Michael Sanville is without a doubt one of the finest photographers I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting with.
I first met Michael in the mid 1990’s after moving to Los Angeles. He was part of a larger circle of friends that included actors, artists, writers and producers. If I recall correctly it was my acting teacher Leigh Kilton- Smith, part of the hill posse, who referred me to him. This cast of successful people lived on a hill overlooking Laurel Canyon, which is where Michael still resides to this day.
I’d had several head shots taken while pursuing acting in the 90’s, but the one taken below by Michael, was always my favorite from that period of my life. I’ll never forget showing it to a friend in Seattle who said wow… that’s a very flattering photo. Hmmm, I thought to myself, are you trying to tell me I don’t look that good in person? Who cares if I really look that good in person, or not. It’s all about finding someone who sees us the way we want to be seen, or who can help us see ourselves in a more flattering light. One of the things I’ve come to love about this photo is the smattering of gray that’s just starting to creep into my hair… and maybe I also love my slightly lower hairline.
About a year and a half ago, I decided I needed some new upscale photos of myself to use for press and other projects that I had in the works. I knew Mr. Sanville was the man to make it happen. It seems our world is increasingly image oriented thanks to social media, so if you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it right. You can only do so much with an iphone and silly selfies. It takes a seasoned photographer to know which lense to use, how far away to stand, where to position the lights, and most importantly, the story you’re trying to tell. Additionally, It’s always a treat to visit Michaels hillside home. The environment is peaceful and quiet in a way that’s becoming increasingly hard to find in LA. Taking photos in the studio is such a pleasure as you gaze out at the Hollywood sign in the far off distance, or catch a glimpse of the hawks and ravens as they glide by the balcony at eye level.
Michael was recently written up in VoyageLa.com, which was a great read. His oeuvre has grown from head shots, to include portraiture and fashion photography. If you’re in the market to have superb photos taken I’d highly recommend checking out Michael, he’s one of my favorite people in tinsel town.