Fashion Photographer Michael Williams Knows His Way to the Top - page 4

By Jessamyn Cuneo on July 31, 2006

Michael Williams photography; copyright Michael Williams"Every magazine has its limitations," Williams says, "and that's not a bad thing, that's just what you're working with. I probably shoot for about 30 different magazines right now, and each one comes to me for slightly different things. I know what I can get away with, and what I can't."

He goes on to explain that the larger the magazine, the more people that have a say in the final outcome of a shoot.

"Like at Cosmopolitan," Williams says, "you're dealing with like four people who all have to agree, so it's a little bit like working by committee. With British GQ, they'll say, who do you want to work with?"

For his latest work with British GQ, Williams did a shoot with model Helena Christensen. Christensen has experience with photography, so the entire staff left them entirely alone to develop and orchestrate the entire shoot.

"We just did our thing, and handed the film in," Williams says. "I'm not into overly-lavish costumes. I like things that are simple; that are elegant; that are sexy. I like a certain amount of connection between the subject. That's what I strive for in my work, mostly."

This is evident by William's focus on eyes in his work. With most of the shots in his portfolio, you can stare into the eyes of the subjects—so up-close and personal, that you can feel a connection with the person featured.Michael Williams photography; copyright Michael Williams

Williams attributes his continued success to some good advice he picked up years ago, from an agent in Paris.

"Photographers tend to be an incredibly whiny bunch of people," Williams says. "It's true. They tend to be the glass half-full kind. [This agent] took me aside and said, 'You know what? This is what we're going to do. Every job we get, we're going to do the best possible job we can, because that's the only job we're doing that day. Whatever's on our plate, we're going to eat it to satisfaction' And that was such good advice, because I've seen many good photographers self-destruct, because they were always so unhappy with what they were doing."

Williams used his agent's advice to focus on his situation at hand, as opposed to what others in his field were up to. This wisdom has helped to deflect jealousy, and ultimately take him to the places and jobs that others merely dream of.

"[Photography] is a career where you constantly have to be moving forward," Williams says, "because if you're not moving forward, you're stagnating. That's the downside of it, but it's also the great thing about it; you're never bored."

Be sure to check more photos from the portfolio of Michael Williams at his official website - MichaelWilliamsPhotography.com.