Monday, February 22, 2010

Interviewing: Carmen Michael

My friend Carmen and I met after college working in a portrait studio and we became instant friends. We were the only sanity either could find at that wonderful job. We have decided that it would be fun to interview each other and post our answers along with some photographs on our blogs. This is the first of several posts that we will have. I hope you will enjoy Carmen's answers and insight into another photographs mind, and also her amazing work.
Remember to go
here and see more of her work and my interview!!

Meet Carmen:

And here is her interview:

1.What is the most challenging thing about a shoot?

Such a hard question to answer. Getting a feeling of a clients personality and capturing that candidly can be a challenge. Getting your picture taken can feel awkward if you don't feel completely comfortable with a photographer and visa versa. So, I'm always striving to get to know anyone that entrusts me to photograph an important moment in their lives.

2.Who/what inspires your work?

People: David LaChapelle, Sally Mann, Mark Romanek, Jenny Fine, Linda McCartney
Non-People: fields, vintage, being comfortable, being uncomfortable, beautiful eyes, pop music, being creatively pushed. It goes on and on...

3. How did you get started?

My dad gave me my first camera when I was around 9 or so. It was pink and shot 3x5s. In high school one of my summer jobs was a photographers assistant. Basically my job was to hold reflectors, change film, fluff wedding dresses. But, when I went to college is when I became much more serious about photography and really started to learn the ins and outs. My first 2 years at UA I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I can remember a friend of mine bringing it to my attention that you could actually major in photography. From then on, I spent countless nights in the darkroom being inspired by fellow students, constantly squinting my eyes and making mistakes. From there I started shooting in a portrait studio (where I met Kamin!) where my patience was tested daily! I'm now able to shoot lifestyle and wedding session on a regular basis.

4. If you could shoot anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Why?

James Dean. I immediately think of Roy Schatt's sweater series that he shot with Dean. James Dean was such an enigmatic figure and I think that quality certainly comes through in his past photos. Plus, he seemed to be up for anything. That, for me, is the ultimate subject to photograph. Someone interested in the process and willing to try anything.

5.Current equipment lusts?

I can't help but laugh at this question. There seems to always be a new piece of equipment that I want to get my hands on. Right now I'm drooling over the Nikon 14-24mm 2.8. Not to geek out too much, but that 2.8 is music to my ears. I'm so in love with wide angle shots. The other current lust that is wallet friendly is the Orbis ring flash. I love the pop, surreal coloring. That attraction goes back to one of my inspirations, David LaChapelle.

Thanks Carmen for a fabulous interview and images.
Your work is amazing and inspiring!

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