Cinematographer, Director, and Photographer, Michele Laurita expertly invents dreamlike worlds from her imagination. Her visual language speaks volumes through provocative color palettes, innovative styling and dynamic sound design. Michele’s love for photography was first sparked when her father gifted her a 35mm camera, encouraging Michele to document her life as a child actress. At just 8 years old she could be found practicing her eye in the darkroom, reveling in those magical moments when paper becomes print.
Michele’s photography continues to stir our imagination, often existing in the space between fashion and fine art. She has created imagery for select clients such as 20th Century Fox, HBO, Warner Brothers, Dolce & Gabanna, Levi’s, Elle Magazine, Interview Magazine, Vogue Italia, Harper’s Bazaar Spain, Vanity Fair Spain, GQ Italia, MTV, Electra Records, and Capitol Records.
1. How were you first introduced to fashion photography?
I have always loved cinema and its ability to show us visual beauty — immediate and everlasting. I felt it was a natural progression to explore the perspective I wanted to express. Also, my obsession with Italian Vogue and master photographers’ artistic expression within Fashion photography.
2. Your work often evokes a futuristic theme. How did you develop your style and what are you hoping to convey?
I haven’t tried on purpose to create this vantage point of the future. Yet now in reflection, I imagine that you are seeing my constant experimental approach to staying in the moment. I try to stay flexible and chameleon-like. I want to create with more than one style in approach as well. Malleable and visually flexible, I am always trying new ways to work and “see”.
3. How do you pull inspiration for your projects? What does the preparation look like leading up to the execution?
I am very, very research intensive on all my projects. I do drawings at times that only I can read, hahaha. Only I can understand them legibly. I create and search for hours, visually evoking feelings from the past and present. I listen to music that entertains similar ideas as what I want to create in my photography. If on-location, I always go to the spot where I will be with a crew first by myself. This is the best form of prep for me. I take in all the aspects of the location very methodically, and on the day of the shoot this allows for variants of what I originally discovered to unfold.
4. What do you look for in team members and muses?
Kindness, humor, and never ever big egos. I had a few of those kind of crew members in the past. I work with them once and find I am unhappy and distracted around them. Your team is always with you. I love my family of talented artists I work with. Literally, they are my family.
5. When you adopted the SL system into your photography practice, how did that influence your overall workflow?
As soon as I bought the first SL I rapidly realized how beautiful the sensor was. The raw files are so elegant and much less clinical in feeling, compared to some camera bodies I have used. I knew the gamma parameters, the color space, and the beauty of the SL2 sensor would support further development of my style.
The sensor has been tremendously freeing. I could honestly say that in certain instances I haven’t touched what the sensor laid down in its original Raw file. On occasion, my post-processing can be as simple as going from the Raw to the tiff. I’ve done this for a few of my favorite images.
6. Outside of photography, what inspires you?
Everything, yet light mostly…I can’t help being in conversation with a friend or stranger, and at any random moment observing, “how beautiful you look in this light, and the lack of it.” I love this part of life, seeing through your own eyes like a camera. It’s my joy….my everything.