Talk with photographer Mike Valente
February 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Today we had the chance to have our first insight to how photographer ‘Mike Valente’ has worked his way into the car photography industry. Himself being one of the leading car photographers of the day, his works being published in magazines such as ‘Autocar’ and ‘What Car?’.
Working as a freelance photographer for most of his career, Mike Valente goes on to explain that car photography may not be as easy as it may sound. Sometimes Mike would only have the car for up to a limit of ten to fifteen minutes and would still have to achieve a quality series of images – no excuses. How he would initially set off with a shoot, he would usually plan out by doing the close up detail shots, the beauty and static which would of been a start and then progressing onto the action, cornering and panning shots. This was simply because the car would get so dirty on the exterior during the motion in which he had the responsibility to keep the car clean for his photographic standard. Mike always keeps a constant eye out for possible scenes/locations in which he could photograph the vehicle. Even admitting to sometimes going against permission and using locations which were restricted to even him, he took chances in order to get where he is today.
Listening to him go on about this particualr field of photography I found it to be quite unreliable and not always a secure line of work. Mike said that there were sometimes throughout his life in which he would go to the colour labs and wait for the result of his images, but now, he states “Now we sit at home looking at the photographs and hoping that the telephone will ring”. This then allowed the audience to ask direct questions such as the shift from analogue to digital shooting, what he preferred if it was a simpler way of working. He went on and replied that digital shooting has helped him make a greater achievement and not to have the worry of changing films at a fast speed whilst he would of been losing vital shots. Mike went onto say that he did miss using film due to having the time to go to the pub with the boys (who were also photographers) sinking a few sherbets and just waiting a couple of hours for the film to be developed. Obviously due to the magazines and newspapers they moved quite swiftly with the times, getting the impression that this area of photography is all digital based and film is completely out the window. He also never had a say in the final images that would be used in the final edit, therefore the images that he personally found a poorer quality were used at times.
This talk, being one of my first talks I have personally found it quite enjoyable listening too, I found it quite a relaxed environment in which allowed us to have a brief insight into the world of a freelance photographer and how he has managed to receive publicity throughout his career. It ended quite calmly giving people the chance to have a brief chat individually with him. It basically gave me the chance to have a brief description in this field, not really being interested before hand but showed me how difficult it can be to get into this line of work.