Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Arinze.
Hi Michael, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I have always had an interest in documentary photography. Experiencing raw moments and seeing things as they were intended to be; not overly edited and unrealistic. The world around us is beautiful as it is.
It wasn’t until about a year ago, right as the pandemic hit, that I developed a serious interest in photography. I spent majority of the lockdown studying classical art and how artists shaped their and shadows, advanced composition as well as candid photography techniques to see if I could apply those principles to my work and develop my own style.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has not been smooth by any means. The photography industry, specifically in the city of Los Angeles, is overly saturated and incentivized. Unless one intends on building business connections or producing original content, it is difficult to get your work to been seen, even if you are creating amazing work.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My camera is an extension of me, enabling me to capture moments from my unique perspective.
The individuals I photograph are so accustomed to giving their best face so consistently, and what I find myself doing is trying to capture real candid emotion and intimate interactions.
I’ve built a reputation of being able to create campaign-worthy photographs in usually remarkably short amount of time. Working exclusively on a compact camera body in conjunction with a photo transferring app allows me to often shoot, download and upload photos within minutes.
I see the biggest distinguishing factor between my photos and the many other individuals in the same market as myself is the choice to shoot and post all monochromatic work. Exclusively shooting in such a way urges the viewer to shift all their focus onto the subject and composition that is being portrayed. This dramatic style of photography is what allows me to tell stories through my work.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me, regarding my photography work, is being consistent and satisfied with the work that I put out. Money and notoriety are great in the present moment, but I prefer creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Michael Ikenna Arinze