Skip to main content

He Shoots People for a Living

Jan 27, 2015 01:31PM ● Published by Jason Huddle

While digital technology has changed the way photographs are taken, proofed and stored, they’re still the favorite way to chronicle a special event like a wedding.

 

By: Kim Cassell

Looking back through old family photo albums sometimes makes us laugh. Sure, the fashions and hairstyles are different, but so are the settings and poses. Most often, a studio setting with a generic monotone background was used or the photos were taken at the altar of the church.

Photographers nowadays have turned wedding photos more into an art form. Sure, depending on the couple’s tastes, photos may still be taken within a church or reception facility, but nature also plays an important supporting role.

Mike Anderson is owner of Michael A. Anderson Photography in Concord. He can’t remember a time when he wasn’t taking photos. “Whether it was a little Polaroid or an Instamatic, I liked taking pictures of trees and buildings. I used to draw, sketch, paint and do calligraphy,” he says.

Even with the passing of many years and having initially taken a different career path, Anderson still embraced photography as a hobby. That evolved into working full-time and booking photo shoots on the side.

“Once I started that, the photography business slowly grew and the balancing act was impossible. I would get off my job and go directly to a shoot. I just took a leap of faith,” Anderson says.

That leap of faith saw him quitting his day job and leasing a studio in historic downtown Concord. “Having a studio gives me a business side; a lot of photographers don’t have studios. I believe you separate that from your home. Being in downtown Concord, I knew, was something that would fit me best. The old buildings and brick, the way they decorate the trees gives me a canvas just outside my studio,” Anderson explains.

Anderson is self-taught, utilizing events like the annual Imaging U.S.A. Expo to hone his craft and learn about the latest trends and advancements in technology and equipment. There, he is able to participate in workshops and “just meet with the other people who love this art as much as I do,” he says.

“Trends change yearly,” he adds, “especially with weddings. But I don’t follow the trends. I shoot like Mike Anderson. When I shoot, before I click the shutter, there are three basic things I consider: lighting, composition and thinking 3-D. You’re taking something that’s three-dimensional and putting it onto something that’s two-dimensional; you have to create depth.”

While Anderson considers himself a minimalist and wants the image to be about the subject, he does utilize a few props – both humorous (like a box of Bojangles’ chicken) and touching – saying, “Whether it’s a baby in a basket or a picture frame for a couple, it’s symbolic. A prop can speak to you and give you instant meaning of a photo. And if the client brings one they want to use, I’m not going to say no.”

He also likes to break some rules. “You don’t shoot up at anybody. Not me, I’m shooting up at the bride because I want that sky!”

This serves as a good segue into one of Anderson’s favorite techniques: the manipulation of light…even when it’s raining. “I can use ambient light, but I also use my own lights to change the photo. I can’t count on Mother Nature to do everything for me. I can change daytime into night, knowing settings on the camera and how light works,” he says.

“When I talk to clients, when they’re looking for a place to shoot, I ask if they want rural, urban or small town,” Anderson explains. “Gold Hill doesn’t get any better for rural; I’ve shot there almost 300 times. Fences, tree lines…but it got oversaturated with photographers. For small town, it’s just outside my studio. For urban? No Da, Freedom Park and uptown Charlotte. (If it’s just me and myself, I find a mountain and a stream and I’m in heaven. Those days are rare.)”

Another advantage of digital photography is the ability to edit the image. “Your imagination is only held back by your equipment,” Anderson says. “When I edit, I enhance what’s already there. I don’t have a fake sky or backgrounds; I enhance certain aspects. It’s all about perspective. I see the final image before I ever click the shutter.”

After editing, Anderson sends his clients digital, watermarked proofs. This allows family and friends to view the photos as well and declare their choices. “They can buy some or all, but it’s all initially through email. It’s easy,” Anderson says.

In 2015, Anderson sees himself continuing to photograph weddings and utilizing fellow local photographers for bigger shoots, like a wedding he recently had at Duke Chapel. “I want to transition somewhat into commercial work or sports-related…pro-level stuff, headshots. I’m trying to diversify just a tad,” he says.

Anderson has become a fixture in downtown Concord. Spot a fedora and you’ve most likely tracked him down. He says, “I portray myself as downtown Concord. I have attached myself to my community and do things to promote the city and the county. I’ve lived here all my life and I finally feel like I have something of value to give back.”

He also loves his work, and it shows. To view past shoots, check out Anderson’s Facebook page at       www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-A-Anderson-Photography.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

In Print, Community Cabarrus Cabarrus Magazine Charlotte Gold Hill Historic Downtown Concord Imaging USA Expo Michael A Anderson photography Mike Anderson photographers Wedding Photgraphy
  • BROWN BAG COLORING FOR ADULTS

    11/24/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    • Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. Bring your lunch and color your stress away. We pr...


  • Gingerbread Community of Hope

    11/24/2017
    01:00PM — 09:00PM

    Create a part of the gingerbread community of hope and see it on display during Dickens' Holiday ...


  • Speedway Christmas 2017

    11/24/2017
    06:00PM

    Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its ...


  • Turkey Trot Dance Social

    11/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    After a day of enjoying your Thanksgiving favorites (maybe too much!) come out and have a fun nig...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • A VET TOGETHER

    11/28/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...


  • Beginner Belly Dance Class

    11/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Have you always wanted to learn to belly dance but were too nervous to give it a try? Stop waiti...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Sip & Shop

    11/30/2017
    09:00AM — 09:00PM

    Give the gift of North Carolina pottery this year during Sip & Shop, the Cabarrus Arts Council's ...


  • TODDLER STORY TIME

    11/30/2017
    10:30AM

    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...


  • Speedway Christmas 2017

    11/30/2017
    06:00PM

    Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its ...


  • A Closer Look

    11/30/2017
    07:00PM

    A sneak peek into the world of curators, artists and interior designers, these evenings are espec...


  • Turkey Trot Dance Social

    11/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    After a day of enjoying your Thanksgiving favorites (maybe too much!) come out and have a fun nig...


  • Holiday Sip & Shop

    11/25/2017
    01:00PM

    Please Join Makers on North Union for a Holiday Sip & Shop! Hosted by The Bead Lady, Hive & Shoe...


  • On Saturday, November 25 at 6pm, celebrate the start of the Christmas season in Kannapolis with t...


  • Come celebrate an evening of exhilarating holiday entertainment with the Charlotte Civic Orchestr...


  • Sip & Shop

    11/30/2017
    09:00AM — 09:00PM

    Give the gift of North Carolina pottery this year during Sip & Shop, the Cabarrus Arts Council's ...


  • Live entertainment from a variety of local musical and dance groups including Victoria Layton (so...


  • A Broadway Christmas Carol

    12/01/2017
    08:00PM

    Created by Kathy Feininger PG Performances: December 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17; 2016 @ 8pm ...


  • The Kannapolis Intimidators are hosting the second annual three-day Holiday Laser Light Experienc...


  • Cookies with Santa

    12/06/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Bring your kids to enjoy cookies with Santa at The Galleries on Wednesday, December 6th from 3-5p...


  • Holiday Sip & Shop

    12/09/2017
    01:00PM

    Please Join Makers on North Union for a Holiday Sip & Shop! Hosted by The Bead Lady, Hive & Shoe...


  • Art Lab

    12/13/2017
    10:00AM

    Kids 8+ will learn the forms and styles used by potters and tour the Clay exhibition, Wednesdays,...


  • A Broadway Christmas Carol

    12/15/2017
    08:00PM

    Created by Kathy Feininger PG Performances: December 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17; 2016 @ 8pm ...


Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors