Artist Robert Michaud
Sharing the Grapes Michaud Gallery with family members who I consider to be far more talented than I brings out the best in me. It pushes me to improve creatively. I can always count on being given useful critiques and gentle reminders of basic "faux pas", like when I fail the basics of good composition or when an image isn't quite up to gallery standards. It feeds my desire to make every photo better than the last either by improving technical quality, the ability to connect emotionally, or how I present unique subjects. As a result, I have become quite comfortable with taking shots of subjects that may have been taken thousands of times before by others. I realize that the next one has the potential to be the best ever. I am so fortunate to have a creative family that unlocks my creativity in this way.
Subject matter is a broad topic for me.
The subjects I like to shoot are most evident if you visit my portfolio site, RobertMichaudPhotography.com. I guess I'm still a kid at heart. I love machines and things that move so traditionally my favorite subjects have included planes, trains, and motorsports. Although these are the subjects that get me most excited, I have also come to appreciate inspirational and natural world images even more. Subjects in these categories are what you are more likely to see on this Gallery site.
So, why photography?
My youngest daughter once said it best when she was just four years old. Her grandmother asked her who was smarter, Mommy or Daddy? She quickly answered, "Mommy! Daddy can't even draw a bunny!" I still can't draw a bunny, but I sure can photograph one. I have found my creative expression through the camera.
I learned to shoot in the days of 35mm film. Even though cameras back then were a lot simpler, with only manual control, I developed a respect for them that I've carried into the digital age: That I will never fully master the camera's potential. It drives me to want to learn more and push myself further every day. Today, I use a camera with a 45 megapixel sensor, which creates a huge digital file. For me, that satisfies my desire to create large prints of excellent quality. Instead of worrying about the technical shortfalls that used to make print quality a constant challenge, I feel freedom to focus more of my energy on creativity.
Capturing the emotional connection.
We all have been excited about taking a photo only to be disappointed by the result. What happened? This topic is a primary influence for my work. I am not satisfied with a shot unless I get an emotional charge from the image. Truth be told, it doesn't always happen. I have a theory about why this is so important to me. Besides being an artist, I am also a guitar player. What makes this interesting is that I've lost half my hearing. And, as a photographer, I am nearly blind in one eye. There's something about being a half-deaf musician and a half-blind photographer that may have sharpened my sensory focus and influenced my technique.
It's a bit hard to explain but I'll give it a shot. I strive for something that is much more than just walking up to a subject, pointing the camera, and snapping a picture. The idea of what the shot "could be" has to grab my emotions. This goal triggers a checklist that includes everything from composition to choosing the lens focal length, angle, use of light, and camera settings. To achieve a shot's potential, many of my images have required repeat visits at different times of day, miles of travel, or lots of waiting around. But in the end, my favorite images have been those that were the most challenging to capture. One step beyond the obvious, in my opinion, is the first step toward my artistic expression.
I have been a photographer most of my adult life and was professionally trained by the New York Institute of Photography. Currently, I contribute to Getty iStock and my images are exhibited through the Brevard Cultural Alliance on Florida's Space Coast. My professional career began in photography and transitioned into marketing. I have owned and operated an advertising agency and a commercial photography studio. In 2016 I retired from a position as Chief Marketing Officer in the banking industry. I now thoroughly enjoy being able to devote time and energy to my passion for photography. I hope you have felt this passion on your tour of my work. To see more of my work please visit my website and blog at RobertMichaudPhotography.com.