"Light in general inspires me. It can bring out the beauty in anything."

Tell us about yourself.

I am 27 years old, from Seattle, Washington. I take portraits for a living, and absolutely love it.
Mike Monaghan

When and how did the film journey begin for you?

I’ve been shooting photos since I was 17, and started professionally about 5 years ago. I started shooting film at the beginning of 2015. I was not feeling challenged as a photographer anymore, so I decided to take the step into shooting film. I think shooting digital is so easy nowadays, that anyone can do it. You can instantly know if you have a good shot or not, simply by looking at the back of the camera. You don’t even need to know how to properly expose a photo anymore. If you mess up, you can immediately fix it. For film, I loved the idea of not knowing what I was doing. I loved having to wait to see what I shot, because it’s always a surprise, and is so much more fulfilling and rewarding when you grab a great photo in the end.
Mike Monaghan

What Could we always find in your gear bag?

Well, I still mainly shoot digital. You’ll find a 5D Mark III at the moment, with a wide range of lenses. But I do carry my Canon AE-1 Program with me at all times when I am shooting! As well as an Instax Wide, and a Polaroid SX-70, with Impossible Project film.
Mike Monaghan

What camera makes you click?

I’m not the biggest gear guy! I am just happy to have a working camera. I’m a firm believer in that you don’t have to have the best gear to make great photos. Mike Monaghan

Who are your models? How do you interact with them before shooting?

My biggest focus when I’m shooting film is to remind myself that I may not be able to get it right all of the time. Like I said before, digital is easy. You can fix your problems right on the spot. With film, I try to slow myself down. Focusing on the details, and my composition over anything. Since you don’t have a memory card with a ton of shots you can redo, or delete, you have to really pay attention to what you’re doing and not be trigger happy. I’m very guilty of just railing off on shots on my digital cameras.

So I just really try to focus on slowing down, and taking good photographs, all while understanding that I may completely mess up and ruin the shots too! I’m usually focused on portraits and models, since I primarily shoot that. Occasionally though, if my cameras are with me, I’ll grab shots of anything and everything!
Mike Monaghan

What inspires you most?

My inspirations range from many things. I love cinema. Movies are probably what pushed me to become a photographer when I was younger, because I was so inspired by cinematography. Though I didn’t understand it back then. I was raised around music, and sometimes the right song can just put me in the right mood to need to photograph something. But I am most inspired by my creative friends in the industry.

I am lucky to be surrounded by insanely talented people who are always pumping out great work. Which can just inspire you to go out and shoot. I also really love light. All types of it. Natural light, especially the last hours of daylight are my favorite. But I have an absolute love for neon and colorful lights too, and I try to shoot with that any chance I get! But just light in general inspires me. It can bring out the beauty in anything.

Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan Mike Monaghan You can find Mike Monaghan here: www.mikemonaghanphoto.com Instagram