Chellise Michael

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First of all, were so honored to be featured alongside so many talented photographers here on ShotKit… Thanks, Mark and kudos to you for curating this. Well done my friend!!!

So a bit about us. Mike + I are a husband-wife team from Phoenix. We drove to Brooklyn 5 years ago for the hell of it. We took a lazy, long route through the south, collecting hot sauce’s along the way and have never looked back.

This city is nonstop and offers so many opportunities for photographers. The wedding industry, in particular, is very supportive so much that it prompted us to create an east coast annual photographers get-away/retreat/creative workshop/fun/party called Camp Go Away. A place for experimenting with your camera, or other people’s cameras.

Our bread and butter is weddings, however, we have a second website for our personal + non-wedding related photo projects (Meet The Michaels).

We thrive on shooting weddings because of the fast paced environment. We’re put into a lot of situations that require immediate creative thought and the challenge is a thrill.

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When asked where our favorite place to shoot is, it’s somewhere that we’ve never shot before. The adventure of the unknown brings out the best in us. Of course, we have some favorites from the past, but what lies ahead of us is the most exciting.

We feel damn lucky to work with amazing couples that appreciate photography as an art and give us complete creative freedom. Without this, our work would not feel fun and fulfilling to us. Having trust from them is the best gift to have as their photographers.

When hired, the majority of our work is shot digitally, but we offer film packages as well. When adding film to the mix we throw caution to the wind and shoot with a wild but educated curiosity. This is where our love for manipulating the film comes into play. Let’s have fun with this stuff. Let’s leak it. Let’s double expose it. Let’s see what happens.

Since the digital copy is always there as a safe bet, our film camera is our toy to go completely nuts with and see what becomes of it. The result is always a gift. It isn’t always in focus, or perfectly straight, but damn it looks amazing and our couples love it.

OUR KIT:

Digital:

Canon 5D Mark III (2) – We love this for its multiple exposure capabilities and the great ISO we get from it in dark venues, a common challenge in NYC.

Canon 5D Mark II (backup) – I just heard a story about a photographer shooting a wedding in 110-degree weather. Her camera got so hot that the shutter fell out!! Always have a backup!!

Canon 50mm f/1.2 – Love this baby. Perfect for candids, portraits, details. I pretty much use this and my 35mm 90% of the time.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 – Ditto.

Canon 28mm f/1.8 – Obviously great for wide shots but it also does pretty good close up shots with some sexy bokeh.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 – My go-to for dance party time. Along with my honeycomb grid I’m set for the night with one set of batteries for hours. No joke.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 – Probably my numero uno. If iI had to shoot a wedding with one lens only, this is it.

Canon Tilt 45mm f/2.8 – Tilt is fun and dreamy and that’s all there is to it. We use it in moderation and always capture a similar portrait with a non-tilt lens for a clean shot too.

Canon 135mm f/2.- We grab a snack at cocktail hour, park a few yards away, and snag some awfully nice candids with this baby. I feel it works best outdoors.

Canon 85mm f/1.2 – Our go to for emotional tear jerking moments during the ceremony. Love this. A bit heavy but daaaamn it’s creamy.

Canon Speedlite 580EX II – On camera flash

Canon Speedlite 600EX RT – On camera flash

Canon Speedlite 430 EX– Off camera flash

Phottix Odin transmitter/receiver x2 – These babies rule! Lightweight, consistent, and they fire from a great distance.

Sandisk 16 GB CF Cards x 8 – We like to shoot in small 16GB increments so that just in case a card fails, its only a chunk of the day that we have to recover.

Sony 64 GB SD Cards (for backup) In case that 16GB does fail, the Mark iii has an additional mini SD card slot that we use to record onto as backup.

Opteka Honeycomb Grid – Best $10 ever spent. We use it for reception shots and portraits in dark, textured places.

Film:

Minolta SRT 101 – 58mm 1.4 – This thing feels so good to shoot with!

Lomo LC-Wide – So many fun features like multiple exposures + half frames. Its pretty wide and great for street photography.

Fuji Instax Wide 300 – Everyone loves a Polaroid. I especially like having this on me for trips in foreign countries. It’s not flashy and it’s a great segway to interacting with the locals. I ask them if I can take their polaroid and give it to them to keep, then I ask if I can have one for myself. Next thing I know, I’ll have a trail of kids chasing me for one and friends all over the place. It a very fulfilling gift to give to strangers.

Fuji Instax Mini 90 – Half the size and it creates really really great double exposures. I love this thing and pray every day that Fuji will add this feature to the Wide camera.

Bags:

Vanguard The Heralder 51T Camera Bag – So good and fits in almost all overheads. It has a backpack option and the fancy wheels that roll in every direction. Bonus!

Kata Bumblebee backpack – You can fit a lot in the little guy.

Incase ARI Shoulder Sling – Great for small travel gigs. Hold a camera body, 2-3 lenses, a laptop, batteries, etc.

www.chellisemichaelphotography.com

Inside Chellise’s Camera bag:

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