Me: I am intrigued because you have an MA in International Relations and a BA in Sociology & Philosophy...
could you tell me and my readers how you first got into photography?
It might look like a waste... all the studying. But it is an integral part of who I am and how I see the world. That is a lot more important to my photographic style than if I know my f-stops (I do!!!). My best advice for new photographers is to explore what they feel about subjects: their tastes and biases. What should a woman look like and be like? My experiences and worldview shape these questions. Plus, Mario Testino also studied International Relations, so at least I am in good company.
Me: Could you also tell us more about your background, i.e. childhood influences, first camera and so on?
But my real foray into photography began in France in my early twenties. That is when I took control of the imagery in my life, instead of just trying to capture what I saw. That camera was an old Kodak Retina Reflex with a 50mm Schneider lens. It was my grandfather's.
Me: Which major photographers have been the biggest influences on your work? Who do you love the most?
Me: How has winning the Black & White Spider Award affected your work and your life?
I think it all helps. It connects people to my work. But it is very hard to point at any one of those things or the newest photo series or anything, and say, "That is it. That is what did it." Things feel much more incremental.
Me: Where do you see your work going from here...? Will you continue to work in fashion?
Me: What advice would you give to young photographers who want to break into the
world of fashion photography?
The first couple of years of my photography I worked really hard on getting softer and softer light to make normal people look like models. The last several years, I have been working on finding better and better models that can take any light. Light that fits my mood. Let me give you an example. You set up your lighting, your backdrop and you photograph a friend in black and white, and you show people and they say, "Wow, I like your photography. It's great." Now, you don't change your lighting for better or worse, but you put in a gorgeous model in the same scene and people are like, "Wow, you are amazing at lighting. You really understand beauty."
Michael Creagh was recently named as a Hasselblad Masters Finalist in the Fashion & Beauty category. If you would like to vote for him follow the link to his blog and you will find all the details there.
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