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Meet San Fernando Valley Photographer: Michael Soll

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Soll.

Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was an actor when I was younger, and I always thought the headshot photoshoots were the most awkward part of acting. As a photographer, I want to establish an atmosphere during the photoshoots that are the most conducive towards creating the most honest and natural looks. My shoots are conversation based and I get to know the actor/model very well in a short span of time. From there, I started doing stills on productions. With set photography, I still try to find the most honest moments to capture on camera.

Has it been a smooth road?
The most difficult aspect of photography is the business side of things. I don’t like asking for money or hustling to get the next job, but it’s a necessary part of being a professional photographer. I’m much better behind the camera than I am as a businessman.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to continue creating work that I’m proud of, work that’s honest and beautiful.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
The hardest time in my career was figuring out the type of photographer I was and the type of photos I wanted to take. It was a lot of trial and error, especially with the way I take headshots. I essentially meet a stranger and within a couple of hours, I have to forge a relationship with him/her and then be able to capture that on camera. That’s what I wound up liking most about my work. My favorite pictures are real. When the actor/model is smiling, it’s a real smile and when the individual is deep in thought, it’s real. There’s so much dishonesty in the world today, you can never believe what you’re seeing. I knew I wanted to capture real moments, it was just difficult being able to achieve that consistently.

What about “Wow-moments” – any moments that stick out? Any moments when you felt like you had made it?
My wow moments are more centered around certain pictures I take. I wind up taking a few hundred per photoshoot and some are good, some are bad and most are okay. But there’s one every now and then where I look at it and think, wow, I can’t believe I captured that, I can’t believe I took that. That wow picture isn’t guaranteed every photoshoot. A lot of it is luck and a lot is about perseverance. It’s a moment where the lighting, framing, and emotions are just…perfect. I know we have a tendency to think nothing is perfect, but when I see some photos (whether taken by me or another person) I often think I wouldn’t change a thing. And when I feel that way, that’s when I have a wow moment.


  • Headshots are $300 and include 5 retouched photos of the client’s choice

Contact Info:

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