{Baton Rouge photographer Michael Tortorich} The 'Frequently Asked Questions' blog post

October 18, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


Michael Tortorich, Michael Tortorich Photography

Here lately at Michael Tortorich Photography, I've been paying attention to detail.

Not everyone does this, but as we'll explore, they really should.

I once heard that photographers are like historians. We document moments in time. We capture what was. And we present what it will be remembered as forever.

To do so, we must take care of details, details, and more details.

I am meticulous about everything. When I finish a photo shoot, I go through every file with a fine-toothed comb. I give thought to every frame...even the mistakes. Who knows? It may turn out to be a happy accident.

This blog is all about offering insight. I take time out of my day to give you a glimpse of how my mind works. I hope with this, you see the inherent value in having a photographer who has a unique perspective on photography.

So without further ado, here is a self-interview session that should give you some perspective on how my demented little mind ticks...show me the photog FAQ's!

Night falls on historic Railroad Avenue in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

Ummm, who are you?

Chances are you've arrived at this site because someone (friends, family, social networks) or something (Google, Yahoo, Bing) led you here.

So for those who may not know me, my name is Michael Tortorich. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and grew up about 40 miles away in the small, historic Mississippi River community of Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

Let me tell you a little about Donaldsonville because I feel like it's "small town" charm has groomed me into the man I've become.

Isolated by the Mighty Mississippi and surrounded by sugarcane fields, it's the kind of place where everybody either knows your name, or at least knows your "mama and them."

"Donaldsonville? Where the hell is that?" is usually what I hear when I suggest it as a shooting location. Or, my personal favorite is some variation of: "Oh yeah, ya'll have a McDonald's at the exit off Interstate 10. We stop there on the way to New Orleans."

Truth be told, Donaldsonville is essentially a miniature New Orleans. It has history, as it was once the capital of Louisiana. In fact, it has the largest historic district in Louisiana...with the distinct exception of the Big Easy.

Why am I blathering on and on about my hometown? I have a good reason, believe it or not. This Cajun-tinged Mayberry made me forever a small-town boy who gets starry-eyed whenever he ventures into any city with a population greater than 200,000.

I've been told that I'm so naive, it's almost cute. Or maybe it's because I'm one of those hippie dreamers John Lennon sang of. Either way, I have a freedom of spirit that I strive to infuse into my photography.

After my traditional Catholic school upbringing, I fearlessly ventured into the great metropolis that is Baton Rouge, Louisiana and enrolled in the po-boy's Harvard on the Mississippi, Louisiana State University. I kid LSU, of course, as it was a fine school that gave me ample opportunities for the full college experience. I was able to meet many cool kids, watch more than my share of athletic events, and even learn a few things about the art of communication.

While at LSU, I was able to keep the pizza delivery coming by earning money through freeelance journalism. That's when my fascination with photography began. My dad bought my first big-boy camera, a Minolta film camera, to get me started. Prior to that, I fiddled around with my grandpa's old film equipment.

I really, really wanted to major in photography as an undergraduate, but I had two problems. First, I felt like my job prospects would be better with a well-rounded communication degree. And second, film was expensive. Digital photography wasn't exactly feasible yet, so I would have had to go into the hole financially with film and equipment at the ripe old age of 19. I more or less decided to shy away from photography, at least for the time being.

At the risk of inadvertently writing my life story here, I'll summarize by saying I'm just a good ole boy from south Louisiana who, to paraphrase Randy Newman, was a college boy from LSU who went in dumb, and came out dumb too.

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints celebrates Johnny Unitas touchdown record

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates his record-breaking touchdown pass with wide receiver Devery Henderson. The touchdown surpassed an NFL record, formerly held by Johnny Unitas.

How would you describe your photographic style?

I come from a journalism background. Let me explain why this makes me uniquely prepared for any kind of photographic assignment. Working in a journalism field, one must have a little knowledge of a lot of different concepts.

Throughout my time as a student at LSU, and in my print and broadcast journalism jobs, I had to wear many hats. One minute you may be news-gathering at a football game with thousands of screaming fans, the next you may be on the scene of a fire, photographing a crying family that has just lost everything.

It takes an arsenal of skills to pull this off. And I'll be honest, I wasn't very good at it in the early days. Hardly anybody is. This is why experience is so important.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, lives were in the balance. I was there. My images were used in newspapers and other publications around the world.

Now just think of how I would be uniquely qualified to apply this versatility to any function you may have in mind. Given a wedding, party, social, dance, or whatever you can think of, I'd be prepared to step in and confidently get the job done.

My personality lends itself to my artistic style. It has been formed over the years, and greatly culled from my experiences. I can be traditional with a wide array of poses. I can be candid, catching brief moments in time. I can be artistic, noticing the simple, yet powerful. Yet above all, I can be a photojournalist. It is the trade that allowed me to eat and keep a roof over my head for years. Now I'm taking it into a new direction.

I tell a story through your photos.

LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle catches a touchdown pass against the Florida Gators.

Do you focus on any particular type of photography?

One of my favorite musicians of all-time is Jimi Hendrix. He had a unique style that must have made him seem like a space cadet even in the 1960s.

The guitar trailblazer would always speak fondly of the blues song "Red House" as a womb that he knew he could always go back to for comfort. On stage, he would often slip into extended solo breaks over the smoky progression.

Sports photography is my blues song. It's where I cut my teeth. It feels like home to me.

Sports are typically fast, the lighting conditions are generally not ideal, and there are lots of challenges.

I love challenges.

With that being said, I would not consider any genre as off limits. I feel perfectly comfortable shooting weddings, parties and concerts, to name a few. I can handle promotional photography for businesses looking to upgrade their image for advertising, marketing, and more. I am open to portrait photography, or "headshots" as some know it as. And like almost anyone with photographic interests, I would love to go on a travel photography adventure to the ends of the Earth.

Come to me with a photography idea, and I will hear you out for sure. It may just be right up my alley.

What's the most rewarding aspect of photography for you?

I love the feeling of sharing the finished product with clients.

That's why I always welcome feedback. I want to make sure I am looking at my photography from an interesting perspective.

I want to grow as a photographer, and as a person.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Don't give up.

My uncle once told me that. He probably didn't even realize the gravity of it, but it's stuck with me.

How can prospective clients contact you?

I strive to make that part extremely easy. I put my phone number everywhere I can reasonably post it (short of bathroom stall doors).

You can call or text me at 225-717-0762. Even if you're just lonely and want someone to listen to your problems, hey, I'm there for you.

Of course, I'd much rather hear from you when you have a gig for me. But yeah, it won't cost you anything for us to talk. Look at it kind of like a lawyer who gives a free consultation.

If you have a photography idea for me, let's talk it out.

I've also included a few helpful links to my photography business on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I've always been the type to leave no stone unturned. You can even find me throwing posts up on Craig's List.

Even if I don't get a photography lead, I know I can sell that old treadmill that's basically become an expensive clothes hanger.

Here's how to get me:

Michael Tortorich on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​tortorich
Michael Tortorich Photography on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​MichaelTortorichPhotographyLLC
Michael Tortorich on Twitter - https:/​/​twitter.​com/​MikeTortorich
Michael Tortorich on LinkedIn - http:/​/​www.​linkedin.​com/​pub/​michael-​tortorich/​22/​35a/​a61

To reach me directly, call or text me at 225-717-0762.


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Michael Tortorich Photography is based in south Louisiana.

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