Interviews / Stories
Photographer Michael Row (London)
Tell us something about yourself
I have lived in London all my life, I work in a very technical area of IT – about as far away from being creative as it’s possible to be!
How and when did you get into photography?
My experience with photography was pretty much the same as everyone else, holiday snaps, maybe the odd picture of a landmark in a city, really nothing more. I started to explore a few years ago with Photoshop and really reached the point where I wanted to take my own images of models rather than editing other peoples work. So before about 2 years ago I didn’t own a “proper” camera and had certainly never taken anything approaching a decent image
What does photography mean to you?
Photography for me is my creative outlet, it’s my passion and let’s me ignore all the day to day stuff that we all have to deal with. I can enter another world and be someone else for a few hours during a shoot. So definitely it’s a way to relax and my way to express myself.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I think my style is best described as “natural”. I use natural light wherever possible, you will very rarely find me in a studio shooting a model against a blank white backdrop, that really isn’t me. I hope I shoot things that are quirky and interesting and a little bit different from what a lot of other people do. I love the use of lens flare too, so you’ll see a lot of soft colours in my images and absolutely I’m a huge fan of a very small DOF, so colours, quirky and soft!
Where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration almost entirely comes from my models. I don’t usually have a shoot plan, I meet the model and it could be the way she moves, or talks, something will spark some kind of an idea but really mostly I shoot with no concept in mind! I do love music though so sometimes a lyric or song title may provide an initial idea but as I said the model can easily turn that into something completely different!
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Again often no, I may have an idea for a type of model, or maybe a retro shot, or maybe we are going to a cool location, really I work things out at the time of the shoot, I find that makes me more creative.
Studio, on location or both?
Location first and studio only if it has lots of natural light options, I really don’t shoot traditional studio. Models homes, hotels etc…That’s definitely more me.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
100% a Hobbyist – being paid I think would take the fun away if I had to produce someone elses ideas!
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Shooting at a disused Army Barracks was amazing, just so many places to work and the model I shot with was perfect for kind of a creepy art nude! It was the time the location and the model just worked 100% in every way
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Wow, that’s tough. I’d say the models I work with. They really are a constant source of inspiration. I love to shoot with a model more than once, as you get to know someone better, the creative partnership becomes stronger and the images can be breathtaking.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I shoot with a Canon 5D3 and only Prime lenses, currently either the Canon 85mm 1.8 or the Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 – both amazing pieces of glass!
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
As a hobbyist I’m probably not qualified but I’d say know your market and what you are offering , what makes you different and concentrate on pushing that!
What do you think of our new magazine?
It’s amazing!! So cool to be able to see such varied work in one place. I shall definitely be downloading every issue from now!