Photographer // Stuart Michael
Model / Blogger Natascha
Hair and Makeup // Ana Lazar
Stylist // Izabel Caligore
We are proud to present the next installment of The Handsome Project. Each month we’ll showcase an amazing young photographer who blows our minds, shoots our stuff and is all together fantastic. Read on to see the rest of Stuart’s WAH photoshoot and interview…
How did you get to here? (What’s your photographer history?)
Being primarily self-taught, it wasn’t until I got my first DSLR that I really pursued photography as a profession and having a background in graphic design definitely helped to streamline my work towards fashion photography.
Are you a self-taught photographer or did you have a mentor/teacher that showed you the ropes?
I’m a self-taught photographer. My photography skills have always come naturally but I am continually learning more everyday.
How did you come up with the concept behind your Handsome Project shoot?
This shoot is really playing on colour, texture and patterns but also keeping them balanced and harmonious within the composition. So with that in mind I like to let the ideas develop as I explore the shooting location.
What keeps you enthused in the photography industry?
It’s pretty easy to stay enthused when there are beautiful people in front of the camera and the scenery is constantly changing. But I think taking time out and away from the lens and just looking at the world with your own two eyes brings fresh perspective and rejuvenates your creative mind.
Describe your approach in three words.
Eclectic, Relaxed, Earthy
Black & white or colour?
For me it comes down to the style of image. I like black/white because it has no distractions and can be very artistic while colour adds a new dynamic element that can emphasise objects and patterns and can reflect a mood. So both!
Do you prefer film or digital? Why?
I prefer digital, photography has evolved so much as an art form, you can push new boundaries in a digital format and achieve your vision instantly and precisely which you just can’t do in a dark room.
EOS 5D Mark II.
Describe your photographic approach.
My photography approach is pretty simple. I just want to find what works best in each scenario and try to be open to inspiration as it comes.
I have a few favourite photographers but each of them for different reasons and I draw inspiration from them for different things.
Without a doubt my most favourite photo was one I took just by chance when I was taking shots for a high school project on the homeless. I met an aboriginal man at Federation Square who had pale green eyes that contrasted amazingly with his dark skin. When I asked to take his portrait he was all to happy to help. So he took a drag of his cigarette, and stared straight down the lens with this knowing smile as he exhaled the smoke. The shot is amazing and reminds me of that national geographic shot “girl with the green eyes” but I’ve long lost the print and the file was stored on floppy disk and cant retrieve it now.
What turns you on?
Inspiration. Thinking about ideas and concepts for my next photo shoot.
What turns you off?
How do you decide on locations & subjects for your shoots?
I’m forever collecting inspiration and photos from other photographers and whatever else around me. Whenever I have an idea I put together a mood board and from there I decide the location and subjects.
If you could take your photography in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new things would you try?
I’d love to work with some couture pieces, blow the budget with more dramatic lighting and some props… and maybe even throw in some exotic birds that compliment the pieces. (even though we’re constantly told not to work with animals).
Best advice you’ve ever received.
Don’t be too proud, you’ll never learn new things, don’t be too humble or you’ll never try…
What is the one quality you think is needed for a photographer to be great?
Passion! It’s hard to go anywhere without it.
Where to next?
I think the next step for me is to go international and get into some high-end fashion editorials.
We would like to send major kudos to Stuart for taking on the Handsome Project and creating this gorgeous shoot. It’s earthy and tough, with a street vibe we adore! xx