All photos © Michelle Moore
How did you get started?
I had an interest in photography in high school, especially my senior year when I took my first B&W darkroom class. It was love at first sight as I watched my image develop on a piece of 8×10 Ilford paper. When I got to college I took a “hiatus” from my art, until one fateful day, a friend of mine in a local indie band asked me to photograph them at a live show. From that day on I was photographing local indie bands, getting into shows and shooting promo gigs.
After two years, I found myself ready for something fresh. I always had a love of fashion, and working with people so I decided to get into Fashion Photography. I shot everyone I could get my hands on, put together a book, went to the agencies and started testing with models and working on my portfolio.
How would you describe your work?
Light, romantic, fresh. With my fashion work, I try to let the poses and movements be as natural as possible, while telling a story. For my seniors, I try and bring an element of fashion to my work, while keeping the shoot about the personality of my client.
I try and help the models or people I work with feel comfortable and act natural in front of the camera. I think this helps keep my images fresh and youthful.
What is your core business?
I consider myself a Fashion Photographer that specializes in High School Senior Portraits. I split my time between the senior portrait market here in Seattle and testing/producing fashion shoots.
How do you attract new customers?
I attract new clients through my blog, Facebook, and networking with people. The fashion industry is very much a face-time industry and so going to agencies, fashion shows, and reaching out to potential clients is the best way to start a fashion career. I use my blog as a way to post new work daily and it keeps people interested and coming back for more. Facebook and word-of-mouth is how I reach my seniors.
What is the best part of what you do?
Getting to meet new people on a daily basis, working my own hours, and being able to travel. I really feel the most important part of my job is making people feel great about themselves. Whether it’s working with a model, or a portrait client, I think it’s so important to encourage and engage them.
I always hope to reveal my clients inner beauty as well as their outer beauty. A photograph can change someone’s life… for the better.
What is the single-most challenging component of your business?
Being solely responsible for yourself. It is extremely challenging to wear many hats, and problem solve on a daily basis, but at the end of the day it’s extremely rewarding. If you’re not ready to work 80+ hours a week, this business is not for you.
I always hope to reveal my clients inner beauty as well as their outer beauty.
All photos © Michelle Moore
What is your favorite camera and lens to shoot with?
I shoot Canon. I have a 1Ds Mk II that I have been shooting for 3 or 4 years now. My favorite lens is the 35 1.4L from Canon. You really cannot go wrong with that lens. It allows me to move around, and get close to my subject. I love its flexibility, sharpness and ability to be flattering for everyone.
I notice you use a lot of natural light. Explain how you leverage that in your work.
I am in love with natural light, fresh air and urban landscapes. Being outside is so liberating! Working with the light you have teaches you to think on your feet and forces you to work with the environment. One of my philosophies is keeping everything natural.
I try to stay away from artificial lighting (unless I’m working with a model in-studio) and bringing too much excess “stuff” to a shoot. I like all kinds of natural light; back-lighting, flare, open shade, and even direct sun at the right time of day. I always look for spots that bring a “sparkle” to the eye. Without any reflection (natural or bounce) eyes will look lifeless and blank.
You’ve also been using a tilt-shift lens in your recent work, tell us more about that.
I just love how unexpected the results from it are, and how you can really use it to further aid in the storytelling of an image. It is a really fun lens to use in moderation and can yield some really stunning results!
A photograph can change someone’s life… for the better.
How are you leveraging technology?
I keep it really simple. I shoot digital, and have an easy workflow that goes from my CF card, to my hard drive, gets selected in iView, then edited through Photoshop, then saved & uploaded!
Technology + Networking on the other hand is a whole other ballgame. I use my iPhone to keep in contact with clients, friends and other photographers on the go through email, Facebook + Twitter. I try and stay as in tune to the pulse of the online world as possible, while still maintaining real life relationships with people, clients and photographers around the world.
Where do you plan to be in the next 5 years?
Traveling the world shooting editorials for magazines, and campaigns for designers. My dream would be to have a studio in New York, and a home in Seattle so I can travel back and forth.
Pursue your passion for photography or anything else with reckless abandon.
Insert your shameless plug here:
Find me on the web: http://michellemooreblog.com
For more FAQs about photography check out the Photographers category on my blog!!
I am in love with natural light, fresh air and urban landscapes.
All photos © Michelle Moore
I’m a sucker for natural light myself, and Michelle handles it like a maestro conducting an orchestra – ’nuff said.
For continued inspiration, be sure to check out her blog!
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