Thanks for the suggestion of the OSHO book (never knew about him before).
When you do your street castings - have you got any tips on how to approach people (do you have a card that you show them with your site) because obviously people get quite worried about scams these days?
Ha- It’s easiest to just send people directly through my site so they can see my work. Anyway, it looks like you have quite a few quite a few really good questions and you’re trying to get your photography moving. Email me at Info@MichaelDonovanPhotography.com and we can set up 20 minutes of undivided time to Skype where you can ask me any question you need or want to help your art and/or business!
I’m shooting a few editorials and assignments this week so I’ll probably be busy, but I’d be happy to take a few moments of my time to assist you.
I absolutely LOVE your work. the women you photograph are so intriguing--- you're blog is such a wonderful plethora of beauty. look forward to it every day...keep it up please :)
Thank you! I must give lots of credit and praise directly to the models;my team of hair, makeup and wardrobe stylists; and to the agents at the modeling agencies who have done an AMAZING job sending me inspiring, smart and talented women to work with. It all just keeps getting better and better!
Are there any books both technological and artistic that stick in your head when it comes to Fashion Photography?
I would stay far, far away from every book that teaches technical skills for fashion photography. Instead, I’d suggest reading “Creativity” by OSHO. It has nothing to do with fashion but it opens your mind and will help. Fashion is simple: shoot the world the way you want it to look, or the way you see in your dreams. The same goes for lifestyle, commercial or whatever. :D
can you name a few photography websites or books you like?
The only places I really go to look at photos online are Tumblr and Models.com. Tumblr is very inspiring and MdX is very good to see what’s going down in the fashion world.
For books: I don’t really buy photography books anymore. I do go check out books at Strand (or Powell’s when I’m back in PDX) but I prefer to read books and look at magazines (Interview, V, Paris and Italian Vogue, Numero, etc…)
But mostly I prefer to see photos in the flesh. For instance, tonight one of my hair stylists and I went to check out the Albert Watson opening at Hasted Kraeutler on 24th. The prints were 8 feet high and amazing!
Have you had any formal photography training? I just read your bio on your site and saw that you taught yourself art - as in you were just readng books or what?
I read a few books to get a basic understanding then just started shooting. My first few months were split between shooting and hanging out at Borders. Books can teach you technical skills and remind you to look at aesthetic structures, but the best photographers are the ones who tell a story with an authentic voice.
The other part of learning art came from studying art, going to the galleries every week and talking with working artists. They opened my eyes to new techniques and new ways to understand concepts. I still go to the galleries every week - in fact I’m shooting today then heading straight to see some art afterwards!
what does it take for a model to work with you?and also what program do you use to edit your photos?
It all depends on the project. Sometimes I do street castings and other times I work with friends. But I typically work with editorial models from the best agencies in NY. My work is always different and I’m always changing the game and my needs. Feel free to email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions, or if you just want to submit snapshots!
I edit the photos with coverflow and I retouch with Photoshop CS3 (I didn’t like CS5 - it was too boxy and doesn’t flow easily for me)
just saying i think your portraiture is incredible. is everything you post your own photography or do you post other stuff that isnt yours as well?
Yes, everything on my blog was photographed and produced by me. I usually shoot 3-5 times per week and try to keep all my work fresh and relatively diverse.
The only area where it can be confusing is sculptures, installations and large paintings I’ve photographed at galleries. I go to the galleries once or twice a week and want to share that experience with others. Sculptures are easy to identify whereas paintings can look like photos so I usually try to credit the artist or at minimum show the floor, the frame, or people in the foreground to relax any confusion.