Image © Michael Gomez
Charlie & Fireflies
First Place – Advertising
ASMP: What was your inspiration for taking this photo?
Michael Gomez: I was inspired to capture the innocence of a child and nature. The thought of an insect that can produce a flash of light is very captivating and mysterious to a young child.
ASMP: Is there anything unique about your style or approach?
MG: I chose a shift tilt 45mm lens on my Canon 1Dx . I knew that it would be very difficult to capture the perfect expression from a young child while the “untrained” fireflies may or may not be in the perfect position, so I decided to use Photoshop to create a composite that told the story I wanted to tell.
ASMP: What type of lighting did you use for this image or series?
MG: The lighting I used for the image was a Canon EX580 II off camera flash. I just wanted enough of a catch light in Charlie’s eyes to reflect the light of the firefly. The rest of the lighting was ambient.
ASMP: How long have you been shooting this type of photography?
MG: I have been photographer for 27 years and started using learning Photoshop not long after it came out. When digital photography became mainstream. It was easier to import my files and get instant results for compositing images.
ASMP: What other photographers’ or artists’ work inspires you?
MG: I have always been inspired with the emotional images of Mark Tucker. I was lucky enough to assist him for about 5 years when I was a photo assistant. I have been inspired not always by a certain photographer but with images wherever they came from. I never really studied about the artist or photographer as much as I studied the image itself.
ASMP: When did you join ASMP and what do you find most valuable about your membership?
MG: I joined ASMP as a photo assistant in about 1995 or 96 and let my membership lapse after a few years. Recently, I decided to rejoin because I find it is more important now for photographers to understand copyrights and navigate through this wild west photography business. Over the past 20 years I have been a mentor to so many young photographers and I’d like them to strive for perfection in their work and get paid the correct fees for their work.
ASMP: What is the more important relationship you’ve formed through your ASMP membership?
MG: I find that through ASMP as a group, we all discover that we are all in the same boat. We are all mentors to each other. The new younger members bring enthusiasm and inspiration while the older seasoned photographer bring experience.
ASMP: What kind of gear do you use?
MG: I just changed my camera system from Nikon to Sony. I now have the Sony a7rIII and plenty of lenses for what I shoot most. I use several lighting systems. I use an old Speedatron system and Paul Buff Einsteins. Paul Buff is located in Nashville and they have never let me down in service or quality.
ASMP: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started your career as a photographer?
MG: Contracts , estimates and deposits. I make sure I get all these in place before I shoot for a client.
ASMP: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your work? Go ahead, surprise us with something unique and unusual.
MG: Yeh , I don’t think you really want to know that. You should be more careful what you ask for.