“I have never a concrete plan when I approach someone. I meet the person and after some talking I get my idea. Sometimes the person gives the idea, sometimes the location. I improvise.”
Michel Mees (born in 1969) is a Dutch portrait photographer currently based in The Hague, The Netherlands. He studied photography at “Royal Academy Of Art The Hague”. For Michel Mees photography means a way to interact with people and to get to know different characters he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to known. There’s another interview on this site with Michel Mees: “Curiosity About People”.
“I want to tell just a small piece of a story, like a film still.”
“Artist Profile” – Michel Mees
Michel, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
I used to study advertising and design. I got interested in photography, especially pop photography.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
I believe that my portraits are somewhere in the middle of reportage and staging.
I have never a concrete plan when I approach someone. I meet the person and after some talking I get my idea. Sometimes the person gives the idea, sometimes the location. I improvise.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
Anton Corbijn, because all is his pictures have a real strong form but in the same time, it’s like it’s just a coincidental photo
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”
War photography has always been an intriguing subject for me. Capa’s pictures on D Day made a big impact.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
Nowadays a use a Nikon D700 and Metz and Bowens flashes. Earlier I used a Mamiya 645.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
I can’t name a specific one because I see a lot of great stuff on the Internet. Pinterest is quite inspiring. But I also follow a lot of blogs.
What book about photography would you recommend?
“HET OOG VAN DE OORLOG. FOTOGRAFEN AAN HET FRONT” by Frits Baarda.
It’s only in Dutch, I don’t know if there is a translation available. The title means: “The Eye of War. Photographers in war zones”. The book contains interviews with war photographers. Fascinating stories.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?