There are people in this world who are able to see into the soul. Whether it be people, places, or things, their ability to capture, portray, and compose the essence of these forms and spaces is captivating.
Michael is a gem. I have known him only briefly and long to know so much more (which is partially why I did this interview, I won’t lie). He is passionate, kind, and genuine. He is an amazing photographer and a beyond incredible bassist (go listen to his music, you won’t regret it, I promise). Not to mention he has the most glorious head of hair you have ever laid eyes on!
And so, ladies and gents, may I introduce to you, Michael Newsted-
Q. You went to Europe last year, where all did you travel to? And if you had to pick one, where was your favorite?
A. The first week of my European travels were spent mostly in Dublin center. Though, I also meandered around the surrounding coastal regions, which, were intensely beautiful. Then I flew for England and met up with some pals, and really enjoyed being a Londoner for a week. I discovered some really fantastic new menswear brands near Brick Lane, which was one of my favorite areas in London. Then I took a bus, a ferry, and another bus, to slowly make my way over to Paris, which, is where I landed for the remaining four weeks of my trip. Paris was Paris- Exactly what I imagined it to be- romantic, confusing, and full of lovely people and decadent pastries. At the same time, the overall kindness of the Parisians and the amount of good vegan food kind of took me by surprise. That said, Paris was easily my favorite.
Q. How did you get into photography?
A. Like most other photographers, or so it seems, I started out as a hobbyist. I purchased my first 1.3 MP Kodak digital camera in 2004 so I could snap some shots while traveling through Italy with my family. Then, in 2007, I stepped up my game with a 7.1 MP Canon point-and-shoot digital camera, as I was about to be in Sydney, Australia for a year studying abroad. One thing led to another, and about the time I returned to the states the following year I began to get inquiries to photograph families and seniors.
Q.What, at the moment, are you loving to photograph?
A. People. (Almost) always people. Rarely do I take a picture that is not a portrait in some form or fashion. It isn’t that I think people are the only subjects worthy of photographing, or the only things in the world that are beautiful. I think just about everything is beautiful, really. To me, though, human beings, more than anything else, inspire me. Their lives, their energy, their emotions, their movements, their fears… People have a hard time being dishonest, whether they realize that within themselves or not. And that’s what I desire to capture most of all- something honest. Because to me, honesty is truly flattering.
Q. How do you take your coffee?
A. When I take it, I take it black. (I tend to drift towards herbal teas- Licorice or Mint.)
Q. Who inspires you?
A. Buddy Holly, Ezra Koenig, Bill Cunningham, Brett Carlson, my family.
Q. Deli or Patisserie?
Q. What do you hope/dream for?
A. I dream about traveling all of the time. Whether it be for music or photography ventures, I’m always plotting adventures. I also hope to have a family someday.
Q. What are you currently reading?
A. Life of Pi
Q. Music you are in love with at the moment-
A. Vampire Weekend (every moment), Grizzly Bear, Feist, Jim James, The Beatles.
Q. Are you a collector of anything?
A. Cameras and magazines. I do my best to use them as well.
Q. City life or Country living?
A. City life! Not to say that I don’t love a good drive through the countryside. Because I do. Come on, though! The city is where it’s at.
Q. If you could only eat one thing for a month, what would it be?
A. Mmmm… I love eating. This is difficult! I’d say sweet potatoes, because you can do so much with them. Also, they’re a perfect food.
Q. You have amazing style, what is your secret?
A. Well, thank you. Not to say that I’m currently an unenthusiastic dresser, because style is something I’ll always be enthusiastic about, but I don’t put a whole lot of thought into it anymore, really. Most days it’s simple, and I start here- I put on what I want… An outfit I feel happy, stylish and comfortable in. Most days it’s stripes… Some days it’s solids… Most days it’s colors… Some days it’s neutrals. All days it’s fun, though.
Q. Greatest fear, personal or professional?
A. This is an easy one for me. My greatest fear, both personally and professionally, is that I’m not having fun in what I’m doing.
Q. Little luxury you can’t live without?
A. My iPhone. (Yikes.) It’s just so practical. I don’t know what I’d do without that little Calendar App! Though, I also spend way too much time on Instagram. I justify my Instagram use on the basis that it’s for work. Is that ok?
Given that his instagram feed is absolutely stunning I would say it is just fine!
Don’t you want to go to Paris now? I mean, I always want to go to Paris, but now, more than usual I want to go.
Michael, thank you so very much for taking the time to answer my questions. LA needs you to visit, perhaps in the winter when your native turf grows cold, we will keep some sunshine waiting.