Photographer, Michael Duva, was born in 1975 in Cliffside Park, New Jersey and educated at Rutgers University and School of Visual Arts. He's been working as a photographer since 2001 and his clients include: Simon & Schuster, Ogilvy & Mather, Getty Images, New York magazine, Publicis, Ernst & Young, Grey Healthcare, Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi and MTV. In November 2010, Michael was included in AOL's 25 for 25 $25,000 grant program for the next generation of culture shapers and influencers. He lives in Brooklyn with two cats, two turtles and one girlfriend.
Lists of Ideas
If you have a degree in what field is it? A BFA in photography.
Which photographer would you like to meet? Robert Frank, walking around one of his shows.
What famous person (living or dead) would you most like to photograph? Einstein (and hopefully talk to him as well).
Aside from your camera and lighting, what item could you not work without? My iPhone. I love the Sun Seeker app
—not the lite version.
Is there anything you would not digitally retouch? News pictures.
How do you overcome a creative block? I don’t have creative blocks. I have list management problems. Too many ideas. Too many lists of ideas. But if I did have creative blocks, I think one or more of the following would do: play some guitar, go for a VERY slow walk, eat some great food. I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk, on nurturing creativity.
Do you have creative pursuits other than photography? Yes. Cooking and guitar.
What music are you listening to right now? Radiohead’s In Rainbows.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Heh, they are all mixed up. I’m constantly looking at lighting or location or people or for ideas.
What’s your favorite quote? “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” —T.S. Eliot
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Don’t listen to too much advice. If you don’t have unlimited funds, look for opportunities that will allow you to shoot whatever you want and/or lower your cost of living to do so. Put together projects/bodies of work as often as possible.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? See answer above.