Life as a photographer is a constantly changing tableau. Early in the career of UK-based Michael Franke, he was given the opportunity to shoot a cover for Time Out magazine. He went on to be one of their regular photographers for shooting restaurants. But then the economic climate changed and so did his clients and the nature of his work. Now Michael's main clients are interior designers and architects. But he still does the occasional editorial job. One of his shoots will appear in the March/April Wallpaper* City Guide London.
Michael started his working life as a male nurse in Germany but photography was always a hobby. After gaining a place at the London College of Printing, which is now known as LCC and part of the University of the Arts London, he graduated in 1997 with a BA in Photography. During his last year of study, Michael worked at a photojournalistic agency where he gained experience in a range of roles, including technician, picture researcher and editorial assistant. “The work there gave me valuable insight into the industry and the lives of professional photographers,” he says.
Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, curious, creative, meticulous, spontaneous.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My “graduation” portfolio showed moody urban landscapes and got me work at Time Out London shooting architectural interiors and exteriors. They also tried me on restaurants and I went on to photograph hundreds of them. The 2008 financial crisis saw most of my print media clients change their format and reducing their commissions. Now I mainly work for architects and interior designers.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? That I love food photography.
What’s your proudest career achievement? It has to be shooting a cover for Time Out right at the start.
What’s been your best decision? To stick with it through tough times and not giving up.
Who inspires you? Artists, writers and musicians.
What are you passionate about? My new portrait project.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My great great great grandmother.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Have work in the National Portrait Gallery.
What are you reading? Wuthering Heights.
images courtesy of michael franke; portrait photography annemarie de villiers