Michael David Adams’ work has been published Internationally in such magazines as Elle, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Glamor, Marie Clare. His iconic fine art photography of Italy is sought after by private collectors and hotels to adorn their walls. Rosie Meleady chats with the renowned fashion and beauty photographer about his work and his recent shoot in Venice.
Wherever Adams goes, he tries to fit in a shoot, Venice was no exception but took a little more forward planning than usual.
“Whenever I go anywhere I always try to fit in a photoshoot. My wife is from Croatia, so we were over visiting her family and we were doing a day trip across to Venice and I was thinking we’d fit in a shoot. And my wife was like, for Venice it has to be planned out you can’t just show up and shoot because there are so many people, it’s just like shoot ing in New York it has to be planned out.”
He soon understood what she meant.
“Venice is surreal. As a backdrop has the canals, boats and water – its an area of stuff that shouldn’t go together in a city and it’s just one of those places that every photographer has to shoot at some point in their lives.”
So Michael was soon planning a return visit to Venice and this time he was coming prepared.
“It took a long time to plan. We brought a crew, my wife is a makeup artist so we often work together, we also had a stylist, wardrobe and of course the model.
“We spent two days before the shoot day just walking around and looking for the right spots. We found hidden spots where there wasn’t foot traffic.”
To get the best shots in Venice Michael advises, “If you get up early enough, St Mark’s is pretty empty. People are on vacation so you got until they have had their breakfast at 7 or 8 o clock. So if you get there just after sunrise it’s totally empty.”
“I use Hasselblad film and digital but I use my Nikon digital for a lot of street shoots as there is a little less liability when running around!”
“I’m always intrigued by the path less traveled. It’s easy to go with the crowd while in Venice, but far more rewarding to just walk where ever your feet take you… You’ll be amazed at the gems you’ll find, the artisans workshops, the small docks and the rich history that lives in every stone and brick that make up the city.”
Michael’s career started as an artist with oils, acrylics and experimental black and white work in the dark room.
His wife had finished school doing hair and makeup and needed help creating her portfolio, so it was while working on that that all the bells and whistles went off and he realised his true passion again! It was just a resurgence of something that he was always interested in though as he remembers back to when he was 9 or 10 and had an instamatic camera and realised he always had an eye for good composition and story telling. And from there it went from strength to strength.
He now has a limited fine art photography collection for sale including images of Venice, Positano and Amalfi and when we spoke he was in the midst of a gallery show in New Jersey of his underwater abstract work.
Underwater photography seems to be a niche Adams now leads in, with his work featured in the ad campaign for Santa Margareta wines in the USA.
“It is super complicated work but it’s great when it comes together. It takes a couple of hours to set up in the morning and then you are shooting underwater for 6-8 hours.”
“I’ll have scuba professionals and medics underwater. So there are 6 or 7 people underwater for the day.
“I work with the models to show them how to regulate their breathing so that they can lower their heartbeat and stay underwater for a lot longer than usual. So you have that going on first and once they are comfortable with that, then I’ll get on my oxygen and let them go up and down as they need to while I stay down there.”
“There are special pools in London and LA which are geared towards photoshoots and movies but there are none in New York, so I find private pools and people love it. I’m super thankful to them but they are like no, it’s great its a party for us seeing this stuff happening!”
Michael hopes to come back to Italy to shoot soon, “Venice and Italy in General has the allure that everyone loves such as the history and culture, it’s a photographer’s dream location.”
To see Michael David Adams fine art prints of Italy visit: www.michaeldavidadams-fineart.com