From early days as a child hanging out with my father in the darkroom, I learned about images and what they can convey. He gave me a Nikon a few years later. There’s only the visceral when you’re young, but I loved the process and the idea of capturing moments. I didn’t get passionate about photography until 2012 or so, but once I discovered that I could combine my passion for truly getting lost in the wilderness, and driving up and down those hidden and obscure roads to see what might be around the bend or over the hill with capturing those moments and many others, I was hooked. When shooting people and dogs, I prefer to capture honest unguarded moments, but I’m receptive to the occasional posed shots when there’s something interesting to me about the composition.
One of the best compliments I’ve had other than people telling me they want framed prints in their homes, was a friend who said, “Michael, your pictures have caused me to slow down and look more closely at the beauty that surrounds me, much of which I blaze by every day.” I was quite flattered, needless to say. So, I consider it part of my mission to do just that, encourage people to slow down and appreciate the beauty around them, some of the small things we blaze by at the speed of our lives, and if I can motivate anyone to step outside their comfort zone and explore somewhere new, that’s even better.
In 2016, I was unanimously selected by the jury of the Echo Art Fair in Buffalo, New York, to exhibit my work and the feedback I got was fabulous. In January 2017 some of my work was presented at the Los Angeles Art Show. I released a photo book on the adventures of my dog Shadow in December 2017. In 2018 I logged approximately 40,000 miles driving back roads through the United States in preparation for my next book, and in April 2019, NPR ran a story/interview about my wanderings and photographs of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
As for the rest, stay tuned!
Photo by Carrie Smith (2017) & p.s., that's fake fur :)