We’re excited to showcase Mike Moreland of Moreland Photography – located here in Atlanta, as our ShootProof User Featured Photographer! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!
I am a people photographer and I love to tell stories of my clients with a style of romance, glamour, fashion, journalism and creative lighting. I love light! Sometimes I find it and other times I create it. My background is in commercial/advertising photography, so I bring my lighting style and commercial flair to my wedding and portrait photography. My three favorite wedding photographers are all Australian: I love the glamour and fashion flair of Yervant, the powerful images and dramatic lighting of Jerry Ghionis and the emotion/moments and lifestyle images of Marcus Bell. I have always been drawn to the style of photography and albums that come from the top Australian Photographers.
How long have you been a photographer?
It is hard to believe, but this is my 30th year in business. I can’t imagine another profession that has changed in technology more than photography.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have four scenic acres of property with a barn, that has been converted into a studio and I love the fact that my home is also on the same property. I have two wonderful daughters, one who just got engaged. So now as a wedding photographer, I am on the other side planning a wedding. My youngest daughter helps me with many of my weddings and portrait shoots as an assistant. I am a true native of Atlanta, but moved to Santa Barbara to attend photography school at Brooks Institute. There are many different paths photographers take, but for me this was the best decision for my photography and this was such a great experience for me. When I graduated with a degree in Commercial Photography, my portfolio was mostly of food photography and that is what I thought I was going to specialize in. After assisting top commercial photographers in Atlanta for 2 ½ years, I was approached by a rep from Better Homes and Gardens to photograph interiors in the South for them. I then became an architectural photographer for the next ten years, shooting for most of the top national interior magazines and I also did a lot of corporate and business photography for annual reports and print ads. 20 years ago, a close friend of mine who was a wedding and portrait photographer, took ill and I told her not to worry about the weddings she had booked. After photographing a few weddings for her, I really loved it, as I was used to spending two hours setting up lighting to take a single architectural/interior image and now I was photographing people which was a giant leap. However photographing people was so much more fun, so at that time I knew this is what I wanted to do. I am currently working on a book on top NFL Hall of Fame players, that is to be published next year. So, I am a people photographer and sometimes my subjects are wearing football helmets and sometimes they are wearing wedding gowns.
When did you first fall in love with photography?
I was 12 years old and we had always been a Polaroid camera family. My father returned from a business trip to the Virgin Islands and he came back with a Konica T3 35mm camera and gave it to me. That gift changed my life and I fell in love with photography and I made it my mission to study photography, shoot, ask lots of questions, experiment and keep shooting, which is exactly what I still do today.
What’s your ‘can’t live without’ lens?
My favorite lens is my 50mm 1.4. I always tell photographers that if I had to photograph a wedding and only could take one lens, it would always be the 50mm lens. I love shooting with prime lenses because they are fast and great quality but I also think they make you more creative.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love looking at images on websites, magazines, books and not just wedding and portrait photography. I look at commercial shoots and commercial photographers, because I do not want my images to look like every other wedding and portrait photographer.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
This advice has to be adjusted to the digital world, so this is advice from the 1980’s and shooting film. “If it is worth shooting then it is worth five rolls”. This advice has always stuck with me and it means that your first impression or idea of a shot may be something good, but you need to work the image until you cannot think of anything else you can possibly shoot.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I love photography and shooting, but I also love teaching. Five years from now I see myself expanding my photography workshop and educational business. I would love to travel more and meet photographers from all over and teach them the skills of lighting and creative photography. At my current workshops, I teach photographers how to solve the technical problems as quickly as possible so they can focus on creativity. I love sharing and working with different photographers.
How has ShootProof helped your business?
I have used most of the well-known photography web hosting companies and found lots of issues that I was not happy with, until I found ShootProof. With some of the companies I found myself competing against them with my own clients. Other companies would brand their names all over the proofing pages and some would take large commissions – 15% to 18% of my sales. With my commercial clients, I wanted to upload high res images so they could download and other companies did not have this option. I would also have issues with their customer service. ShootProof has been the answer to all of these problems, resulting in extremely happy clients!