Featuring Mike Pham
Photography by Connor Hedges
Mike Pham is a California based photographer who focuses on commercial lifestyle, portraiture, and fashion imagery. He effortlessly and authentically blends the drama of undeniable landscapes with the human experience. As a collaborative artist, Mike loves to go on the road with others, searching for that raw moment, the one that results in that shot. Open to exploring new places and trying different techniques, Mike wants to see what’s real in a moment. He looks for pain, just as much as beauty, because it is all part of the human story.
Born Rival: What is your process and work flow like when prepping for a job?
Mike Pham: I like to plan, plan and plan more. For editorial/concept/brand campaigns I love to work with a model or models, wardrobe, and makeup. I will usually scout a location and put together a mood board, shot list, and vibe. For an outdoor commercial, I like to plan a shoot around trips or expeditions with friends to somewhere exciting for all of us...then it's just have fun and document the journey. I spend a lot of time researching locations(google maps, IG, word of mouth, driving around and marking notes), lighting, and logistics.
BR: Do you prefer to shoot film or digital?
MP: I love both for their own reasons. Digital has taught me a lot about photography, how to compose, edit, handle files, and eventually make a business out of it through commercial work. Film is great because it's just another tool for me. Film slows my process down and lets me enjoy the moment versus always trying to get the "perfect" shot on digital. Over the years of using film, it has helped my digital workflow a lot by training my eye and being selective which in the end cuts down my shot count which cuts down my time to go through and select. I know when I got the shot and I move on.
BR: You are sharing some images here from a recent trip to the Sierra mountains. Can you talk about what your creative approach was going into it?
MP: This trip was like most of mine, they’re based around the company, the people, and friends. Everything is more fun for me when I'm not alone! This sets the scene to allow for moments to happen organically. Those always seem to be my work.
BR: What challenges do you face shooting film in such a digital age?
MP: For sure the rising costs of film and economics of shooting film and a finite amount of film cameras out there..
Check out Mike's portfolio at: www.phamuel.com