Mike Moore is a Project 52 alumni, and has been building his business in Encinitas, CA for a few years. His specializes in food and lifestyle, especially beach lifestyle.
This is a personal project Mike shot at a surf event in Encinitas, CA.
1.) Tell us a little about yourself, and where you are located
I was born Michael Robert Moore in room 555 on 5-5-1963 at 5:47 am in East Los Angeles CA. Lots of fives including syllables in my name and city. I now live in the friendly and eclectic beach town of Encinitas CA, approximately 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego, CA.
While I have always had a desire to make photos, I decided to take my education to the next level by enrolling in the New York Institute of Photography in 2009, and start my venture as a professional photographer soon after that. Then in 2012, I found CreativeLIVE and have been studying light, composition and everything photography since. While I am very fortunate (blessed) to do what I love as a profession, I am equally as fortunate (blessed) to be able to homeschool our 8 year old daughter. My business has allowed me to be a hands-on parent providing care for our daughter since she was 12 weeks old.
Also in 2012 I was introduced to photographer and instructor Don Giannatti. Later that year I found out about his group called Project 52 and joined. Under his guidance and the inspiration I received from many of the other impressive photographers, my skills and way of thinking about photography changed and really drove how I was going to make photographs going forward.
2.) What inspires you most about your location?
Encinitas is an incredible place to live and photograph. Encinitas has a wonderful history that can be found in some of the beautiful original buildings that include La Paloma Theater constructed in 1927 on the historic 101 highway, to the Olivenhain Town Meeting Hall established in 1894. Encinitas is also home to the Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens that sits on a beautiful property with koi ponds, water features, plants, trees, flowers and an awesome bluff side view of the pacific ocean overlooking Swami’s surf spot to the south. These sites, along with the community of people that live in my city inspire me to capture the diversity and beauty that I am surrounded by.
3.) How often do you do personal projects?
In the past I’ve only done a couple of personal projects per year, now I have plans to do many more. Encinitas is growing and I want to make images of what it looks like now before any more changes happen and we lose our historic funky vibe. I have a project plan to walk the streets of Encinitas and photograph downtown along the coast highway. I also have other personal projects based on simple shapes or interesting shaped vegetables.
4.) How long did you work on this project?
The Surf Shoot project is something that is near and dear to me. Our local community has been organizing a surf contest for the past 30 years in a row, but the history goes beyond that beginning around 1967. The current organizers said this would be the last contest under their direction, and so I knew this was going to be a special shoot. I wanted these images to be timeless and wanted a vintage feel. I chose to shoot in black and white with a hint of tone in the shadows. I began the shoot at 7am with the first heats and ended at 12:30 after the finals. Final editing and posts took a couple more days.
5.) What kind of work do you usually do?
Family portraits have been the majority of my work. I run a boutique business where I offer a very personalized service. I meet with clients and give a consultation on location, attire, products and services offered. Once the portrait session has been conducted and edits have been made I offer an in-home presentation slide show and accept orders. Once orders are placed and delivered, I personally bring the products to my clients and will assist in design placement and hang wall art. In addition to family portraits, I also provide product photography and love working in my studio on these projects. My goal is to work full time in the commercial end of the business.
6.) Who has inspired you photographically?
I am inspired by many photographers. Locally, Donald Miralle, he shoots from extreme angles and he reminds me to shoot lower or higher for a different look. Peter Lindbergh has also inspired me to have lots of fun and movement in my portraits.
7.) What would be your dream gig?
Every photo session that I get to create memories is my dream gig. I enjoy my client’s satisfaction when they see their images. Being compensated to do something you love is an awesome feeling.
8.) What is your most memorable shoot and why?
I had the opportunity to make portraits of a high school friend for an hour who was recovering from cancer. I called the session A Conversation With Tony… I contacted him because I knew he was battling cancer due to facebook posts and yet I hadn’t seen him in over 30 years. We had an hour to talk and I asked him about memories from high school, his kids, what he’s learned in life, and if he was scared. It was my most emotional shoot and one I cherish. He passed away a few months later and his family now has those portraits to remember him by.
9.) Do you have a singular approach to lighting, or do you use multiple techniques?
I love window light. I love using off-camera flash too. So I don’t have a singular approach. I use the type of light I have or need when I make portraits.
10.) Favorite band or musician?
Led Zeppelin (no explanation needed).