Today I was in a department store and who did I see on hundreds of televisions - funny man Rodney Laney. Rodney is my long time friend and we first met years ago working on a creative project. Rodney seems to be doing great with himself and TBS labels him as very funny!
Congrats Rodney! You can see Rodney perform next Sunday at the Sweet Spot erotic poetry show @ 7PM, 96 Lafayette St - NY. You can also follow him on Twitter @RodneyLaney
Michael Creagh is the renaissance man of the future. I first came across Michael's work after seeing the interview I did with Natascha Bessez being featured on Michael's blog at http://michaelcreagh.wordpress.com. I was very impressed at Michael's work and quickly reached out to him to discuss the REYNOLDS 2.2 interview and to work with him. Michael is not just a photographer, he is a innovator with a creative eye and touch. Simply Michael takes all the right risk! See below my exclusive interview with Michael Creagh and some images of his work that I felt to share with you all. Also don't miss out on watching the amazing Melanie Iglesias flip book video posted below.
REYNOLDS 2.2:Where are you from?
MICHAEL CREAGH:I am from the suburbs of Chicago, if you’ve seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that is where I am from. When he picked up his girlfriend from school that is where my first girlfriend went to school.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What inspired you to be a photographer?
MICHAEL CREAGH: Nothing, there were so many things I could have done and I didn’t want any of them. I just graduated college and was interviewing at a big consulting firm and thought I don’t want this job or any of them. Instead, I took off to the South of France and then Italy. I didn’t even know I could be a photographer. I barely owned a camera and I thought I might become a writer but apparently to be a writer, you have to write every day. I just walked around taking photos. Then I started taking pictures of my friends and that’s when everything inspired me.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What is one of your most memorable & favorite photo shoots you can remember and share with REYNOLDS 2.2?
MICHAEL CREAGH: There are so many and for so many different reasons that it almost seems arbitrary to stop on one. There is a general thrill when it is working: when a photo shoot comes together. I have always loved the Trapeze shoot. It came during an important transition for me. It was my first big shoot after my Bubbles story and I was worried I couldn’t pull off these big production high caliber shoots every time. Trapeze was a fun day, but maybe the best word for it was smooth. The model looked great and acted great. The set was working, and all the energy I put in before the shoot happened ensured the shoot was easy and beautiful.
There is a whole different type of memorable shoots and they happen all the time. It is this connection with your subject and the creation of an image that is greater than moment it was taken. The most recent was just a couple weeks ago on the Melanie Iglesias shoot. I had photographed Melanie for a job a few months back and we talked about just shooting something for fun. When we got together it was just play time. One of us had an idea: we would try it. Hours passed and each idea ballooned into bigger ideas. Before you knew it, we were shooting a stop motion video. It was such a good feeling. It was fun and sexy, and we felt like we had something special. For the next couple days I was excited to show my studio partner, my assistants, and my clients the raw 2000 photos…just clicking through them, not even put together yet -- just the potential. After the first week on YouTube now with about 400,000 hits and being featured on dozens of sites including the lead web pages Maxim, Sports Illustrated, and FHM - you feel really in tune that other people felt what you felt.
REYNOLDS 2.2: When did you start shooting fashion photography?
MICHAEL CREAGH: Fashion went hand in hand with my arrival in New York. I remember being intrigued when I lived in Italy by Italian Vogue. I thought the stories were so beautiful, but I had no means or resources to do it. When I got to New York, I started to make it happen. It was a mix of trying to be a professional and the actual opportunities that are out there. I had never before just run into models and designers, but in New York there are so many people trying to live the dream.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What type of advertising photography have you done? MICHAEL CREAGH: I have been lucky enough to make some connections with some real creative innovators. I teamed up on several occasions with the extremely talented graphic illustrators Vault49, to work on McDonalds and Disney, O2 Telecom, Samsung (Leo Burnett) and Freestyle Diabetes testing meters (Ogilvy). With web leaders, Code and Theory, I worked on Microsoft (McCann Erikson), Ecko and Dr. Pepper. With OneSource VMS, we recently did all the store windows Club Monaco. I have a current campaign all over the web with Duncan/Channon for Blurbs Books, and one campaign coming out for Biolife with Pivot Design.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What's the experience like working with top brand names such as Microsoft, Sony and Club Monaco?
MICHAEL CREAGH: It is not that different from your everyday shoot, except generally the big names are more focused. They know what they want and need and you just have to give it to them. They usually have done their homework. It is not uncommon for them to have complete mockups of the shoot with other photos/sketches that you would look at in a meeting a week before the shoot. It just needs to be refined, produced and then executed.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What is a typical day like for Michael Creagh?
MICHAEL CREAGH: Typical days are tough to define when you freelance. My day to day can really vary, and generally, most days are kind of fun. I get into the studio; talk and set up with assistants. Client and models come; more talking. Sit around waiting for makeup; some last minute planning. Take some cool photos, eat lunch, and then more cool photos.
I do have days that seem to be on repeat where you have done a shoot for a client several times before. Sometimes that is good, because it is easy and it is good business. Other weeks are just super busy with more shoots planned than days available, and every clients needs everything yesterday.
REYNOLDS 2.2: I have to say your work is amazing and REYNOLDS 2.2 would like to know what can we expect in the near future from Michael Creagh?
In the future, you will see more projects in more places. I have spent the last 2 years really building up the day to day shoots in my business; my core clients, the money jobs. I have been neglecting some of the raw creative stories. You will also see more videos. I have been experimenting a lot with both video and stop-motion videos. So expect to see a sequel to the big Melanie Iglesias video.
I also have a new book in the works. My last one had a lot of success winning 1st Runner-up in the Photography Book Now competition. It is going through a major update that is really exciting. Link to my current book: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1106047
REYNOLDS 2.2: Can you give aspiring photographers any advice on getting started in photography?
MICHAEL CREAGH: You have to ask the big questions and really delve into your feelings on subjects. Don’t worry about the camera as much as you worry about what a woman should look like. What is a man supposed to be like? Questions about how you see the world will shape your style and marketability. I would also suggest shooting as much as possible. When my interns came this summer, they were shocked when I said I expected them to photograph 15 models over the 2 months. When they did it, they not only had a whole new portfolio, but a new outlook. They grew in confidence and learned a lot about themselves. I am not just my portfolio. After 2000 shoots, some big productions, some little things; my perspective is sharpened and I am ready to take on challenges and create.
Michael comes across as a humble and wise man that clearly delivers and continues to mold the future of photography and video. Here is a link to the Trapeze photo shoot: http://www.michaelcreagh.com/video/8.mov
Michael, thank you for the opportunity to interview you and showcase your work on REYNOLDS 2.2. Keep a look out for more coverage of Michael Creagh on REYNOLDS 2.2.
REYNOLDS 2.2 features Cliff White the founder of Cliff's Tattoo. Cliff gives us a little history on his involvement in the tattoo business. Cliff also talks about the establishment of Cliff's Tattoo and modern day tattooing. Never know who, what or where will appear on REYNOLDS 2.2 - (watch it full screen HD)