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Michael Magers

Michael Magers won both the Judges' and Users' Pick for the 2010 Model Insider Halloween Horror contest. As part of his prizes, we interviewed him for a 2-week Spotlight.

Here's his winning image:

Michael, congratulations on winning the Model Insider 2010 Halloween Horror photo contest!

This year you won both the Judges' Choice and the Users' Choice, so double kudos are in order! That means you've won a $50 Visa gift card, an MI t-shirt, a 2 week front page Member Spotlight feature in November, and 2 permanent accounts, one for you & one you can give as a gift! To go with your success, we'd like to know a little more about you & how you've achieved this.

Please tell us how you got started in photography, and what brought you to it? Do you consider yourself a a full time pro, semipro, hobbyist, amateur, or something else?

I have always been in love with photography. Used to take my dad's Minolta(still have) and photograph just about everything. There just seemed to be SOMETHING that I wanted to photograph. Like it was in my blood. I didn't find out until a few years ago that photography has been a family trait for several generations. My Aunt was one of the first females to be awarded a Masters of Photography and she has negatives from her Aunt from some of the worlds fair around the turn of the century.
It wasn't until about three years ago that a friend got me into "model" photography. I had up till then shot mostly families, kids(one of my favorite having two of own), and pets. Boy has it been a learning curve going from waiting for the shot to "making" the shot happen. But its been enjoyable and have mad some great friends along the way.

Do I consider myself a full time pro? Yes and no. Yes I do this full time and made more than half my income from it. But its also not my number one priority. Raising my kids is that. But it's a very close second.

Is horror something you usually dabble in, or was this a departure for you? What inspired the image you won with?
I dabble in horror with the right people. I get inspired by the model and our interaction up to the shoot. I have a vivid imagination and on those rare moments I get inspired. What inspired me for that image?? Nothing really. It was an idea I had had for a while and just didn't have the right inspiration to throw someone in the fridge. LOL. The model, who is a great friend, had approached me to do another horror shoot with her. We had previously done one with a real straight jacket.

What're your usual & favorite (not necessarily the same thing, as we all know!) genres? What's your bread & butter, income wise, for subjects?
My usual and favorite are actually the same thing. I really like shooting fashion. I think I am more of a commercial fashion photographer. Because for me its about the clothes, location, and lighting. As for my main source of income? My wife. LOL. But in regards to photography? It would be product and family's.

What kind of gear do you use? How do you generally find models to work with?
I am Nikon shooter. This year I upgraded from a D200 to the D700 and it has been a world of difference. More of being able to shoot at ISO6400 and still get a shot that has very little noise. I use several of the modeling sites to find models. Lately the models have been finding me. Makes it a bit easier. I am currently working on dealing with strictly agency type models. Hopefully soon I will deal strictly with the agencies.

Where do you see yourself going artistically and business-wise in 2011?
Artistically I find myself shooting more of a nude landscapes. A beautiful location with a beautiful nude model that only adds to the image. Business wise probably more product photography or more portfolio development. I am hoping 2011 will be a break out year for me.

How did you find Model Insider, and what do you like best about it?
I found MI about a week after it was up. Saw someone mention it in another thread on a different site. I like the people here probably the best. I seem to get more "true real world" knowledge from people that are either in the industry or were in it.

Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us, and congrats again on your big double win!
Thanks to everyone that voted. Still in a bit of awe that I won both the judges AND the user's choice. I have to give a shout out to Kelly. If it wasn't for her that shot would still be in the proverbial drawing board. Please give her the other permanent account on my behalf. I will be wearing my MI shirt with pride. Thanks to everyone again.