M. Photog, Cr.
Michael is the author of the popular speedlight photography books Shoot to Thrill and The Speedlight Studio (Amherst Media). He is in demand on the speaking circuit with his programs on Senior Portraits, Weddings, Speedlights, and Business.
Since opening Beautiful Portraits by Michael in 2001, Michael Mowbray has gone on to win many awards for his portraiture and was named a medalist in the PPA International Photographic Competition in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He has had the highest scoring wedding portrait in Wisconsin 8 out of the past 9 years, including Wisconsin Best of Show-Wedding 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has won the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award five times, and the Fuji Masterpiece Award for Outstanding Wedding Portraiture three times. Michael has also been named one of the Top 10 photographers in Wisconsin multiple times and “Best of Madison” by the readers of Madison Magazine.
Michael gives back to the photographic community by sharing his expertise in classes, seminars and educational videos. He is an adjunct professor for portraiture at Madison College in Madison, WI.
Shoot to Thrill
It’s not enough in today’s ultra-competitive market to create quality, standard portraits. You have to separate yourself from the competition and motivate the client to choose you over their other options. Put simply, you have to Shoot to Thrill. You must amaze, stun, and astonish your market with breath-taking portraiture. Use cool, dramatic lighting. Nail your posing and direction and make your client look awesome. The images on your marketing materials, web site and Facebook page need to grab the viewer and refuse to let go. But it doesn’t stop there; you have to thrill the client at every turn. Your editing, your service skills, your studio ambiance, your interaction with your client, your product mix — all must contribute to an incredible experience that turns your clients into motivated fans.
On the technical side, Michael Mowbray will show you how he leverages speedlites to create images that thrill his clients. Ever wonder if speedlites could work for lighting everything at your studio? Michael says, “Yes!” Michael uses speedlites for 99.9% of his lighting work. In the studio. On location. Everywhere. As a senior and wedding photographer, Michael has found that fits his working style to a T. He adds, “The funny thing is, I own a complete set of studio lights that sits in the closet gathering dust. I’ve found that as I’ve built my lighting style around the mastery of speedlites, my work has gotten better, I’ve crafted a unique style, my sales have increased, and my workflow has gotten simpler. Plus, I’ve gotten my evenings back in the summer – I schedule my senior sessions between 10a – 4p. I no longer chase light…I create it. And I no longer fear the sun…I embrace it.” Find out how this two-time International PPA Photographer of the Year winner creates his dramatic speedlite-based portraiture in his class. Sponsored by ACI.
Program Specifics: 2 – 4 hours lecture format (customizable); optional 2 – 4 hour hands-on, shootout
Categories: Can be specific to weddings or seniors, or can cover all disciplines
An evolution of Shoot to Thrill
The sky is falling, the barbarians are at the gates, and the well’s gone dry (on the positive side, now it’s finally safe to rescue Timmy from that darn well.) Bah humbug…not! Let’s escape from this doom and gloom talk and take action. Thunderstruck is about how to separate yourself from the competition and motivate clients to join your tribe and become active, vocal fans. Michael will cover how to amaze, stun, and astonish your market with breath-taking portraiture. Use cool, dramatic lighting. Nail your posing and direction and make your client look awesome. But it doesn’t stop there; Michael will discuss how to leave your clients thunderstruck at every turn. Your editing, your service skills, your studio ambiance, your interaction with your client, your product mix — all must contribute to an incredible experience that turns your clients into motivated fans. Finally, Michael will share pricing and selling strategies that helped him increase his senior portrait average sale by 50% over last year, and how he maintains an average wedding sale that is twice the market average. Drop your socks and grab your crocs…Michael is bringing the rain with Thunderstruck.
On the technical side, Michael Mowbray will show you how he leverages speedlights to create images that thrill his clients.
Available as a 2-4 hour program
If you are stuck in a rut with your wedding photography or bored by doing the same things over and over, then it is time to clear your creative cobwebs and find a new direction in your photography by doing a wedding walkabout. The term “walkabout” is derived from the spiritual journey undertaken by Australian aborigines to “find themselves”. I’ve applied the term both figuratively and literally to my wedding program. If you are stuck in a rut, sometimes you need to step back, clear your mind and open yourself to new ideas and new directions. Take a little professional and personal walkabout to get recharged. I also literally apply this concept to every wedding that I do: I do a walkabout reconnaissance of the area, looking for unique, unexpected, dramatic, or cool spots to take the bride and groom and create my Urban Chic style of fashion inspired images. These serve to set my work apart from the competition and more importantly appeal to today’s brides. And you don’t need to be in a big city to create this look; the necessary elements appear everywhere, even in the most rural of areas.
So blow your creative didgeridoo and get ready for a walkabout to transform your wedding photography.
Sponsored by ACI.
Program Specifics: 2 – 4 hour customizable lecture covering the creative, technical, mental and business aspects; optional 2 – 4 hour “walkabout” demo
Flash Dancing Workshop
Learn how to tap into the full power and capabilities of your speedlite flash system. In this hands-on workshop, Michael will teach you the ins and outs of using your speedlites for virtually any type of lighting, anywhere, anytime! From in-studio portraiture, to wedding photojournalism, to shooting in full sun, to using speedlites for commercial shoots, Michael will cover it all in this jam-packed workshop. Much of the day will be live demonstrations and hands-on shooting with both your gear and some of the tools that Michael uses. Models will also be provided.