Featured Photographer – Michael Corsentino

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 Micheal Corsentino has been a great friend over the years. He’s an amazing photographer in the Napa valley, he does great work and is always open to lend a helping hand and share his knowledge of the craft and the business of photography. We’re excited to have him as a featured photographer.
How did you get started in photography?
My father introduced to the magic and science of photography. He was a serious amateur  photographer and gave me my first camera, a polaroid, when I was 12 years old. He let me shoot with his 8×10 Deardorf view camera, taught me wet darkroom techniques and showed me the work of Ansel Adams, Minor White, and many many others.
I was hooked and fell hard for photography, soon I built a teeny tiny darkroom in my bedroom closet, followed shortly thereafter by a larger darkroom in another room my mom was nice enough to give up. During my high school years I photographed personal projects, built a home studio for fashion and portrait work, shot band photos, actor head shots, did the usual yearbook stuff and stringing for newspapers. I earned a degree in Photography from The State University at Purchase New York.
My father passed six years ago and his greatest gift was opening my eyes to what’s become my life’s passion and work. Thank you Dad!
Who have been your influences in photography?
Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Sylvia Plachy, Herb Ritz, Joey Lawrence, Mark Seliger, Daine Arbus, Edward Weston, Jan Groover, Ansel Adams, Joe McNally, Jessica Claire, Kevin Kubota, Becker, Erika Gerdemark, Sal Cincotta, Jennifer Skog, Anna Kupperburg
How would you define your style of photography?
I would describe my style as a mixture of the following: dramatic, edgy, stylish, contemporary, editorial, fashionable & fun.
What is one thing that has helped you grow your business?
Understanding the mechanics of seo and how structure your website, blog and blog posts so people can find you.
What is one thing that has helped you grow as an artist?
Musicians have an expression about keeping their ears up, meaning they’re always listening and reacting to the musicians they’re playing with. I think what’s helped me most is approaching my photography in the same way. I always try to keep my eyes up (or open) and strive to see things in new and exciting ways. Viewing my visual word with childlike excitement makes me a better image maker.
What is one failure that helped you grow as a business person/artist?
The failure to implement production outsourcing sooner definitely set limits on the growth of my business. I can’t stress enough what a positive impact outsourcing has had. It’s allowed me to really play to my strengths and spend my time both personally and professionally more productively.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to a person that is in the first few years of their photography business?
Focus on building your business skill set as much as, if not more than, your image making skill set. Create a solid business plan or road map of where you want your business to go and how you plan to get there. Set goals and work daily toward achieving them.
Check out more of Michael’s work here: www.michaelcorsentino.com
You can see his brand new Style Book and DVD tutorial set for Kubota Image tools here. He has some great workshops scheduled this year, however I’m particularly excited about a 4 city Australian workshop tour happening in August. Stay tuned for details ;-)
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