biography

my name is michael woodward. originally, i created this website to document my struggle to discover my identity. i spent night after night putting words to pictures and using those vignettes to try to piece together who i was, what i wanted, where i was going.

that was years ago and things have changed. i am less concerned now with where i am going, more concerned with my own happiness and sharing myself with others as the opportunities arise.

one of the best ways i connect with people is through my love of photography.

i started taking pictures when my father gave me a kodak 110 camera when i was about seven years old and though i took pictures through the years, it wasn't until high school that i really began to take it seriously.

i bought my first real camera when i was a freshman in high school, a canon AE-1 Program with a 50mm 1.4 lens, the same mount as my step-fathers old AE-1, so i could use his zoom lenses. my father gave me $1000 for graduation and i spent it all on a manual focus Canon T-90 with a 35-105mm 3.5 and a 300TL flash. my father thought i was stupid for spending the entire sum on something so extravagant instead of investing it. i tried to explain that it was an investment, in me. that purchase paid for itself in the countless weddings and product photography jobs i took over the next several years. ultimately, i sold all my Canon equipment and bought a Nikon N90s with a SB26 flash, 24mm wide angle and 35-135mm 3.5-4.5 zoom. as much as i love my Nikon, i miss my T90. a while ago, my dad gave me his old AE-1 and i did this shoot with it.

these days, i shoot with a nikon d200 as the portraits shoots really benefit from the instant gratification of seeing the pictures right away. i download the images on a laptop as we are shooting to see if we are going in the right direction. i haven't talked to anyone yet who didn't like a digital shoot more than a film one.

i decided back in high school that i would not become a professional photographer. i had some friends who tried it but ended up managing the local ritz camera one hour photo, making less than i would call a "good salary". in computers, i found a career that would better fund what can quickly become an expensive hobby. strangely enough, i did end up making it into a business, but primarily to build a reputation as a serious photographer.

a few years ago, i asked people to come sit for me, to allow me to hone my candid shooting skills and have some fun in the process. i started my business, michael woodward photography in 1999.

you can reach me at michael@otherside.org

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