For example moving imagery on in-store staircases. Also interactive screens are now playing an important role in the automotive showroom environment. This shouldn’t scare clients; it should inspire them to explore creative ways to exploit their brands. However, this doesn’t exclude the important place that conventional media occupies.