Michael Mowbray will be one of our featured speakers at our 2018 Carolina Photo Expo at the Sheraton Imperial in Durham, NC August 3-6, 2018.
A: Hey, Michael. It's awesome that we are having you speak at the Carolina Photo Expo.
M: I'm really looking forward to it. I've never been to Carolina, so it's always been on my bucket list.
A: You should definitely make it a point to see some more of the state while you are here. Where are you based?
M: I'm in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin
A: Sounds cold. Do you have a niche in that market?
M: If you like weather, we have it. Sometimes all four seasons in one day.
I am more of a portrait generalist when it comes to photography. Seniors are the largest portion of my business, followed by headshots, weddings, families, and commercial.
A: What makes you stand out that attracts clients to you?
M: From a visual standpoint, it would be my more dramatic images for seniors and weddings. For all genres, it would be the overall experience.
A: You are quite a character. The images I have seen of yours definitely are dramatic. A lot of that seems to be based on your lighting?
M: Yes, absolutely. The program is titled "The Cordless Studio" and I will be talking about how I light almost everything with battery-powered flashes. I switched my studio over to all speedlight-based lighting in 2009, and with the introduction of innovative and more powerful Godox flashes 4-5 years ago, I have added them to my repertoire as well.
A: I love my Godox lights. They have been a complete game changer for me. Besides your class, where do you recommend photographers who are interested in mastering off go for learning?
M: Education in this industry has become somewhat of a dice roll these days. There are a lot of good educators out there. And there are some who quite frankly need to learn their craft much better before even considering trying to teach. The running joke is "get your camera at Christmas and by fall you'll be teaching workshops." LOL.
That being said, I do recommend more intensive workshops for most photographers...inexperienced to experienced. Be sure to check out your instructor. Cut through the hype. Look deeply at their work. Ask for references and check out reviews before you drop big money on a workshop or class.
Oh, and buy my books. LOL
A: I completely agree. With the new lights available, it has never been easier to use OCF. Learning to do it well is the key. Before we wrap, do you have any other advice for new or even experienced photographers in today's market?
M: I'll give one piece of core lighting advice: Place your lights with purpose. Understand what your off-camera flash will do and purposefully place and craft your light: angle to the subject, distance, quality, lighting ratio to ambient -- everything needs to be done with a purpose. For those who are not having success with OCF, it is often because they do not understand and practice this concept. One cannot just plop a flash down and expect magic. My approach to all lighting is that I am creating studio-style lighting, even if I am not in the studio. I have a key light for creating shape and dimension. I have fill (or no fill) to control how deep my shadows are. I create separation of the subject from the background. Everything is done with a purpose.
A: Perfect! It has been a pleasure speaking with you today. I can't wait to see you at Expo, yours is definitely a class I don't want to miss.
M: Thanks! See you in August
Click on Michael's images for relevant links to his class.
Register ASAP for the Carolina Photo Expo. For the month of November, you can take advantage of our Early Bird Special! Micheal is just one of an amazing lineup of speakers that you will not want to miss.