I am a wedding and portrait photographed based in Los Angeles, California. I own four brands, Michael Anthony Photography (our luxury wedding brand), Studio 23 Photo (Our budget friendly associate option), SoCal Headshots, and Marilyn-Lou Boudoir. We have a team of 4 people plus contractors and photograph over 100 weddings per year, and over 200 portrait sessions per year.
I have been a speaker at Shutterfest, and am a current monthly contributor to Shutter Magazine, the best photography education magazine on the market. I am a big proponent of print competition and have entered and earned awards in WPPI’s annual 16 x 20 and online competitions the last 3 years, along with the Shutterfest CREATE image competition.
Prior to photography, I was an LAPD Officer. I co-own my businesses with my wife Jennifer. I attribute much of my success to her for letting me pursue my passion for photography and turn it into 4 successful businesses.
Our team owns a ton of equipment, but these are the basics that I take with me to every wedding. I currently photograph weddings using the Canon 1DX Mark II (my main camera), and the Canon 5DS R. I fell in love with the original 1DX because the camera has shooting capabilities that allow me to get the shot I need in any environment I find myself in. The new 1DX has taken it to the next level.
Much of our work is centered on creative lighting. We use two different systems for lighting, the Canon 600EX-RT system, and the Profoto B1 and Profoto B2 Off-Camera Flash System. The Profoto system has allowed us to create images in the last year that were never possible before, and I love its versatility and build quality. On wedding days, these lights have slipped through my clumsy fingers a few times and ended up hitting the pavement, with no damage at all. Much of the work you see in our portfolio was created using this system along with their modifiers.
When it comes to lenses, I shoot with a combination of primes and zooms. My Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II is my lens for my bread and butter shots. I would say that it is attached to my camera almost all day. My favorite lens however is the Canon 11-24mm f/4L. The wide angle nature of this lens has given our work a unique look that stands out when potential clients are researching photographers. I am also a huge fan of the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L, Canon 50mm f/1.2 L, and Canon 35mm f/1.4 L lenses, as they create smooth look that works nicely for wedding photography.
More than anything, the people you surround yourself with, along with your passion for education will be more valuable than any of the tools in your bag. Over the years, these tools we have acquired have allowed us to make images that match the vision of our clients, and will continue to do so for years to come.