In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

I came across the video below on David Hobby’s site (which happens to be one of the first things I check every morning). In it, photographer Nadav Kander talks about his approach to photography, how he deals with his subjects, and more. Now, I love gear. I pretty-much eat, sleep, and breathe photography gear. I write about it, I advise our customers and staff about it, I test it, use it, abuse it, and love it. I am, in every sense of the word, a gearhead. Creativity, however, isn’t a function of gear. It is, rather, related directly to your imagination and your eye, and those are fed by seeing the work of other photographers, talking to them, and learning from them.  Now, behind-the-scenes videos are my not-so-guilty pleasure. I pore over them incessantly, watching for everything from the big picture of how these photographers work, to tiny nuances in their lighting adjustments, client interactions, camera positioning, posing, and a myriad of other details. These videos, however, don’t always give you an insight into the photographers mindset, or his creative approach, or his thought process. Sometimes, what’s needed is that same photographer standing in front of a crowd for a bit, just talking and showing them images. Narratives about a shooter’s experiences are perhaps one of the most valuable learning tools we have at our disposal. To that end, I present, for your edification, a couple of my favorite photographers talking about their work. Similar to the video above with Nadav Kander, these videos are more along the lines of lectures, rather than technique how-tos. First, we have Joe McNally. Back...
Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. When I picked wedding and portrait photographer Michael Cali as the person I wanted to talk about in today’s Photo Finds feature, I didn’t remember right away that he and last week’s Photo Finds photographer, Brad Moore, had something pretty significant in common. Both Brad and Michael have served as assistants to one of the most amazing photographers alive today, Joe McNally. Brad is his former assistant (he works for Scott Kelby now) and Mike is Joe’s current assistant. I first came across Cali’s (apparently, everyone calls him that) work via Zack Arias’ blog, where he mentioned that Cali had been shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 lately. So I followed the link to Cali’s blog and ended up spending a good hour there, just going through his images. So here’s something interesting to note about Michael Cali. The Fuji X-Pro1 notwithstanding, one cool thing to know about Michael is that he’s a film shooter. Yep, that’s right. The assistant to Joe McNally, who shot National Geographic’s first digital cover, who was among the elite that got to work with Nikon’s D4 before its release, that photographer’s assistant is primarily a film shooter. The thing is, to peg him as a “film shooter” is to sell him grotesquely short. Michael Cali is a photographer – and he’s a damned good one. Film happens to be his medium of choice, but if you look at his images with the X-Pro1, you’ll quickly see that his photography transcends a particular medium. He’s not a...