THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD FAMILY PAINTINGS AND OLD FAMILY PHOTOS IS THAT PAINTINGS, NO MATTER HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY ARE, SEEM TO MISS THAT SENSE OF LIFE. LOOKING AT OLD PHOTOS YOU CAN ACTUALLY IMAGINE THOSE PEOPLE PORTRAYED WERE ONCE ALIVE. THEY WENT THROUGH THEIR DAILY BUSINESS LIKE YOU AND I DO AND AT ONE POINT IN THEIR LIFE THEY WERE IMMORTALIZED ON PHOTO. IT IS THAT KNOWLEDGE THAT OFTEN GIVES OLD BLACK & WHITE PORTRAIT SUCH A MELANCHOLIC SENSATION.
Michael Craft is his name and photography his passion. Michael had always felt great love for photography, but it wasn’t until his second year in college when he took a photography class and realized this is what he wanted to do. But his love for the art started with a fascination with old family portraits. For Michael black & white photographs looked like another world. Whether they were of families or those great old Hollywood glamour shots. There was something captivating in those portraits, something alive.
After school Michael Craft took jobs that somehow always related to photography. A 1-hour photo store… A photo stock agency… But finally he stepped out and opened a photography, graphic design and framing store. Though he liked his work, he soon realized it was only a temporary joy and his passion lied in the art itself. It didn’t take Michael long to start working on a photo project himself. His first was a project of owners and their homes in the historical Eastside section of Paterson, his New Jersey hometown. This soon extended I doing promotional photos for local singers.
Over the past years Michael Craft specialized himself in portrait photography and does it with great passion, talent and finesse. Asides from his won work, he has also found pleasure in combining work with fellow artists and friends to create art shows. Doing this has created new perspectives for Michael that really stimulates his work. So much that he recently opened a new studio. Some of his latest shoots have been with Cody Blymire known from the motion pictures The One and Hallow Pointe, Jessica Leccia (Natalie from Guiding Light), NYC top drag queen Hedda Lettuce and Project Runway’s Jack Mackenroth. Michael’s work has opened other doors for him as well. Last year he worked on the reality show The NEXT American Gay as production and stills photographer. His work was also chosen for the Juried Art Exhibit and Sale to benefit VSC Gay pride Rockland the past 7 years and Michael was one of the top ten finalists for Next Magazine’s Photo Contest in 2010.
Following in the footsteps of the NOH8 campaign out in California that was started by photographer Adam Bouska, Michael Craft started his New Jersey Equality Photo Project. It is a silent protest for gay marriage in New Jersey. Not only a talented photographer, but also a integer man with his heart in the right place and a sensitivity to a good cause, Michael uses his craft and twists the beauty and the stronger message nicely together. Michael does not only hope it will change the point of view of people and politicians, but also inspire fellow photographers to do similar in their home states where gay marriage equality is still far off. –BM-
MICHAEL CRAFT | BEAUTIFULMAG
NJEQUALITY PROJECT | BEAUTIFULMAG