michael grecco

Creative Showcase: The Best Celebrity Photographers

From product to landscape and underwater to portraiture, there are dozens upon dozens of different types of photography out there. Today, we’re focusing on celebrity photography.

Taking professional pictures of famous individuals comes with its own set of difficulties. First of all, you’re photographing someone who gets photographed all the time. On the bright side, that means they probably know how to pose and make themselves look good on camera. On the downside, there are already hundreds or thousands of quality pictures of them out there, meaning sometimes you have to be extra creative to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

These types of photo shoots can also be incredibly hard to arrange as well. They often only happen under tight time restrictions with lightning fast turnarounds. Plus, if you happen to be working with a celebrity who is a particular diva, that just makes everything that much harder.

Despite the difficulties, plenty of photographers love shooting celebrities. In this week’s showcase, we’re highlighting five of the best celebrity photographers we know.

Ethan Pines

Nigel Parry

Michael Lewis

Roberto Chamorro

Michael Grecco

To see even more great celebrity photography, visit the Celebrity section on the AtEdge website.

© All Images

A Week in the Life of Celebrity Photographer Michael Grecco

Michael Grecco is an award-winning commercial photographer and film director noted for his celebrity portraits. Combining a strong conceptual vision with his signature dramatic lighting, Michael creates incomparable images that are famously dramatic, evocative, sophisticated, ironic, and comedic. Known not only for his high-concept imagery, Michael also has an innate ability to connect with each subject to bring out surprising nuances that make even the most recognizable faces unexpected, fresh, and new. Michael’s client list includes NBC/Universal, GE, Pfizer, HBO, Kodak, ABC, IBM, Yahoo!, ESPN, Wired, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Premier, MAXIMand more. His work is regularly featured in prestigious galleries such as Louis Stern, G. Ray Hawkins, Stephen Cohen and Fahey Klein.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Michael recently in between shooting the first national cinemagraph television commercial and photographing Will Smith for Sports Illustrated. Here’s what he had to say about his recent projects, his career, and what he’s doing next.

Michael Grecco is represented nationally by Clare Agency. See much more of his work through his AtEdge portfolio and at michaelgrecco.com.

You’re well known in the photo industry for creating outstanding celebrity portraits. Give us an insight into your methodology.

It’s all about being a people-person and making connections with the subject. There has to be a great level of communication. Normally, I introduce myself and set the expectations for the shoot. Then I listen. Is there excitement? Trepidation? Hesitation? It’s important to pay attention to how they feel, and not just be there dictating. As a photographer, you can have some of the best concepts in the world, but without the cooperation of the subject you might not be able to get the image you’d hoped for. The second level is potentially a bonding process, where if it’s comfortable, I might sit with the talent in hair and makeup and get to know them more. I always go with what feels right, and it’s not the same for every subject.

Screenshot 2016-03-02 10.44.34
You were approached by Sports Illustrated to photograph Will Smith for the cover of the December 2015 issue. What was the original concept and how was the final image achieved?

We shot the cover of the issue ahead of the release of Will’s latest movie, Concussion. The film is about Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-American physician who helped discover CTE and linked it to football-specific head traumas. In the article, author Ben Reiter shines a light on Will’s role in the movie and the possible implications for the NFL and the players. Originally, the client wanted us to shoot Will against a white background, but I always like to try to bring something more to the table. I wanted to explore more intriguing lighting that would play on reality. I was thinking about Dr. Omalu and I got the idea to put Will against a different background and backlight him with a strobe while letting the flash behind him flare into the lens. My lighting concepts tend to go with this loose emotional connection, especially when I have a lot of freedom. I like to be as organic as possible for two reasons: you don’t need to enhance in post, and the client gets to actually see it.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

The same week you photographed the Sports Illustrated cover you were also creating the first cinemagraph TV commercial for Pizza Hut. How does the creative process for cinemagraphs differ from traditional still photography?

Like any process, there’s the ideation part – either by myself or the creatives. Depending on the concept, there are so many ways that we have to basically deconstruct it to see what we’re doing. This particular spot was all shot as stills, utilizing a Panasonic GH4 camera. The talent was shot in 4k on a Red camera. Because each process is different, the workflow can be different each time too. The spot was created using Flixel software and we laid the motion elements on top. Flixel made a great behind-the-scenes video that gives more of an insight into the process.

 

Why did you start producing cinemagraphs? Why do you think they’re important for advertising? 

Cinemagraphs got my attention early on. It’s something I’m fascinated with because I always try to have a very long view and approach to the future. When more content became mobile and moved to the web, I really started thinking about this particular mixture of stills and motion. It’s interesting, because people are starting to use them slowly. Watching the market it seems like they’re more of a novelty right now, but soon they’ll be part of the complete package. In a world of over-saturation, overstimulation, and overexposure, the cinemagraph is what the advertising world needs; a visually fresh approach different enough to catch the viewers attention, yet familiar enough to be effective. It’s a very natural way of using new media. The Pizza Hut spot was cool and revolutionary. When I was asked by the Emmy’s to produce cinemagraphs for social media, they saw about four times more traffic than ever before. There’s time for stills and video, but this creates a brand new medium where you can just engage. I think it’s a very sophisticated way of storytelling.

 

What’s next on your plate?

My biggest project right now is a 4-6 part network documentary and feature film on my early video and photography work, tentatively titled Punk Invasion. Boston was the first city in the U.S. that all the big punk/rock bands toured in – The Police, The Cure – I have footage of all of them. I documented the first show for many, many bands and so the story will revolve around how punk invaded this country and changed music forever. Before then, rock and roll stations were mostly album-oriented. Punk music changed the music industry and the radio world by moving from an album-oriented approach to playing more singles. With this there will also be a book and an exhibition. My staff kept pushing me to do something with it, so I ended up showing it to David Fahey of the Fahey Klein Gallery in LA and Judith Regan from Harper Collins. Judith said I needed to do a documentary and David also was very supportive. I’m very excited about it. It’s a side of my work that no one has ever really seen before.

 

Lead singer Lux Interior (born Erick Lee Purkhiser) of the punk rock band "The Cramps" performing on stage at a theater in 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Michael Grecco Shoots Live Cinemagraphs for 67th Annual Emmy Awards

Award-winning commercial photographer and film director Michael Grecco is no stranger to being around celebrities. He’s worked with them to create his iconic portraits, innovative magazine covers, editorial images and advertising spreads. But this time, he’s worked with some of the biggest celebrities in television to create something entirely different.

As a photographer who appreciates both stills and motion footage, Michael has been exploring ways of merging them together. In the past few months he has created a number of engaging cinemagraphs for a variety of projects. But it’s not just Michael that has been using these new living pictures; cinemagraphs have been quickly gaining popularity among large brands for social media use, too.

In fact, for this year’s Emmy Awards, Michael Grecco teamed up with Flixel, makers of the Cinemagraph Pro Software, to create live cinemagraphs – in only 12 frames or less – of the celebrities and award-winners for the Television Academy’s social media channels.

Michael says,

One of the favorite parts of my job is the creative problem solving that has to happen for any photoshoot. Problem solving is something I am known for and I love it. I was asked by Flixel Studios to create a backstage studio at the Emmy’s to shoot cinemagraphs for the Television Academy’s social media images at the 67th Annual Emmy Awards. The challenge here was to figure out how to make a dynamic motion and a dynamic still element, the two components needed for a great cinemagraph.

The motion element needs stability and consistency, it begs for for a tripod and a stable scenario. The still element of the talent needs both flexibility and excitement, the exact opposite of the motion element. Are you wondering how I created these images in 12 frames or less, please reach out to me at Michael@MichaelGrecco.com and I will personally tell you.

You can see much more of Michael’s work through his AtEdge Portfolio and at michaelgrecco.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Grecco’s Mesmerizing Living Photographs

The future of photography is here; Cinemagraphs are photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. Usually published in an animated GIF format, Living Photographs can give the illusion that the viewer is watching a video.

To create a great Living Photograph, Michael Grecco actually shoots video, directing talent in a way that makes sense for the execution of the movement and the still image being used. It’s a fun process that has its own special requirements to make it work.

The effect of Living Photography is not only surprising and unexpected, but from a marketing perspective it is effective – Living Photography is clicked 60 to 80% more often than a still photograph.

I believe this melding of still photography and motion footage is the future of imagery – which makes me excited about creating it. Please let me know what you think of these examples of Living Photography-Michael Grecco

Check them out below:

Panasonic Avions – Champagne

Panasonic Avions – Tv Screen

All images Copyright Michael Grecco

12 Sports Photographers Blowing the Competition Away

With the start of Football season in the USA,  it only feels right to pay homage to all of the sports we love and the talented photographers who are making the magic happen behind the lens.

Here are 12 sports shooters that are currently blowing their competition away!

Andy Mahr
Andy Mahr

 

Douglas Fisher
Douglas Fisher

 

Howard Schatz
Howard Schatz

 

Jim Hughes
Jim Hughes

 

Joseph Puhy
Joseph Puhy

 

Nick Hall
Nick Hall

 

Philip Rostron
Philip Rostron

 

Staudinger + Franke
Staudinger Frank

 

Tim Tadder
Tim Tadder

 

Shaun Fenn
Shaun Fenn

 

Michael Grecco
Michael Grecco

 

Sandro
Sandro

We’ve invited only the most innovative commercial photographers worldwide to be showcased on AtEdge. Explore their portfolios today.

10 Fashion Photographers You Should Know

This week AtEdge brings to you some of the world’s most talented fashion photographers.

Our artists have worked with the biggest names in the industry including:  Wrangler Jeans, Rolling Stone Magazine, Esquire, MAXIM, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Sartoro NYC, Bloomingdale’s, Glamour, Vanity Fair  and many more.

Check out 10 of the most innovative fashion photographers working today:

Alberto Oviedo

Alberto Oviedo, fashion photography, fashion, lips, makeup, editorial, commercial, flowers, lipstick, atedge, photography

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Roger Hagadone

Roger Hagadone, commercial photography, fashion, fashion photography, atedge, hair, makeup, art director, art buyer

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Erik Almas

Erik Almas, red dress, atedge, fashion, fashion photography, photographers, atedge, commercial, talent,

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Joel Grimes

Joel Grimes, fashion, photography, atedge, commercial, fashion photographer

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Maxine Helfman

Maxine Helfman, statement, commmercial, fashion, fashion photographer, photography, studio, atedge

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Michael Grecco

Michael Grecco, fashion, couture, mountains, outdoors, fashion photography, photographer, atedge, commercial

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Krovblit

David Krovblit, krovblit, fashion, high fashion, mens fashion, photography, photographer, atedge, commercial, assignment photography

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Jennifer Robbins

Jennifer Robbins, lace, high heels, shoes, makeup, fun, fashion, photography, fashion photographer, high fashion

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Raina + Wilson

Raina Wilson, Raina, Wilson, Ladder, Fashion, high fashion, hot couture, designer, fashion photography, studio, photographer,

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

Russell + Rutherford

Russel Rutherford, fashion photography, black and white, b+w, studio, hair, gloves, high fashion, couture, atedge

AtEdge Portfolio // Artist Website

 

>> Explore more of the hottest fashion photographers right now on At-Edge.com.