Photography in The Fashion Industry: From Runway to Real-Time

The age of the social media influencer and the maturing digital photography age has created a metamorphosis for photography in the fashion industry. Digital photography has transformed the runway presentation for invited guests into a real-time social media event. The blazing speed of digital photography innovations and the meteoric rise of social media changed fashion and photography simultaneously.

From Four Weeks to INSTANT

Fashion designers in the age of social media no longer wait weeks for a handful of influential fashion magazines to print and pass judgment on their latest designs. Today digital photography allows runway shows to be seen and judged not only in real time but also by a vastly expanded audience. Feedback from consumers across social media platforms begins to influence consumer behavior before the model completes its turn on the runway.

Row of professional photographers with digital cameras capturing a fashion event.

In the digital age, everyone always has a camera with them and instant access to commentary. Before the digital age runway fashion shows were photographed by a handful of professionals who were allowed to roam the show. W, Elle, Cosmopolitan, GQ, and other fashion magazines would wait for the pictures from photographers that editors selected for print. It could be as long as a four-week process depending on publication dates. In the era of digital photography and social media, fashion show pictures are nearly instant.

High-Resolution Photography

Everyone is a photographer in their own way in the digital and social media era, just as everyone is a critic with their ability to leave instant reviews. There is still a difference between clicking stars and writing a proper review, just as there is a difference between sharing images on a social media platform and high-resolution photography.

Audience member capturing a runway model with a smartphone at a fashion show.

True, a camera in every hand has revolutionized the fashion show. Runway shows that were once photographed by a handful of professional photographers are now captured by the entire audience. Digital images can quickly be edited with the advanced features of cell phones.

The professional photographer has an advantage with equipment that can capture high-resolution images, edit them, and deliver them instantly. Fashion photographers know the importance of framing, lighting, and angles to capture the intricacies of life in photos. The professional photographer is also skilled and versed in editing techniques. A professional fashion photographer can turn an image into an abstract work of art or a historical image of a time and place.

Fashion for All

The fashion industry embraces the democratized immediacy of instant social media postings by influencers. At the same time, the writers, designers, and publishers of the fashion world look to professional photographers to capture the shows with authenticity. Digital photography and on-the-spot editing software have changed the fashion world.

Fashion designers welcome every person photographers at their shows and most encourage clicking photos. They recognize that a professional fashion photographer is still essential for a successful unveiling of their latest collections. Social media photographers and influencers provide instant coverage, professional photography provides enduring images.

The digital age of INSTANT has declared that fashion is for all.

Storage and Sharing: The Digital Album

Pixels in the Clouds are a storage and sharing solution for digital albums. Once, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the photo album was a memory holder for households and families. A traditional photo album had pages of plastic sleeves that held printed photographs. Album after album, they were filled with pictures of life events, new babies, vacations, graduations, engagement parties, weddings, anniversaries, everyday barbeques, parties, and other days worth photographing.

Unlike this age of smartphones, a photo was an investment, taking one was a decision-based expense. Traditional picture-taking required a camera (not everyone had one), film, development, and time. Film cost varied depending on the quality of the camera, and the number of exposures (pictures) on a roll. Developing (also called processing) was slightly more than the cost of the film with different levels of service.

The Hard Drive Album to The Cloud

The photo album was a practical way to organize, store, and share photos. The evolution was cosmetic rather than innovative. Digital photo storage has kept pace with the innovations of digital cameras and smartphones.

Aside from traditional albums, photos can now be organized by digital albums on mobile devices.

As the cost of the digital camera decreased, their popularity increased. The only way to continue the photo album concept digital memories would have to be printed. For every problem, a solution. Software became available to store, sort, and share digital photos. The virtual photo album took center stage in the world of digital photography. Digital pictures could be stored and shared on computer hard drives, removable disks, and thumb drives. The photo album had a virtual home.

Each innovation in digital photography led to the next generation of storage and sharing solutions. The smartphone with a built-in camera caused an explosion of digital photos. Thumb drives, removable drives, and hard drive storage solutions are limited and cumbersome to share.  The advent of the space age requires cloud storage, a “limitless” virtual photo storage system with ease of access and shareability.

Simply upload photos to the Cloud with your smartphone.

Where to Share

Traditional photo albums required physical presence to share cherished memories with others.  The cloud storage of the digital age comes complete with virtual photo albums that can be shared anywhere. The cloud storage of digital photos can instantly be accessed by social media accounts. It is a practical solution for the explosion of digital photos.

The Digital Photograph Does Not Fade

The digital photography solution has also solved a problem that the film manufacturers either weren’t aware of or just failed to tell consumers that physical photographs fade. The memories may be forever, but physical photos degrade, the color fades, the paper disintegrates and of course, they are susceptible to being lost in floods, fires, and any number of disasters.

Digital cameras are evolving with new technologies. Keeping pace with the innovations of digital photography is storage and sharing platforms. The home television monitor can rotate digital photos accessed from cloud storage. Individual digital photos can be loaded to picture frames or TV monitors on demand.

The storage and sharing of photos have expanded exponentially from hard-bound albums to cloud storage. It is only the beginning of the innovations in the digital photo space as AR, VR, and AI become a fixture of everyday life.

Digital Photography: A Revolution in Immediacy

Digital photography created a revolution in immediacy, eliminating the wait for film to be processed. In 1970 when Michael Grecco received his first film camera and began his adventure in photography. The process was to buy the film, load the film (be careful not to expose the film), shoot the pictures, unload the film, wait for the film to be developed, and then view the results. Those who had their own or access to a darkroom had a time advantage over other photographers who had to wait up to a week to retrieve their developed film and see the results of their work.

Michael Grecco practiced his skills at the apex of the technological advances in 35 mm dreams. From the mid-1970s through the early 2000s camera and film researchers, developers and manufacturers were introducing technological advances that were changing photography.

Introducing the Digital Camera

In 1995, the digital camera was introduced to the public. Expensive for the average person, the digital camera was soon comparable in price to film cameras. Then in 2000, a cell phone with a built-in camera hit the market. Digital photography, a revolution in photographic immediacy was sweeping the world at light speed.

The falling retail price of stand-alone digital cameras and the increase in technological capabilities of the cell phone camera meant that more people than ever were taking pictures. The immediacy of digital photography fits perfectly with a new way of life that demands instant gratification.

The internet hosted a new form of communication that offered an outlet to the new crop of digital photographers, social media. According to PetaPixel, film photography peaked in 2000 at eighty-five billion photos. However, according to photutoria, around 2.3 trillion photos will be taken every year by 2030.

The Democratization of Photography

The immediacy along with access to digital cameras in every phone has had an immense impact of interest in photography as an art. The digital photography experience offers the instantaneous output that social media requires, it also offers the photographer as an artist instant feedback. Professional photographers shooting athletes, fashion models, products, and landscapes can make instant adjustments to their lighting, angles, lenses, and other technical aspects of their project.

Michael Grecco began his career as an independent news photographer who offered his photos to wire services such as the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI). They in turn would sell the photographs to thousands of newspapers, magazines, and other outlets. Today the citizen photographer armed with a digital camera can fill the role.

Challenges of Digital Photos

The excitement of digital photography has its own challenges. The digital camera has created an oversaturation of the visual landscape. It is increasingly difficult to stand out in the sea of billions of photos per day. The pursuit of the perfect picture can push creativity and spontaneity to the back seat.

The digital camera indeed offers everyone a shot at being a published photographer. Those who are pursuing photography as an artist, documentarian, or history interpreter need to learn the fundamentals of photography. It is essential to learn how lighting affects photos. Michael Grecco offers insight into photographic lighting in two books The Art of Portrait Photography: Creative Lighting Techniques and Strategies , and Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity and Editorial Photography:

Celebrity Portraiture: Capturing Iconic Moments

Michael Grecco is a perpetual student and recognized expert in celebrity portraitures with an uncanny eye for capturing iconic moments. His three-plus decades of learning and mastering the techniques and innovations of photography give him an uncanny ability to capture the essence of moments.

A portrait is defined as an image of a person or group of people while a portraiture is the art of making portraits. The digital age has an insatiable desire for images, and visuals fulfilled by a camera in every hand. These portraits fill the desire for social media, separate and apart from the art of photography.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Terri Nunn

Berlin’s Lead Singer Terri Nunn photographed by Michael Grecco.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments 2- Maya and Nandy McClean

Twins Australian Singer / Songwriters Maya and Nandy McClean photographed by Michael Grecco.

The Essence

Throughout his thirty-plus-year career as a photographer, Michael Grecco has developed a unique style and discerning eye that has captured iconic moments in history. The art of Michael Grecco relies on his ability to see and capture the essence in his celebrity portraitures.

As a photographer who began as a photojournalist, Michael Grecco appreciates and explores the techniques of capturing essence beyond the physical. These include the use of light, framing, focus, depth of field, aperture speed, and innovations in equipment. He is recognized in photography as an expert in lighting which combines his understanding of the technical as well as artistic.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Will Smith

Grammy Award Winner American Actor and Rapper Will Smith photographed by Michael Grecco.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Jane Monheit

American Jazz Vocalist Jane Monheit photographed by Michael Grecco.

The celebrity portraiture delivered from the photography equipment of Michael Grecco captures the spirit, charisma, and allure of the subject that goes beyond the physical into the realm of essence.

The Portraiture Personality

Leonardo da Vinci was captivated by the interplay between light and darkness in his work. The Renaissance technique known as chiaroscuro was pivotal in art. It did not disappear with the Masters of the Renaissance, it evolved as a technique and crossed over to sculpting, photography, cinematography, (Fellini as an example) and even set designs for opera and theater.

Michael Grecco began his life journey of exploring the interplay between light and darkness in his photography at an early age. Like da Vinci, and Fellini, his intrigue with using chiaroscuro continues to this day. The interplay between the dark and light is fundamental in the celebrity portraiture personality art of Michael Grecco.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Steven Spielberg

Academy Award Winner American Director Steven Spielberg photographed by Michael Grecco.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Kelly Hu

Chinese-American Actress Kelly Hu photographed by Michael Grecco.

Mr. Grecco has photographed Hollywood legends, music moguls, athletes, models, and a who is who of entertainment industry personalities. Each photograph sets Mr. Grecco apart with his ability to delve deep into the psyche of his subjects, revealing layers of personality. He transcends the superficial glitz and glamour often associated with celebrity photography. Using all the photographic tools in his arsenal, Mr. Grecco aims for a portraiture that encapsulates personality, essence, spirit, and charisma.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Will Ferrell

Comic Will Ferrell photographed by Michael Grecco.

Celebrity Portraiture Capturing Iconic Moments- Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson

Comedians Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson photographed by Michael Grecco.

The Reality of Fortune and Fame

Mr. Grecco has set himself apart in the world of photography by continually learning and applying new techniques, innovations, and advancements in technology to his craft. After more than three decades he continues to approach each photograph with dedicated enthusiasm. Photography is not just Michael Grecco’s career, it is his life. In a Michael Grecco celebrity portraiture, the viewer is offered a glimpse of the heart, soul, essence, personality, and humanity of the rich and famous.

Photography’s Influence on Modern Advertising: Beyond Just an Image

Photography’s influence on modern advertising goes beyond a moment in time. Beyond just an image, a photograph has the power to tell a story, create a brand, capture a feeling, create desire, and influence the viewer. The photographer is the Influencer of the digital advertising age.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Porsche Master Mechanic Charley Folkes

Porsche Master Mechanic Charley Folkes photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- New American Gothic

New American Gothic photographed by Michael Grecco.

The “Golden Age” of advertising is defined as the decades from the 1950s through the 1980s, however its power, and influence, did not end when the year turned 1990. Advertising continued to evolve. Those that are familiar with the American Television series “Mad Men” where treated to a “behind the scenes look at the boom time of the ad men.

In New York City, the glamour of the ad agencies and the people behind the ideas became a culture onto itself that was mimicked in every city and town across the USA and throughout the world. It began as the era of the grey flannel suit, the two-martini lunch and advertising men pushing businesspeople out of the spotlight in financial news. This gave way to the decadence of a counterculture that revolutionized society and all forms of art including photography. The process continues.

Photography Advertisers the Advertising

The lead character in Mad Men, Don Draper was a composite of the people who glamorized the sales pitch. The army of ad execs who inhabited Madison Ave and similar districts around the world took the ordinary and turned them into the extraordinary that people did not need but were made to want by advertising.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Andre Da Silva

Actor Andre Da Silva photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Young Hippy Hula Hoop Dancer

Young Hippy Hula Hoop Dancer photographed by Michael Grecco.

Beyond the ad script and pitch, the ad men of the 1950s through the 1980s relied on the images that were the prime focus of the ad. For this they relied on photographers who were also evolving in their storytelling power.

The Story as a Picture

“Every picture tells a story”, and “A story is worth a thousand words.,” are cliches that drip truth. Photography’s influence on modern advertising goes beyond image to the photographer’s gift to create and tell a story in moments captured in time. Michael Grecco has developed and refined the gift of storytelling through photography by embracing its evolution.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising Arcona Skin Care CEO Jenae Chanel

Arcona Skin Care CEO Jenae Chanel photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- The “Soap” Twins

The “Soap” Twins, Cape Town, South Africa photographed by Michael Grecco.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Happy Acura Car Owner Campaign

Happy Acura Car Owner Campaign photographed by Michael Grecco.

Michael Grecco learned the craft of photography by rising through the ranks as a photojournalist telling a story with each click of the shutter. Newspapers and magazines were the beginning of turning the craft of photography into a lifetime pursuit of the art of photography for Mr. Grecco.

Photo to Art, Art to Photo

From his early days of selling photos of news events to the Associated Press (AP) Michael Grecco became captivated with the nuances of lighting, framing and storytelling. Every photo he shot was a captured moment and an experiment in photographic excellence.

Photography’s Influence in Modern Advertising- Mindfulness

Mindfulness photographed by Michael Grecco.

In the late 1960s Andy Warhol grabbed the golden ring of fame for turning the art of still photographs into art. Today, Michael Grecco, a Photographic Influencer in the heart and soul of the digital age is melding his photographs to tell stories, create desire, influence, and push the boundaries of commercial advertising as art. Michael Grecco is redefining the focus of photo to art and art to photo.

The Art of Environmental Portrait Photographs – Telling Stories Through Spaces

Michael Grecco tells stories through spaces in his environmental portraits. Early photographers were at the mercy of technology. It was a case of tools limiting artistic vision for the earliest photographers. The size of the camera, the film, development, and printing techniques all had to be considered by the photographers of the 1880s who shot stoic portraits. The earliest steady work for the photographers in the 1880s was taking portraits for the law, today known as mug shots.

Actor Martin Landau when he won the Oscar for the movie Ed Wood, by Michael Grecco.

Actor Lucy Liu shot for People Magazine by Michael Grecco.

Each technological advancement in photography, equipment, developing, printing, and displaying it added new layers for the photographer to explore. The staple of photography, the portrait went from historic to artistic. Trained photographic technicians could capture clear law enforcement, school, or family portraits. The photographic artist, visionary and innovator turned stoic portraits into the art of the environmental portrait.

It took the eye of an artist to use the tools, techniques, and technology of photography to advance photographs to the realm of telling stories through spaces.

Comedian and actor Mel Brooks photographed for People Magazine by Michael Grecco.

Environmental Portraits

Cutting his teeth as a news photographer at the pinnacle of the era, Michael Grecco developed a unique style of freezing moments in time. Through the lens of his camera Mr. Grecco saw his job as a storyteller with photos. This included capturing the subjects of his photos in the spaces that they inhabited. Over the decades he has mastered this technique which has become known as environmental portraits.

Surfer Howard Devon shot for Business Week photographed by Michael Grecco.

Director Martin Scorsese on his “perch” in New York City, photographed by Michael Grecco.

The photo above captures a quiet moment with the iconic director Martin Scorsese. Here, Scorsese stands on a rooftop, his gaze over New York City, a place that’s as much a part of his story as his films. The city’s buildings rise around him, not just as a backdrop, but as silent witnesses to his remarkable journey in cinema.

Comedian and host Chelsea Handler by Michael Grecco.

Houda in Death Valley by Michael Grecco.

The choice of environment becomes an integral part of the story. Mr. Grecco uses the environment not to frame the subject but to harmonize, complement and tell stories with its inclusion. His earliest work as a photographer who documented the beginnings of punk afforded him a rich environment to tell stories through the spaces of his photography.

Artistically Technical

Porsche Mechanic photographed in Beverly Hills by Michael Grecco.

Comic actor Steve Martin photographed by Michael Grecco.

Michael Grecco has developed all the technical tools of a professional photojournalist and applied them to creating artistically technical environmental portraits. The classic skills of a professional photographer are evident in the art of Micheal Grecco. Lighting, framing, and depth of field all contribute to the artistically aesthetic photos Mr. Grecco produces across an array of applications.

Houda in Death Valley, California, photographed by Michael Grecco.

The above photo is from the advertising portfolio of Michael Grecco, on its own it is art. The subjects and environments harmonize and contrast to fill spaces with stories beyond background and framing. Michael Grecco applies his love of artistically technical environmental portraits to tell the stories in the spaces that he sees through the eye of his camera in every genre he undertakes.

The Intersection of Photography and Technology: Embracing Innovation

In the ever-evolving world of photography, the one constant has been change, driven by leaps in photography and technology. From the days of the darkroom to the digital age, photography and technology has expanded the horizons of what’s possible in photography. Today, as we stand at the forefront of a new era marked by drones, AI, and mirrorless cameras, photographers like Michael Grecco are at the vanguard, embracing these changes to push the boundaries of their art.

Drones: A New Perspective

Drone photography has revolutionized the way we capture images, offering a bird’s-eye view that was once the sole purview of helicopter or plane photography. For Grecco, drones have opened up a new dimension in his work, allowing him to capture landscapes and cityscapes from mesmerizing angles. The ability to shoot from elevated vantage points has given his work a new depth, adding a layer of grandeur to his already impressive portfolio.

A drone hovers above Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado taking photos from above. Photography by Colin Lloyd.

AI-Assisted Editing: The Future of Post-Production

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made its way into the photographer’s toolkit, offering tools that can significantly reduce editing time while enhancing creativity. AI-assisted software can now sort, tag, and even edit photographs based on learned preferences. Grecco leverages these tools to streamline his workflow, focusing more on the creative aspects of his work. The precision and efficiency offered by AI have enabled him to experiment more freely with his images in post-production.

The Rise of Mirrorless Cameras

The transition from DSLR to mirrorless cameras marks a significant shift in photography. These cameras are lighter, faster, and offer better video capabilities, making them ideal for photographers on the move. Grecco has embraced this technology, appreciating the compactness and versatility of mirrorless cameras. The reduced weight does not come at the expense of image quality – a crucial factor in professional photography.

Staying Ahead in a Digital World

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying relevant means staying adaptable. Grecco’s approach to embracing technological advancements is not about jumping on every new trend but about understanding how each innovation can enhance his artistic vision and storytelling. It’s about finding a balance between new tools and timeless techniques.

Technological advancements have not only changed the tools of the trade but also the way photographers approach their craft. In the hands of a master like Grecco, these tools become an extension of the artist’s vision, enabling him to explore new creative territories while maintaining the essence of his art.

In the realm of photography, understanding and leveraging the latest technological advancements goes hand in hand with mastering the art of composition. Techniques like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing are foundational skills that remain vital, no matter how advanced the equipment gets.

Are you looking to harness the latest in photography technology for your next project? Michael Grecco combines his mastery of traditional photographic techniques with a keen understanding of cutting-edge technology to deliver stunning, contemporary results. Whether it’s a high-end advertising campaign or a personal project, his expertise can help elevate your vision. Connect with Michael Grecco at (310) 452-4461 or to explore how the latest photographic innovations can bring your creative ideas to life.

Mastering Light: Advanced Lighting Techniques for Dynamic Photography

In the world of photography, light is more than just a necessity for exposure; it’s the brushstroke of an artist. Master photographers like Michael Grecco understand that light, when skillfully used, can transform a good photograph into a masterpiece. It’s about more than just illuminating the subject; it’s about setting the mood, creating depth, and sculpting the image.

LaDainian Tomlinson photographed by Michael Grecco.

  1. Understanding the Quality of Light

Light comes in various forms – hard, soft, natural, or artificial. Grecco’s mastery lies in his understanding of light’s quality and how it interacts with the subject. Hard light creates strong shadows and contrast, often used to convey drama or intensity. Soft light, on the other hand, is diffused, reducing shadows and giving a more even tone, perfect for portraits where a more delicate touch is required.

David Crosby photographed by Michael Grecco.

  1. The Color of Light

The color temperature of light can drastically alter the mood of a photograph. Grecco often plays with warm and cool tones to evoke different emotions. Warm light can create a feeling of comfort and intimacy, while cool light can convey bleakness or detachment. His precise control of color temperature helps in setting the tone of the photograph right from the outset.

Andy Pettitte photographed by Michael Grecco.

  1. Direction and Angle of Lighting

The direction from which light hits the subject can completely change the narrative of the image. Side lighting can emphasize texture and depth, while backlighting can create a silhouette, adding mystery or drama. Grecco’s adept use of lighting angles helps in highlighting the best features of his subjects or creating the required dramatic effect.

Kate Somerville photographed by Michael Grecco.

  1. Light Shaping Tools

Grecco’s studio is a playground of light shaping tools like softboxes, reflectors, grids, and gobos. Each of these tools serves a purpose – from softening the light to creating patterns or directing the light to a specific area. His expertise in using these tools allows him to sculpt the light in a way that it becomes integral to the storytelling of the photograph.

Big Apple Fashion photographed by Michael Grecco.

  1. The Dance of Shadows

Equally important in Grecco’s work is his understanding of shadows. Shadows can add depth, dimension, and drama. They can be as expressive as the light itself, and Grecco uses them to add layers to his narrative, often using shadows to subtly draw attention to or away from certain elements of the image.

Vancouver WS Photographed by Michael Grecco.

In every photograph Michael Grecco takes, there is a deliberate consideration of how light and shadow play together. He crafts each image with the precision of a painter, understanding that the way light falls and shadows cast can make all the difference.

Will Smith photographed by Michael Grecco.

The art of using light is akin to the importance of composition in photography. Just as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing guide the viewer’s eye, lighting too directs the viewer to the heart of the image. It’s an essential skill for any photographer looking to elevate their craft.

Are you inspired to explore the dynamic world of lighting in photography? Whether you’re aiming to add depth to your portraits, drama to your landscapes, or a distinct mood to your commercial shoots, Michael Grecco has the expertise to guide you. With his deep understanding of lighting and composition, he can help you transform your visions into compelling images. Connect with Michael Grecco at (310) 452-4461 or to begin your journey into the art of light in photography.


The Evolution of Portrait Photography: From Classic to Contemporary

Portrait photography, an art form steeped in history, has continually evolved, reflecting the changing tapestry of society and the ever-advancing technology of the camera. From the rigid, stoic poses of early daguerreotypes to the dynamic, storytelling images of today, this genre has witnessed a remarkable transformation, adapting to cultural shifts and artistic trends.

Robert Duvall photographed by Michael Grecco.

The Classic Era: A Study in Formality

In its early days, portrait photography was an exercise in formality. Long exposure times required subjects to remain still for several minutes, often resulting in stiff, unsmiling portraits that were more a record of appearance than an expression of personality. The focus was on clarity and detail, with photographers often employing painted backdrops and elaborate costumes to convey status and elegance.

Jason Schwartzman photographed by Michael Grecco.

Lucy Liu photographed by Michael Grecco.

The Transition: Capturing the Candid

As technology progressed, so did the art of portrait photography. The introduction of faster film and more sensitive cameras allowed photographers to capture their subjects in more natural, relaxed poses. This shift marked the beginning of candid photography, where the emphasis moved from how people wanted to be seen to capturing them as they truly are.

Richelle Fox photographed by Michael Grecco.

Bradley Schumacher photographed by Michael Grecco.

Contemporary Portraiture: A Tapestry of Stories

Today, contemporary portrait photography is a rich tapestry of styles and approaches. It’s no longer just about capturing a likeness; it’s about telling a story, conveying an emotion, and revealing the essence of the subject. Contemporary portraits can be candid and raw, stylized and conceptual, or anything in between. Photographers like Michael Grecco have mastered this art, using their unique vision to create images that resonate with depth and authenticity.

Arnold Schwarzenegger photographed by Michael Grecco.

Jane Monheit photographed by Michael Grecco.

Michael Grecco’s Vision: Blending Past and Present

In his approach to portrait photography, Michael Grecco seamlessly blends classic techniques with modern trends. His work is characterized by a deep understanding of lighting and composition, coupled with an intuitive sense of his subjects’ personalities. Whether he’s capturing a high-profile celebrity or creating a personal portrait, Grecco’s photos tell a story that goes beyond the surface, inviting viewers to connect with the subject on a deeper level.

Steven Spielberg photographed by Michael Grecco.

Composition in Portrait Photography

In any era, the key to a compelling portrait has always been composition. Techniques like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing are not just artistic choices; they are tools to draw the viewer’s eye, to focus on the subject, and to convey a message or emotion. Masters of portrait photography leverage these techniques not only to create visually pleasing images but also to add layers of meaning and narrative to their work.

Martin Scorsese photographed by Michael Grecco.

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer looking to hone your craft or a brand seeking a powerful visual story, the art of portrait photography offers endless possibilities. If you want to capture the essence of your subject with a contemporary twist, Michael Grecco is the photographer to call. With his expertise in blending the classic with the contemporary, he can bring your vision to life in a way that resonates with today’s audiences. Reach out to Michael Grecco at (310) 452-4461 or and take the first step towards creating a portrait that’s not just seen, but felt.


Photography in the Social Media Age: Opportunities and Challenges

In the kaleidoscopic world of social media, the art of photography is undergoing a transformative journey. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have not only changed how photographs are consumed but also how they’re created and shared. This new era brings a plethora of opportunities, yet it’s accompanied by unique challenges. Let’s explore these aspects and offer practical solutions for photographers to thrive in the social media age.

A couple on the streets of Paris, effortlessly coordinated in matching outfits with a vibrant yellow pattern, captured through the lens of commercial photographer Michael Grecco.

1. Harnessing Unprecedented Visibility
Opportunity: Social media platforms offer unparalleled exposure. Photographers can reach a global audience, attract potential clients, and build a personal brand with ease.

Solution: To stand out, it’s crucial to develop a distinctive style. Consistency in theme, color palette, and subject matter can help photographers create a recognizable brand. Engaging actively with the audience through comments, stories, and live sessions can also foster a loyal following.

Nine ranchers on horseback skillfully herding a calf across the rugged terrain, showcasing the timeless art of cattle ranching.

2. Mastering the Art of Digital Storytelling
Opportunity: Social media is more than a showcase; it’s a storytelling medium. Photographers can narrate the story behind each photo, adding depth and context.

Solution: Use captions, sequences of images, and mixed media (like combining photos and videos) to tell compelling stories. Share behind-the-scenes content and personal insights to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Michael Grecco’s artistic mastery: a captivating photograph of an intricate wooden door, harmoniously playing with sunlight and shadows to create a mesmerizing visual symphony.

3. Cutting Through the Saturation
Challenge: The vast volume of content on social media can make it difficult for photographers to get noticed.

Solution: Focus on niche areas or unique perspectives within photography to capture the attention of specific audiences. Utilize hashtags strategically and collaborate with influencers or brands to expand reach. Regularly analyzing engagement metrics can also guide content strategy.

Enchanting seascape captured by Michael Grecco: a beautiful depiction of his wife, Elizabeth Waterman, renowned photographer and author, along the serene shores of Hawaii, USA.

4. Balancing Perfection with Authenticity
Challenge: The pursuit of perfection on social media often leads to a loss of authenticity.

Solution: While maintaining high-quality standards, also show the real and raw side of photography. Share the process, the failed attempts, and the learnings. This authenticity resonates with audiences seeking genuine content.

Elegantly poised: A stunning portrait by commercial photographer Michael Grecco, featuring a graceful young woman dressed in high fashion, seated outdoors against a low wall in a strikingly editorial ambiance.

5. Expanding Skill Sets Beyond Photography
Challenge: Social media requires photographers to wear multiple hats – that of a marketer, strategist, and content creator.

Solution: Invest time in learning digital marketing basics, SEO, and the algorithms of different platforms. Online courses, webinars, and community groups can be excellent resources. Collaborating with other creatives can also bring in complementary skills and insights.

Nigerian man carries an old sewing machine on his head as he walks down the street in Lagos, Nigeria on May 02, 2013. Image by commercial photographer, Michael Grecco.

6. Adapting to Evolving Styles and Trends
Challenge: Trends in photography styles can change rapidly on social media, making it hard to keep up.

Solution: Stay informed about current trends, but don’t lose your unique voice. Experiment with new styles in personal projects while maintaining your signature style in your main portfolio.

Captivating nighttime panorama of the Eiffel Tower: a majestic view from across the Seine River, showcasing the tower’s splendor and its stunning surroundings.

In the dynamic world of social media, photographers must find a balance between adapting to new trends and staying true to their artistic vision. The key lies in embracing change, continuously learning, and engaging with the community.

Acclaimed celebrity photographer Michael Grecco captures a memorable moment with ‘Game of Thrones’ stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner: a fusion of iconic talent and epic storytelling.

Looking to navigate these social media waters with finesse and make your mark in the digital world? Reach out to Michael Grecco. With his rich experience in both traditional and contemporary photography, Michael can guide you through the intricacies of photography in the social media age. Contact him at (310) 452-4461 or and take the first step towards transforming your social media presence into a compelling, authentic portfolio.

The Magic of Darkroom: An Introduction to Developing Film at Home

In an era dominated by digital immediacy, the allure of developing film in a darkroom offers a timeless escape, a return to the roots of photography where every image tells a story not just of its subject, but also of the process behind its creation. For those yearning to explore this enchanting world, setting up a home darkroom can be a journey back to the fundamentals of photography, filled with the joy of hands-on creativity and the thrill of watching images come to life.

1. Choosing Your Space
The first step in creating your darkroom is selecting the right space. Ideally, you need a room that can be made completely light-proof. Basements, bathrooms, or small spare rooms are excellent choices. The key is ensuring that no external light seeps in, as even a sliver can affect the developing process.

2. Gathering Equipment
The essentials of a darkroom include an enlarger, trays, tongs, a timer, a safelight, and a film developing tank. These can often be found second-hand or through specialty photography stores. For your enlarger, ensure it’s compatible with the type of film you’re using (35mm, medium format, etc.).

An example of a dark room set up to develop prints.

3. Understanding Chemicals
You’ll need three primary chemicals: developer, stop bath, and fixer. The developer brings out the image, the stop bath halts the development process, and the fixer makes the image permanent. Proper handling and disposal of these chemicals are crucial, so be sure to research local regulations.

Dentist Arthur B Cherry sitting among his office tools that he is selling as he retires at age 92.

4. The Process of Developing
Once your space is set up and your chemicals are ready, it’s time to develop. The process involves developing your film in the tank, then using the enlarger to project the negative onto photo paper. This is followed by moving the paper through the chemicals in your trays – first the developer, then the stop bath, and finally the fixer.

5. Experiment and Learn
Developing film is as much an art as it is a science. Experiment with exposure times, contrast filters, and developing durations. Each variation can dramatically alter the final image. Remember, mistakes are part of the learning process and often lead to unexpectedly beautiful results.

The darkroom is more than just a place to develop film; it’s a sanctum where time slows down, and the outside world fades away. The red glow of the safelight, the rhythmic agitation of the developing tank, and the emergence of an image on paper are experiences that transcend photography, offering a meditative journey into the soul of the art.

As you immerse yourself in this captivating process, remember that the fundamentals of composition in photography – from the rule of thirds to leading lines, framing, and more – remain essential. Understanding these principles can elevate the images you choose to bring into the darkroom.

If you’re intrigued by the art of photography, whether it be the hands-on magic of the darkroom or the intricate composition of a perfect shot, professional guidance can elevate your skills.

Contact Michael Grecco today for expert advice and insights. With years of experience and a passion for the craft, Michael can help you refine your technique and develop your unique photographic voice. Get in touch at (310) 452-4461 or to start your journey into the captivating world of photography.

Film vs. Digital: A Deep Dive into the Aesthetics and Authenticities

In the vast panorama of the photographic world, the debate of film versus digital has been as perennial as the age-old tussle between black and white versus color. Both mediums, with their distinct characteristics, continue to enthral artists and audiences alike. But as we find ourselves amid the digital age’s zenith, there’s a fascinating resurgence in the allure of film, an analog heart beating strong in a digital world.

Film: The Charm of Analog

There’s something inherently magical about film. Every snap of the shutter, every roll developed, brings with it a sense of anticipation, a mystery waiting to be unveiled. The grain, the subtle imperfections, the rich tonal gradations – these are the hallmarks of film that digital photography often seeks to emulate. Film photography is akin to painting with light, where the canvas itself carries an intrinsic value, each shot weighed with purpose and intent.

The recent resurgence of film in mainstream photography isn’t just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. For many, it’s an exploration into the roots of the art form, a journey of slowing down in a world obsessed with immediacy, and cherishing the tangible in an era of the ephemeral.

LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 9: Olympic swimmer Janet Evans poses for a portrait session at USC in Los Angeles, California on January 9, 1996. (Photo by Michael Grecco)

LOS ANGELES – OCTOBER 09: Actor Jet Li poses for a photo on October 09, 1998 in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Jane Monheit poses for portrait on March 26, 2003 in New York, New York.

Digital: The Dawn of a New Era

Digital photography, on the other hand, ushered in a revolution. Gone were the constraints of rolls; in came the freedom of memory cards capable of storing thousands of images. With immediate previews, photographers could adapt and adjust on-the-go, leading to unprecedented experimentation and innovation.

The aesthetics of digital are pristine, sharp, and clear. It offers the flexibility of post-processing, where colors, contrasts, and compositions can be tweaked to perfection. In a world where content is consumed rapidly, digital caters to the demand for quantity without compromising on quality.

Two girls hang out on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California.

Multi award winning Director of films ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Raging Bull’, and ‘Goodfellas’ and screenwriter American filmmaker, Martin Scorsese poses for a portrait on May 25, 2006.

Melding the Old with the New

What’s intriguing is the way modern photographers are blending these two worlds. Digital photographers often employ filters and presets that mimic the warmth and grain of film. Conversely, analog purists are utilizing digital platforms to showcase their work, reaching audiences across the globe.

So, why the return to film in an age dominated by digital? Perhaps it’s the authenticity film offers, the raw, unfiltered connection between the artist and the subject. Every frame shot on film feels like a deliberate dance, a commitment. Digital, with its boundless possibilities, offers a playground of creativity, where the sky is the limit.

In Conclusion

Whether you’re a staunch supporter of the analog era, a digital aficionado, or someone who treads the line between both worlds, what remains paramount is the art’s essence. It’s not about film or digital; it’s about capturing moments, telling stories, and evoking emotions.

Are you at a crossroads, deciding which medium resonates with your artistic vision? Or perhaps you’re keen to delve deeper into the intricacies of both film and digital photography? Embark on a curated journey tailored to your needs. Dive into hands-on sessions, comprehensive workshops, and insightful critiques designed to nurture your passion. Elevate your photographic prowess with expert guidance. Connect with me today.