Photographer John Michael Ferrari (OMP Member #35780) makes his living as a singer and musical performer, but he is a man of many talents. He began to turn his hobby of taking photos into a profession in 1995, and has been capturing beautiful, breathtaking images ever since.
A friend told the L.A. resident about OneModelPlace.com several years ago and he’s been pleased to be a part of the online community ever since. “One Model Place provides a place to highlight different kinds of photographers and models. I have worked with many OMP models and I look forward to working with many more. The Platinum membership has provided me more exposure, as well as more exposure for the models that I include in my OMP portfolio.”
John’s photography company, Images by Ferrari, all started with the purchase of a camera. “I would cruise the neighborhood taking photos of anything — streets, flowers, sidewalk cracks. My partner, producer Pepper Jay, was impressed with my photos and encouraged me to pursue photography as a profession. We created practice sessions with a model friend of ours, Christine Harte. I began learning about lighting, angles and composition. Eventually, I was referred to other models. Now, looking back, I have enjoyed working with models from all over the world and I still shoot once in a while with Christine, who Pepper refers to as my ‘muse.’”
Whatever style John shoots, composing the image is always a top priority. “Composition intrigues me. Whether it’s the beauty of a quiet landscape or the excitement of an amazing model, I enjoy creating memories painted with light. Mostly, I love working with positive, fun, and enthusiastic models with a passion for living in the lens.”
While indoor and outdoor shoot experiences differ greatly, John enjoys both equally. “When shooting indoors, there is more control over the shoot. Building a set and choosing a backdrop to accommodate a theme is a creative endeavor in and of itself. The combination of setting up the lighting using different strobes or hot lights is fascinating. I particularly appreciate the use of a light meter. This knowledge has been an enjoyable learning process.”
The artist reminds young photographers to look around when shooting outdoors. “You can get some of the most beautiful shots outside, but to truly enjoy outdoor photography, don’t necessarily focus on the obvious. You have so many beautiful things to enjoy…railroad tracks, leaves blowing on trees, empty roads. Just about anything can be perceived as beautiful and create a mood. When you add a model into the process, carefully place him or her in the environment so as to not detract from the natural surroundings.”
John gets his photo shoot concepts in a variety of ways. “Much of the time, the persons hiring me has a concept of what they are looking for in the photography they seek. If not, I have the model go through magazines and choose photos that they would like to try, creating “tear sheets” toward a theme. Thus, we both begin a session with ideas for their shoot. Otherwise, Pepper Jay and I sit down with the model and their management and create a theme together.”
The Canon shooter has some valuable suggestions for aspiring photographers. “First, don’t buy expensive equipment when you are just starting out. Next, shoot anything and everything until you find what you have an interest and passion for. If you’re going to work with models, you have to have a pleasing personality. And always obtain a model release.”
John also has three tips for models to remember during a shoot:
1) Be adventurous, playful and have a lot of energy.
2) Come prepared to have fun and work hard.
3) Be passionate about being in front of the camera.
The artist goes on to relate that a model’s goal is to evoke emotion from the viewer looking at the photograph. “If the subject doesn’t bring emotion to each shoot, the images will not produce the results they are looking for. The ability to tap into an emotion is a gift of power. A model is an artist just like a singer, painter, or musician. You bring artistic value into the world for all who view the result of your images.”
Photo courtesy of John Michael Ferrari