At the end of 2022, Pepper Gomez, CEO and founder of Wake Up! Music Group won an auction supporting WiMN, Women’s International Music Network. Founded by Laura B. Whitmore, WiMN functions as a focal point, connecting women in all facets of the music industry.
The prize was a photo shoot with renowned photographer Mark Maryanovich, whose credentials and awards are endless, including capturing images of Chris Cornell, Billy F Gibbons, Bob Rock, Chad Kroeger, Elliott Smith, and Henry Rollins. His photographs materialize as album covers and artwork for companies such as Sony, EMI, and Warner Chappell Music.
“So in October, I was in LA with the ET Boys for a photo shoot with Mark Maryanovich that I had in fact won at an auction. My friend had told me about the auction and said it would benefit women in music. I wasn’t expecting to win but I did. Mind you, I hardly ever win anything and when I do, it has deep meaning. Winning the photo shoot with the incredible master that is Mark Maryanovich was mind-blowing from start to finish.”
She continues, “Shortly after getting the news that I won, I emailed him and introduced myself as the elated auction winner. Mark Maryanovich got right back to me and was as excited as I was. I could tell right away that he cares so much about his art. He was just so kind and had a bunch of great questions, ideas, and recommendations. The communication rocked!”
Along with nu-pop, melodic-rap duo the ET Boys, Pepper travelled from Florida to California for the photo shoot.
Talking about the shoot itself, Pepper shares:
“The ET Boys were their usual pro selves. We did arrive late (but only by 10 minutes – I hate that, I like to be early), but it was because our Uber canceled on us. Mark seemed focused and thankfully not annoyed with us. The shoot gets moving. Everything is smooth and grooving. The studio is great and our friend and video producer for the ET Boys, Domonick Giorgianni, swings by the session, adding his sweet friendship. Faster than a new day, it’s over and we’re eating street tacos. Mission accomplished.”
The whole thing came about because not only is Mark Maryanovich one of the world’s premier photographers, but he’s also compassionate and donates his time and talent to assist worthy causes.
At the present juncture, Mark Maryanovich is working on The ART of GIVING with Co-Creator Matt Sorum. Purely a project fueled by passion, The ART of GIVING chronicles awareness for the charitable causes championed by the world’s most iconic artists.