Spotlight Interview … Fashion Photographer Michael Bonacci

In this “SpotlightFashion Photographer Michael Bonacci shares his thoughts with the readers of James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Michael for participating with JRP Blog.

Michael Bonacci: Hello, thank you for inviting me.

JRP: Where do you call home Michael?

Michael Bonacci: I call home SoHo, in Manhattan.

JRP: What led you to fashion photography? Do you have any formal training in your background?

Michael Bonacci: As a kid growing up I was always drawn to photography because I was  fascinated how it froze a moment in time.

I studied film and photography in college. After a summer internship working on films, I focused on photography because I found it to be a lot more spontaneous.

JRP: Are there photographers whose work has inspired you and your approach to fashion photography?

Michael Bonacci: I enjoy the work of many photographers, I can’t single one out specifically. I am inspired by the style of Photo Journalism.

JRP: How important are personal projects to the development of a photographer’s growth?

Michael Bonacci: For me very important. I always try to incorporate ideas from personal projects into jobs. It gives my clients a chance to see my other interests.

JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical assignment shoot in studio or on location?

Michael Bonacci: My Minolta light meter. I have had the same one for over twenty years.

JRP: What is your approach to lighting? Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most used light modifiers and could you give us a visual example?

Michael Bonacci: I like using both artificial and available light. I try and use available light when I am shooting editorial. With catalogue or commercial I need the images to be more consistent and controlled, for those shoots I use strobes with a combination of umbrellas and soft boxes.

JRP: Do you spend a lot of time processing images? Could you please describe your digital work flow and the software you use?

Michael Bonacci: Unfortunately I do, this is the down side of digital photography for me because of the time involved.  When you are dealing with 600 images and you have to edit it down to 300 you have to be efficient with your time. I process my images in Adobe Bridge which I find incredibly easy to work with. I have Lightroom and Capture One, but don’t use them. I find Adobe Bridge fits my needs better.

JRP: Do you make use of custom white balances and color checks when you shoot?

Michael Bonacci: Yes, the model holding the grey card is always one of the first few frames.

JRP: Image printing, how do you handle that?

Michael Bonacci: I have always enjoyed printing and feel it is an important part of my  photography. I use to spend time in both the B/W and C-41 darkrooms. With the digital age I print in my studio with a Epson printer. I print on a weekly basis for personal projects. When one of my jobs is going to end up in a magazine, I usually let the lab handle it with my approval.

JRP: When you look through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of an image?

Michael Bonacci: It depends on the subject. For fashion I am always looking for an odd moment.

JRP: With today’s economy what changes are driving the fashion market place and how have you adjusted?

Michael Bonacci: Money! Everyone is looking to cut spending. More clients are expecting retouching to be included in your fee, not in addition to it.

JRP: What seems to be the biggest obstacle to over-come in building a client base?

Michael Bonacci: Getting that first booking from them.

JRP: If not fashion photography what would Michael Bonacci be doing with his time?

Michael Bonacci: I am  involved in sports conditioning on a daily basis. When I have a long weekend or a free day I like to spend it on the ocean in a boat offshore fishing.

JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Michael Bonacci: Don’t put all your clients in the same basket.

JRP: What advice would you like to share with photographers starting out?

Michael Bonacci: Assist as many photographers as you can. Always keep shooting and work on personal projects from start to finish.

JRP: Thank you Michael for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a real pleasure. We wish you continued success.

Michael Bonacci: Cheers! 🙂

JRP: To view more of Michael Bonacci’s photography please follow these links:


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