When the Magic Happens – with Virtuoso Violinist Lindsey Stirling

July 21st, 2015

As a portrait shooter sometimes you are only as good as your subject. What I mean by that is you can light and create the most amazing conceptual scenario, but if your subject is not into it, then it does not work. The magic happens when there is a wonderful collaboration of ideas and energy between the subject and myself.

Take a recent shoot I did with YouTube sensation and virtuoso violinist Lindsey Stirling – I can know how to light it and have some ideas, but when she turns it on, what we do together becomes magic.

– Michael

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Creating a Spot for Panasonic, “Forever Young”

April 8th, 2015

I first fell in love with photography as a kid in summer camp; the magic of watching a print develop in a tray in the dark totally captivated me. Having the bug, a few years later I started poring over the Time Life Photography books from the local library. In fact I actually snuck them out in a vein attempt to “own” something so great, a photograph. This is where I became deeply committed to the art, after spying the likes of Penn, Avedon and Bruce Davidson. All though grade school and high school I stayed up many a night studying, reading and learning everything I could about great photographers and amazing photographs.

So as any teenager, thinking I knew it all, I went to film school. I figure I could not learn any more about photography, how silly of me! Instead I would learn about moving images; this was a completely new experience that also mesmerized me because the films I studied were Ingmar Bergman, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Michelangelo Antonioni. This is where I really derived my deep love of lighting and the use of shadow to create an emotion that helps convey a great story. Movies I had never imagined existed at the time inspired me to graduate with a degree in filmmaking.

So having the opportunity to direct now is an honor. I realize in many ways it very much like directing your subjects for a still shoot, it’s all about good communication and patience. But I must say it is definitely in my blood. Please check out this latest work for Panasonic, they asked me make a short film that highlighted the nimbleness of their 4K cameras. I hope you enjoy it!

4K Stills from the Motion Shoot

Behind The Scenes of the Forever Young Commercial

Behind The Scenes of the Forever Young Commercial

Behind The Scenes of the Forever Young Commercial

Behind The Scenes of the Forever Young Commercial


My Day with World Champion Joe Torre!

May 14th, 2014

My family is Italian  (my father’s parents were born in Italy), but my mom’s parents grew up in New York City. In fact, my maternal grandparents worked in Harlem and lived in the Bronx, in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. As a kid, Yankee Stadium was impressive. Of course, whenever you are small things always look bigger. Grandpa Jack loved to take me to Yankees games as a child; he exposed me to baseball for the first time. It definitely seemed like a strange and complicated sport to a 6 year old, but I loved going with him and both of us keeping the score card. I saw many greats of the game, including Whitey Ford, Joe Pepitone and Mickey Mantle.

Last month, it was a great pleasure to be asked to photograph Yankees Manager Joe Torre for a campaign for consulting and accountancy firm, Cohen Reznick. It was a crazy shoot –  we had to find an available stadium in the middle of spring training, and make a training stadium look like the “real thing”. I love a challenge! Not only did we get to transform some of the spaces, but I also got to direct a spot for the client with Joe.

The spot and the images are below; please let me know what you think, and give us a call if you have a hybrid still/motion project for me and my team.  – Michael

 

The tunnel at Bright House Field before we dressed it.

The tunnel at Bright House Field before we dressed it.

 

The final image with the great Joe Torre in the tunnel.

The final image with the great Joe Torre in the tunnel.

World Campaign Yankees manager Joe Torre in the dugout at Bright House Field.

World Campaign Yankees manager Joe Torre in the dugout at Bright House Field.

Joe Torre just days before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame!

Joe Torre just days before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame!


The Urban Landscape Images

December 11th, 2013

 

“Daylight is too easy.  What I want is difficult – the atmosphere of lamps and moonlight.”  – Edgar Degas

Everyone thinks that being a photographer is a glamorous life. In fact, it’s often lonely on the road. Please don’t get me wrong, I am crazy about what I do and would never trade it for the world. But after the shoot is over and we’ve had a nice client dinner, photographers are often alone in some exotic location. So, I put that time to good use photographing the light and design that interests me around the world.

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Michael Grecco’s Urban Landscapes portfolio of eleven limited edition signed prints from Shoeler Editions of Brazil

Michael-Grecco-Urban-Landscape-Portfolio-1

Michael Grecco’s Urban Landscapes portfolio of eleven limited edition signed prints from Shoeler Editions of Brazil

While speaking in Brazil several years ago I showed the work to publisher Christian Moldanado of Schoeler Editions. They loved it – enough to produce a very unique portfolio in a Corian (as in counter tops) box of varying colors. The esteemed gallerist and curator W.M Hunt wrote the text for the project. Here is a link to the press release.

I came to meet Christian over very sad circumstances. He was friends with my close friend and college buddy Jay Colton, Associate Picture Editor of Time Magazine. Jay and I had worked together for years and years. We loved collaborating together, shot many covers and both really appreciated each others personalty and eye. Jay sent me an email once: “MICHAEL, I LOVE IT WHEN YOU MAKE MY JOB HARD. I threw down and you picked up and ran. I am amazed once again, you are outside your comfort zone and you excelled. You have by far my favorite take in LA and maybe my favorite take in the world. Really interesting novel approach to a difficult situation. I think when you go over this take carefully you are going to find gems in it. Very very happy.”

How could I not love him? I was ready to give him my kidney – literally. We both had a rare blood type, and when Jay was struck ill and needed a kidney, I let him know I was more than willing.

Like myself, Jay loved Brazil, and while there speaking, he had a heart attack during a portfolio review at a photo festival. I was scheduled to keynote the next month at the Brazilian National Photography Convention, so I hunted down Jay’s friends Christian and Luis to find out what happened. This project is the result of the bonding of our friendship to Jay.

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Michael Grecco’s Urban Landscapes portfolio of eleven limited edition signed prints from Shoeler Editions of Brazil

As a side note, I lost the Hasselblad X-pan I used to make these images, and have since purchased Jay’s X-pan from his wife Moira. I will never lose this one!Here is to life and our experiences, both good and bad, may we learn from all of them!  – Michael

For purchase information, please visit SchoelerEditions.com


Harper’s Bazaar Brazil

November 13th, 2013

Sao-Paulo-by-professional-photographer-michael-greccoWhen my parents started dating, my mother aspired to be a Jazz singer; my grandfather owned a Jazz record store in Harlem. (She let that dream go for marriage and the prospect of having children. I guess for me that was a good thing.) Growing up as a kid in NY there was alway music playing, much of it was the burgeoning Brazilian Bossa Nova scene of Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, and Astrud Gilberto. Bossa Nova is the fusion of Brazilian Samba and Jazz. Mother was always singing; this stuck with me so much that my 5th grade project was all about Brazilian life, culture, architecture and government.

So, when Brazilian Harper’s Bazaar asked me to shoot six of the most important designers in Brazilian Fashion, I was more than pleased. I was thrilled to go to Sao Paolo in September, and very excited to be meeting such talent. Four of the images are included here (and on my blog), the Brazilian designers impresarios: Alexandre Herchcovitch, Reinaldo Lourenco, Vitorino Campos, and Carlos Miele with their clothing, friends and favorite models.

The designer Vitorino Campos with his collection.

The designer Vitorino Campos with his collection.

 

Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch with his models friends and stylist.

Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch with his models friends and stylist.

 

Carlos Miele with a piece from his "flowing" collection.

Carlos Miele with a piece from his “flowing” collection.

 

The "King," designer Reinaldo Lourenco is the life of the party.

The “King,” designer Reinaldo Lourenco is the life of the party.

Obrigado,  Michael


THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON

March 8th, 2012

 
The 23rd of January marked the beginning of the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar, the New Year. In the spirit of this tradition, our family gathers and reunites with other families in our area who also adopted children from an orphanage in Shanghai. This year is exceptionally special because my daughter, Zoey and several of her “cousins” of the same age celebrate the sign of their birth year, the Dragon (see image below). The Year of the Dragon only occurs every 12th year and is thought to be the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac. Since the last Year of the Dragon brought Zoey into my life, I can hardly imagine the wonderfully lucky things 2012 will bring.

It seems that the Dragon wasted no time, striking with several multi-image campaigns for Botox that required large castings and custom built sets. I also shot Kathy Ireland for the cover of Forbes Magazine. The former super model is now quite the business mogul. Every photographer wants to shoot a super model, but I live to shoot the super model with a fabulous story to tell (see below).

Lastly, I’d like to brag about my oldest son, Dakota. He’s been putting his video game prowess to good use, adding some cash to his college fund. A few months ago, I threw him a challenge: convert my best-selling book, Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait to an eBook. Look on your iPad, Kindle or Nook and you’ll see that he did it!

If the eBook interests you, consider attending my Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait workshop in Hawaii next month. It’ll be a chance to put all of the business aside and reconnect with the art of photography.  –  Michael

Zoey, in red, celebrates the New Year

Kathy’s cover


Featured Images: Commentator Andrew Breitbart

March 8th, 2012

 
I had a little fun recently while working with commentator Andrew Breitbart on a concept for his new book, Righteous Indignation.  In the following images, we humorously illustrated his concept, the decline of the liberal media and speak to his ideology.  – Michael


Feature Image: Double Header, Yankees Pitcher Andy Pettitte

March 8th, 2012


Featured Image: Michael Grecco for Porsche in Palm Springs

January 11th, 2011


Featured Image: Michael Grecco Fashion for Big Apple Magazine

December 1st, 2010