I want people to enjoy making art and be authentic about it – your vision, eye and story is unique to you and no one else can tell it like you but you – allow your art to speak and embrace the process!
Christopher Michael from Dallas, Texas, becomes an aesthetics designer with his lens. His move from fashion to working behind the lens came through a trip that he took to San Francisco, “after taking so many travel photos it really kind of struck something in me,” he shares. After returning he began lensing anyone who’d let him take their portrait; and here the foundation of his practice as a photographer began to settle. “From there, the more I used my camera it became something that I simply couldn’t let go of even though it started as a hobby.”
Describing himself as a visual person, he attributes this skill to a past spent painting, drawing, writing and working in fashion. “I’ve always been a super visual person and that’s what photography is all about – being able to create striking visuals and telling stories, so basically everything that I’ve ever loved growing up I’m just using that knowledge through the medium of photography.” A student of fashion merchandising and business, photography, this was a skill that Christopher honed by himself, sometimes consulting external resources to brush up his knowledge. “I learn a whole lot better and faster by actually just picking up the camera and figuring things out.”
In our interview Christopher taps into a sentiment that many creatives may feel almost too familiar with. He describes his day to day job as “completely complicated”. “There is a strong separation between creating the art and running a business, it’s no joke and things are ALWAYS unpredictable,” he expresses. A jack of all trades, as most creatives are, Christopher divides his time between a variety of hustles ranging from freelance photographic work and whatever else he can do to get the bills paid. “As an artist, honestly, you really have to do what you’ve got to do until you make it and even then, keep hustling and fighting for more.”
Inspiration comes to him in the form of everyday life, “I can look at a random object, thing, person or place and visualize a whole concept in my head…” Seeing the beauty in material objects, natural phenomena and people, this becomes a driving force behind his creativity. “Allowing myself to see things that may not be deemed as cool or perfect – I think that’s why my work feels simple and clean in a way because it’s not overdone and I actually embrace imperfections and a bit of grittiness.”
“To me, photography is an art and it’s all about how you feel, the feeling that you have when you’re creating from start to finish and having an eye for your specific vision. I try not to worry myself with all the technical jargon and thinking about rules of photography, once my camera settings are all setup, I just like to make art, have fun and be expressive.”