In a time where so many photographers are exploring the film/movie side of things due to the HD movie qualities of recent dSLR’s it refreshing to see someone heading in the opposite direction.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Well hello friends! My name is Michael Cassara, I am 25 years old and reside on Long Island, NY. Unlike most photographers that are currently making the transition to film/video, I’m the opposite. I’m a film guy who is now currently leaning towards photography each and every day. I studied Film Production at Hofstra University, and graduated in 2009 with my Bachelors degree. Since then had the opportunity to travel the world and shoot both moving and still pictures for myself and some pretty big companies as well.
Now I have the opportunity to work in the world of photography everyday as a post-production support specialist for Tiffen filters and software.
What made you get into photography?
I have to give all the credit to my mom. She was the photo nut in the family that could never put the camera down, and Iguess that kind of rubbed off on me.
How did you get started?
I had just finished my first year of college and like many I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I originallywent to school to be a teacher, but that honestly wasn’t for me. So I decided to transfer to a local college, and try and find a niche on what I liked to do.
I always had a love of the arts, whether it was painting or drawing, so I figured I would enroll in a few art classes to see what I thought of the field. I was very fortunate to enroll in an intro to photography class, where I learned about the aspects of light and composition. After that, I was hooked!
While I moved to the moving pictures end of the camera, I just loved to be behind the lens. It didn’t matter what format it was, I just wanted to shoot.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I’m a portrait guy. I absolutely love capturing that perfect moment and freezing it in time. I have shot everything from landscapes to weddings to family photojournalism. However, I always seem to fall back on portraits.
Although, I have to say that I also love urban exploration photography. There is such a complete contrast from portraits that it’s often refreshing to mix it up. Exploring decayed ruins gives me a rush like no other.
What gear are you using?
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm f1.4
Canon 28-135 f3.5
And the big yellow ball that our planet orbits around.
And am currently in the process of picking up a 24-70 2.8 and a 35L
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Like most of the photographers that I have read on here, the 50 1.4 does it all. I couple that with my Tiffen 77mm VND, and I honestly never take that combo off the camera. Although I will wait and see how thatholds up when I purchase my other lenses.
How are you marketing yourself?
Now that I am fortunate to be working a full time job, I can focus my time on spreading my name around. It is honestly rough to make it as a photographer in a such a saturated market. But its funny, now that I currently do not have to worry about photography being my main source of income, things have really come together.
Like most, I have a website, facebook and flickr. Facebook is definitely the marketing tool that gets me a lot business. However, the last few months have been through word of mouth. Honestly, for a photographer, nothing beats that.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
Oh man, that is a tough one. But when I think about it, I have two that are tied for my all time favorites.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Honestly, its probably be said a thousand times, but if you want to succeed you need to practice.
Shoot as much as you can, stay motivated and find your niche.
Don’t get caught up in gear or the latest trends. Just find what you love to shoot and keep pressing that shutter button.