Photos to Inspire
Photos to Inspire: Michael Grecco
By James Stanton
Mar 3, 2011, 13:59

© Michael Grecco

For over a quarter century, conceptual portrait photographer Michael Grecco has been creating beautifully iconic images, thus becoming one of Hollywood's most sought-after photographers. From movie stars and musicians, authors and athletes, to CEOs and politicians, Grecco's vibrant, intimate and often-times humorous images delve deep beneath the surface of celebrity and persona, revealing the inner nature of his subjects.

Grecco became interested in photography at a young age and while still in college, he built a solid foundation for his photography career by taking on photojournalism assignments for the Associated Press, the Boston Herald, and other publications. But photojournalism didn't satisfy his true passion, which was photographing people and celebrities. Instead of merely capturing images, Grecco wanted to be more involved in all aspects of the creative process. So in 1992, he left the world of photojournalism behind--and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, his advertising clients include NBC/Universal, GE, Pfizer, HBO, Kodak, ABC, IBM Yahoo! and others. And as if that didn't keep him busy enough, his extensive editorial work spans the gamut, shooting for the likes of ESPN, Wired, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Premier and MAXIM.

He has also been featured in several publications including Communication Arts, American Photography, Photo District News, Photo Insider, Petersen's PHOTOgraphic, Studio Photography and Design and American Photo. On top of those accomplishments, he has been presented with multiple International Photography awards, numerous Photo Design awards, The AR 100, New York and Los Angeles Art Directors Clubs, The Maggie Awards and Creativity kudos.

But no matter whom he's taking pictures for and how many awards he wins, Grecco continues to approach all of his subjects with an unrivaled technical ability and a rare sensitivity to everyone's needs. He couples this technical savvy with a personally engaging style that draws out the people and the potential. "Each shoot is a creative journey that takes us beyond the expected and into new realms," says Grecco. "My ultimate satisfaction lies in creating memorable images for clients, advertisers, consumers, and myself."

A photographer's photographer, Grecco is always ready with hard-earned advice and willing praise for others. Along with being a frequent speaker on the Canon Explorers of Light and the Hasselblad Masters nationwide lecture programs, he regularly gives lectures and is a featured speaker at a variety of seminars and workshops. "I delight in inspiring people," he states, "I want them to stop, think, and feel."

In addition to his lectures, Grecco has also authored two books in which he shares his superior business tips and lighting secrets with photographers of all levels. Published in November 2006, his latest book, the critically acclaimed Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait, deftly illustrates the dramatic lighting techniques used to achieve Grecco's consistently captivating style, pushing the boundaries of portrait photography. Featuring stories behind some of his best and well-known images throughout his extensive career, his "out-of-the-frame" thinking process comes to life on the page. Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait supplies creative solutions for those troublesome shoots, using detailed lighting diagrams, posing techniques for both individuals and groups, and working with clients, along with tips on how to apply that knowledge to finding and capturing the heart of a subject. After all, your subject is more than just a face.

Although he's enjoying the success and praise of Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait, Grecco isn't resting on his laurels. Currently, he is in the midst of a project for his next book, a "found beach people" series set in Miami and Los Angeles.

"I love what I do and enjoy collaborating with those who share my passion," Grecco says. "Life is too short to do it any other way."

Michael Grecco

View more of Michael Grecco's work.