Michael is a fellow Brooks Institute alumni... Michael and I shoot completely different types of photography but we have shared appreciation for one another's work. Michael’s ability really shines when it comes to exploring the oddities of the world around him. I thought it would be cool to do a mini-interview with Mike and help promote his photography... Please give his site a look at: www.mikejbarbosa.com
What got you started in photography?
For me, photography really started when I was a young boy. I never knew how to draw and I never really had an interest in drawing, but I loved to create art and I loved to illustrate things. My adventures were juvenile at a young age, of course: I would find a location to set up my action figures, pose them, photograph them, and then composite images to make my own comic adventures. As I got older, I started to really appreciate the natural world around me, so I started to get into photographing landscapes. I still wanted to make art and create things from my own imagination, so I use photography as a means to that end as well. I don’t do much composite work, as I find it much more satisfying to see my idea take physical form in front of the camera before I take it in for post work refinement.
Who inspires you as a photographer?
One of my all-time most inspirational things to do is to look up conceptual artwork: impossible landscapes, imaginative cityscapes, interesting creatures and characters. These things fuel my fire to create, explore, and capture my ideas and the world around me. Other photographers also inspire me. If their work keeps me engaged or has a cool concept, I really feel inspired to work even harder on my own projects.
When you shoot what is your primary motivation?
What motivates me in a shoot is relative to what I’m shooting for. If I’m shooting a landscape, my motivation is to create an honest and beautiful interpretation of the scenery; I also try to hunt for things that I could use in a future composite I have rough ideas for. When shooting to materialize my ideas, I’m driven by my desire to get this image in my head that absolutely must get out and show it to the world. I’m motivated by the hard work others do, and I know that if I’m not giving it my all then I’m cheating myself and I’m invalidating the efforts that others have given before me. No matter what, my work needs to have precision and accuracy with what I’m intending to convey.
Any last words of wisdom?
Channel your emotions, accept your ideas as valid, and if you’re too comfortable then you’re doing it wrong. Everything is good in moderation; don’t ever fall to obsession in an endeavor and always do what you love to do. Sometimes, you’ll feel like crap and you’ll feel like quitting, but don’t waste time thinking about what could be or what should be: the time will pass anyway, so it’s best to seize it and make the most of it. I am one to get easily distracted by how I’m feeling so I know from experience that the best thing to do is to remind yourself to keep your chin up and keep going.
Click thumbnails to enlarge