Would you mind introducing yourself? Hi my name is Michael Greco and I’m 22 years old. I live and grew up in Saugerties, NY just outside the Catskill Mountains.
Michael’s Instagram - @miichaelgreco
How would you describe your style of photography? If I were to describe my work, simple and natural are the first words that come to mind. I focus on keeping all my images simple whether it be portraits, landscapes or whatever it is I’m shooting. I think it can be very easy to overdo something so I just tend to lean towards subtlety in my work - less really is more in my mind.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I first fell in love with photography in my senior year of high school in 2014. I pretty randomly bought a camera from a friend and started taking photos around where I live and of my friends. Then I started to make weekend trips down to NYC which is where I met Karston (@skinnywashere) who in the beginning played a significant role in me finding and building a love and passion for taking photos. Nowadays we don’t often see one another too much, him being busy and me only being able to take so much of being in the city. I rarely, if ever go anymore - I thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods and mountains. We do stay in touch from time to time though which is nice, he’s the most genuine and one of the best people to be around. I’m happy and appreciative for having met him when I did.
Who/What inspires your photography? My grandfather is a big inspiration to me, just in general even outside of photography. He took photos a little bit through his life, nothing serious and I have a few he took a while ago when he and my grandmother went to Banff. But he just taught me to work hard, never give up and to enjoy life and that’s always inspiring. Meditation too has become a source of building space for inspiration. It’s helped me take a step away from everything and process ideas but more importantly has personally helped me with disconnecting and becoming more present when I need it. I also love watching movies and reading books - I like to pull ideas from what I read or watch. A really good movie is hypnotic, it just draws you in. And with books there’s something different in their ability to give the story a more personal feel - there’s a relationship between the reader and the story. As the reader, you control painting your own picture through the author's words and details. Which is so interesting because the words obviously don’t change, but how each reader pictures the characters, environments and scenes can vary so much. I’m currently on the last book of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove series and if you like westerns or just want an amazing read I highly suggest these books.
What kind of camera do you use? I use a Canon 5D Mark II and this year I’ve also been shooting film as well. I have a Leica mini zoom point and shoot that I bought for $100 in an old camera store in Oregon, an Olympus xa that I’m not quite sure how ended up in my hands and I pretty recently got a Pentax 645n which I’m super stoked on haha. What drew me to try out film was how intent and present you have to be with it. The images aren’t always perfect but the mystery of not knowing and having to wait an extended amount of time to see them is such a rad feeling and they can carry so much more emotion in them. With film, I’m more aimed at being present wherever I am and more purposeful with what and how I’m shooting. I’ve only been shooting film since January so I have a ton learn but I’m stoked on that.
What's your editing process like? Pretty simple - Lightroom to make my selects and process all my images. I don’t like to manipulate images too much so I just minor adjustments…again less is more. I tend to tone down colours so all of my images have some sort of desaturation to them too.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? My favourite photographers are @samuelelkins, @benjaminheath, @jamesbarkman, @forrestmankins, and @andrewtkearns. They all seem like super down to earth dudes and there’s a lot I like about their work but really they’re just consistently putting out inspiring and unbelievable work that I’ll never get tired of being an audience to. Also Annie Leibovitz and @gregoryhalpern, I really enjoy flipping through their photo books.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you wish more people knew about? Definitely @kellenmohr for sure. Kellen’s work is so unique - it’s so beautifully real and natural. I love his work. More people need to check him out…his work is solid!
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Canada or Italy for sure! Both places are home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and landscapes, I’ve seen so many photos from these places and am always in awe.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? Fall without a doubt. It’s just the best time of the year - the weather is perfect, everything is gorgeous and nature gifts us with a show year after year with the changing of seasons. I’m very thankful for living in a state that has such a strong fall season.
The coolest place you've ever been? Well my whole trip to Costa Rica but to narrow it down to a single place, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala which was part of this trip. So my sister Kelsie (Shoutout Kels!) lived in Nosara, Costa Rica for sometime and after my first week visiting her I ended up staying another week while my mother headed back home - with the extra time I had my sister and I decided to go to Guatemala. Our first stop was in Antigua for a few days which is an absolute beauty of a town and also where I had the best tiramisu ever lol. Then we took a bus from Antigua to one of the small towns of Lake Atitlan. All the towns in around this massive lake are shadowed by 3 volcanoes, it's really incredible. The next morning we had a 4 or 5 am wake up call to start a hike up the San Pedro Volcano. The trail climbed and winded through dense forest and coffee bean fields with viewpoints teasing us of what the top might look like. It was easily the most intensive hike I’ve ever done but when we reached the summit it was worth every step. Both Costa Rica and Guatemala are absolutely beautiful, the people and all.
Anything extra you would like to share? Definitely - take care of the planet…It is so important to appreciate and care for the earth. Each and everyone one of us has a choice to better or get rid of our bad daily habits that cause harm to the planet and everything on it. It's not about perfection either, that’s nearly impossible but being aware, educated and doing what you can helps so much. Also be present in each and every moment you can. Life is a trip, enjoy it, do what you love and take in as much as you can!
Don’t forget to follow Michael on Instagram! (@miichaelgreco)