Portrait of a Photographer Series #1 – Michael Tighe



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Over the last month I decided to become a bit more documentary with my portraits. There is so much hyperreal imagery out in the public eye these days that it’s grown to be overdone. What do I mean when I say, “hyperreal”? Well, I define this as “something that is exaggerated beyond reality”. Society has been conditioned by what we view as reality and non-reality through media exposure, i.e online, movies, and photos. Granted there are many visual artists who have created their own style and have made their careers based on this. To be clear, I’m not at all questioning the artist’s creativity. Let creative freedom ring! It’s just the what/ how media advertises as the norm in the public eye. This (media) creates another world for us in how we interpret imagery. Many enjoy the hyperreality (in life) as a form of escapism. That’s why there are XBox games, 3D/4D movies, interactive media, etc. But at some point, it gets too overwhelming and the connection with reality becomes blurred. So I thought to take a step in a different direction and build a series of images that are simple with no effects and not overly photoshopped. Natural light and real moments. I chose my first portrait for the series to be of fellow photographer, Michael Tighe. Michael and I worked together over a decade ago and were reunited last year after a showing of his work at the Dirty Lights exhibit. This photographer is an introspective soul full of humor and who has a distinct, classic eye for portraits. I found it a great experience to turn the tables and to photograph him at his Los Angeles studio loft. During the shoot I left our interaction to dictate the personal feel of the photos. From playfully swinging from a rope (while on  a ledge using this rope for balance while taking a few of these portraits) to discussing his work with celebrities and being an actor. The mood was light-hearted and spontaneous. The experience of being a portrait photographer is wonderful! As in this series, it will allow me to know more about my peers as a person and a photographer. Just one to one with my subject and letting their personality freely express itself. Here is the first in a series of documentary portraits on photographers.