Michael Epps

Published by Matthew Attard Navarro on 15-Feb-2011 Interviews

Michael Epps is a New York based photographer who focuses on beautiful black & white images of a variety of subjects, mostly youthful new male model faces. He has shot for a variety of magazines, including Platinum Love, both online & in print making him a perfect candidate for our new HYPE interviews.

When did you start photography, and how did you get into it?

I started taking pictures while in studying film in College. A professor recommended that we take a basic photo class, and I fell in love with it.

What are your favorite subjects and why did you move into fashion photography?

Beautiful men are my favorite subjects to shoot, so moving into fashion photography was a logical step.

Do you feel you need to define a difference between your fine art fashion photography or the purely commercial, or do you ideally blend the two?

I've yet to do commercial work, but I would like to think I could blend the two successfully. At the end of the day, your work should represent you truthfully, no matter the medium.

Who or what has been your main inspiration as a photographer?

I am inspired by great art, silent films and the work of Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton amongst many others.

Do you aspire to move into the direction of the inspiration or do you use it as a starting base ?

I never aim to duplicate or imitate anyone else's vision. I use them to nourish my own vision.

?What do you think of the current industry & do you think fashion photography in general has progressed, or do you believe we’ve regressed to try to emulate the works of old masters?

There is a lot of contrived shock and awe in current fashion photography, but it's usually not sexy or particularly interesting.  The flip side of that is a return to the basics, but emulating the greats of the past can also be equally contrived. The industry needs a shakeup on every level.

Coming up with something new, is obviously hard, but is the new factor important to you, or would you prefer working on something that’s currently ‘fresh’?

The only way to really stand out and be fresh is by developing your own style.

Are there any projects you are working on?

I'm about to start work on a series of b&w nudes, to be shot on film.

What do you prefer shooting? Is it menswear or women’s wear?

I love men's fashion, and have a few editorials coming soon, but I think it's probably more fun to shoot women's wear, since there's more color, texture and playfulness. I do think menswear is becoming more adventurous and risky these days, and that's a great thing.

What’s your favorite photography medium? What is your preferred camera?

Film is my first love, but I love the immediacy of digital. Nikon is my first love.

What do you like in fashion & what do you dislike?

I love the beauty and creativity, but the endless fashion weeks have become a bit of a blur. I also hate the extremely narrow definition of classic beauty, while everything outside of that is exoticized as the "other".

www.michael-epps.com Photography property of Michael Epps.

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