You'll find Michael Vasquez at : his official (and very active !) blog, deviantART, his MySpace, Model Mayhem.
"The Smile" - Model Leslie
Michael Vasquez (San Antonio, Texas, USA) and I share something special : the handicap. Beyond our common passion for photography and our love for women, his traumatic stroke and my multiple sclerosis learn us day after day the true meaning of life :"I’m learning the things that are important to a quality life. I’ve learned how the handicapped and the aged feel. How they struggle to find not only the quality but the dignity to life that we take for granted."Together, we daily discover a new "me, myself, I", someone more tolerant, less complicated, compassionate. You could tell me I don't talk about his style, his love for natural light or his deep respect for his models, but it does no harm just this once, I wanted to have a special thought for all those who are suffering, and maybe who don't know "The Secret" :"Chris and I, and thousands more like us, we know "The Secret" : Art heals the spirit, which in turn heals the body. And that makes you, the photographers and artists out there reading this, more valuable to us than you could ever know."Lin Bee from Fluffytek
Michael Vasquez's self-bio :
" I am a mature photographer with a practiced eye who appreciates women in all their glory.
I love working with natural light and with everyday backgrounds, I’ve done studio work and am thoroughly bored with it. I still love the look and the “feel” of real film so I’m a traditionalist. I prefer natural women in comfortable setting or in nature.
For a little information I’ve been working in photography for most of my adult life as an event photographer, capturing ex-Presidents, Secretary’s of State and of course Congressmen and Mayors.
I lived in New York for 5 years and put my time to good use shooting with young model on their way up. I’ve always loved finding out about people and finding ways to report a thin slice of their lives at a given moment in time.
I returned from NYC some 10 years ago and like many of you I’ve struggled with the changes in our industry and economy ever since. My stroke changed all that, changed my life and how I view it forever.
In November of 2005 I had a major stroke. With the help of the doctors, therapist and my friends I’ve learned to not take life for granted. I’ve had a lot of struggles learning to walk and to gradually regain the use my hand and arm.
I’m learning the things that are important to a quality life. I’ve learned how the handicapped and the aged feel. How they struggle to find not only the quality but the dignity to life that we take for granted.
I feel like I was given the chance at a new life, a better life and my desire now is to help others find their own ways to make it back to their own lives.
I don’t mean to preach or proselytize I have no agenda, pills or way of life that I’m pushing my aim is to tell my story and perhaps it will help.
I absolute love shooting bodyscapes of my models. I love the contours, the hills and valleys in landscapes. I find through my lens a wonder world of shapes and gentle curves.
Watching the way their body moves during the shoot is key to my methods. I’ll sit back when were shooting and some pose will seem awkward or forced : "give me something new" I’ll say. I won’t say what then I get the chance to watch them create a new look or feel and the body will move. I watch the play of light over them and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll find something worth a visit later. I’m looking as an artist trying to figure out what there is to find.
"At the Window"
Yes, that’s what I look for the light and shape and angles and sometimes what a lucky young man I am. Other time I don’t see it until I look at the finished work and then I realize how lucky I am to do what I do.
There’s not really anything sexual in what my model and I create. It’s not hum-drum work mind you but we get to laughing sometime at the absurdity of it all.
We’re busy creating an illusion, a fantasy of the woman and we’re having a great time playing at that fantasy.
That’s the most fun I’ve had since sex people have told me, no muss or fuss. That is the way it suppose to be, you’re both there to create some beautiful art and to build up some trust so you can have a better time next time.
I like to bring a sense of play and adventure to my shoots. I give my models a basic outline of what I’m considering shooting but I stress that my shooting is personality based. I think I’m good at that and that’s why I can occasional get that perfectly spontaneous look and feel to my shoots. Working with a nude the first time is such a grab bag of possibilities.
I like for my models to feel free to experiment with different looks and emotions. It’s important to me that they feel comfortable and safe to just down right play and get silly if they want. Like I say, my photography is so keenly aware of the models personality and her moods.
I like that. Some people disagree and want there models as props in the shoot. I think it depends on the personality of the photographer and where his or her mind is at."