We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Kemp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, is there something you believe many others might not?
I think the biggest piece of conventional advice in photography that I disagree with is the idea of shooting as many images as possible. When people are learning, they’re often told to shoot as many photos as often as possible. While I do agree that you should shoot whenever you can, I recommend taking a “quality over quantity” approach to the subject. Spend as much time as possible putting as much thought into the timing and composition of the shot as you can in each session. I typically aim for 1-2 killer compositions per personal shoot. However, I don’t follow this rule for paid commission work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work is mostly in the genre of landscape, while I also know how to shoot portrait and product as well. For income, I sell prints of my work on my print store in various sizes and materials. I have recently started the process of diving into the commercial world, starting with architectural photography involving interior spaces for construction sites and real estate. Being a very saturated market, it is not easy to get started and separating yourself from the rest is crucial in this line of work. I separate myself, I let my work speak for itself, and make sure to provide the best client experience possible as I work with a base of returning clients. I want my brand to be very personal, where those who know my work also feel like they know me on a personal level. I want to be known as someone who portrays my personal self, my stories, and adventures through my work, as experienced through my eyes.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living near the Sonoma Coast, I would bring my guests to a local fish food joint in Bodega Bay. There are plenty to choose from! Many of the local restaurants carry freshly caught clams, oysters, and crab from just off the coast. After leaving the restaurant, I would take them ~10 minutes inland to visit some of the old-growth redwood groves that thrive in the foggy climates off the coast. Towards sunset, the best place to be is anywhere along the Sonoma Coast State Park. Riddled with beaches, cliffsides, sea spires, and caves – the Sonoma Coast is one of the most beautiful locations near the Bay Area. Sunsets on the Sonoma Coast are unmatched!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Aside from my friends and family, I would like to give a shoutout to my boss/photography mentor Rachid Dahnoun for taking me under his wing and showing me the professional world of landscape photography. Working with him has revolutionized my photography style and workflow for the better, and working with him has been a fantastic learning experience. I am very grateful!
Other: Print Shop: https://mikekemp.store/
Image of myself shot by Francisco Delgado. (IG: @francistogram)