Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Garcia.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I first purchased my DSLR a few weeks into my daughter’s life. My goal was simple, to have the means of capturing any and every moment. As being someone with no photography background and zero experience in owning a DSLR, it felt very intimidating, but being who I am, I accepted the challenge and thus, “research mode” had begun. I immersed myself in information, from videos to articles to many photography genres. I finally reached a conclusion, I was going to put my camera in manual mode and force myself to learn (a trail by fire if you must) and so… I did. The very first shoot I did was of my daughter. It was a midsummer Florida sunshine kind of day, hot and bright. I must have spent 15… 20… maybe 30mins trying to “dial in the settings,” but the joke was on me for every variable from the white blanket to the outfit to the amount of clouds and not to mention her inability to sit still ALL played a factor. I had much to learn, and it showed. Inanimate objects and macro photography soon became my friend! at this point, it was all about practice, practice, practice!!
During my research, I remember running into this dramatic, shadow(y) style of shooting (low-key photography) and a genre called Boudoir. I began to read the first-hand accounts of the clients whose confidence not only had returned but a newfound love and respect for themselves. I immediately was strongly intrigued, “I love helping. It’s why I became a Nurse.” I thought to myself. That night in daily conversation I begin to tell my wife about the genre of photography called Boudoir and that’s when she stops me and says, “I almost did one of these before our wedding!!” and with a shocked face I reply “Oh really!? Well let’s make it happen!” and so it was settled, I had the perfect muse and a style/genre I wanted to explore. After five months and much practice, it was time for my first boudoir shoot with a “client”. An old friend from high school who had just recovered from brain surgery and volunteered as tribute, With her new scar she found herself struggling with self-confidence, self love and self-worth, something that was all too familiar for me and many. I had found my “why?” and now I had found my opportunity.
What started off as nerve-wracking soon turned into creative freedom. I captured what felt “right,” moving lights around and making adjustments. My wife, such a pivotal component, not only helped me feel comfortable but as a fellow creative gave me insight and another set of eyes. She is an artist, and though photography may not be her medium, she is well versed in the realm of creativity, composition, and values. My first official client shoot was a success! and though I look back now seeing many things I would have tried differently, I also value it very much, Seeing my friend walk away full of confidence, sharing our work proudly and seeing that glow was everything and pushed me to pursue my journey, The end of 2020 will officially conclude my 2nd year of being a photographer. During this time, I have learned Photoshop, Lightroom and many other skills with editing and lighting. I have been fortunate to have my work recognized in several small magazines and in the beginning of this year to have my work accepted, presented and sold at Nude Nite Tampa 2020. I continue to learn and follow what inspires me, pushing my boundaries, reminding myself to be ok with failure, for with failure comes a creative freedom to capture, create and express yourself.
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?
Well, not to state the obvious, but with this being my “official” second year as a photographer, I had many goals that, well, 2020 had other plans for. Along with that, my greatest struggle will always be myself, my mental health. my emotional health and being able to find a balance in life.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Hmm, if I was to place a label on my work, I would say that I focus on creating fine art. As a photographer, I tend to be drawn to dramatic low-key pieces, manipulating light/shadow to tell a story and/capture an emotion this seems to envelope what I would call “my style.” Lately, I’ve been focusing my attention on wanting to create different series sets that tell a story, start a dialogue and/or speak about important topics. My goal is always to create pieces that could be presented at a gallery, to create a piece of art, a piece you would hang proudly on your wall. I am most proud of my two pieces “The Yogi” and “The Breast” selling this year at the Nude Nite gallery event! It was a surreal experience, “The Yogi” actually sold twice during the event. To think that someone saw the piece and was moved in such a way to purchase and hang on their wall is such a surreal concept I still have difficulty embracing. It truly made me feel like an artist, a photographer and a creative.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
To be honest, I use Youtube and FB community groups to expand my knowledge. I have been fortunate to meet some fellow amazing creatives that have inspired me to push my comfort zones and be creative.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/lovethyselfphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100036187864020
Alysia W. Heather W. Michelle G. Chaviva F. Scarlet B.