It is with great pleasure we announce our first guest Photographer of the of the new year. Steve Maisch has a very creative eye and a unique style for beauty and glamour, with a bright and vibrant fantasy twist.
GlamModelz Magazine: Let’s get started! Tell me about your background…how did you get started in Photography? Steve Maisch: I got started in photography through a local model and friend named Mindi Naticchioni. I was working as a screenwriter and Indie film director and she was cast as the lead role in a short film we were shooting. She suggested that since I already knew the basics of lighting and framing, was artistically inclined, and had a vivid imagination that I should give photography a shot and she would love to be my first subject. I borrowed a friend’s camera and strobes, and with his help did my first shoot. I was instantly hooked. Within the next week my wife and I dropped a ton of money on a full camera package.
GlamModelz Magazine: Why Glamour/Beauty? What other genre’s and styles interest you? Steve Maisch: Well originally after purchasing my equipment I dabbled in landscape and panoramic photos, just trying to learn the camera and all its various functions and settings, but it didn’t hold my interest. I have always been fascinated by beauty and glamour, and found that my personality simply fit in bringing out the best in human subjects. Though beauty and glamour are one of my main focuses, I actually consider myself a concept photographer more than anything.
GlamModelz Magazine: What or who inspires you as a photographer? Steve Maisch: Wow, that’s a hard question because it would be a pretty broad answer. Music inspires me a lot, other artists work, movies, poetry, and books, my love of comic books as a teenager, and mythology. The support of my family and friends inspires me, and often they give me ideas and concepts to try. My wife Tanya loves and supports me 100% and often comes up with some of the best concepts for our shoots. I also draw inspiration from the models I work with. Many of them have really good ideas they bring to me that with some minor tweaks turn into fantastic works of art.
Like all artists, I too have a muse. Her name is Kelsea Hume and from the first moment we shot together I have been inspired by her and continue to be.
GlamModelz Magazine: What challenges do you face in this industry? What would you change about it, if you could? Steve Maisch: Getting your foot in the door is the biggest challenge. I would change that if I could, allow a better method for unknown but talented artists to get national recognition. But I am pretty sure that won’t be changing any time soon. Sites such as yours and many of the social media sites are changing this to some degree. You really have to be extremely lucky and a shameless self promoter to get anywhere in this business. Luckily I am.
GlamModelz Magazine: What equipment is essential for you as a glamour photographer, to capture your “best shot”? Steve Maisch: My handy dandy Canon, a lens, one strobe and a portable power pack. Sometimes the best shots are the most simple. But I think the most important tool that is essential for getting my “Best Shot”, is preparation and a fantastic idea. Without those, the shot will always suffer. If you get hair, makeup, wardrobe, location, concept, etc all together, then you can get your best shot. Its really all about preparation and how much of yourself you put into it. You can get lucky and catch lighting in a bottle with just a camera, but if you prepare, you will almost always get good shots.
GlamModelz Magazine: Paid vs. TF* shoots – What are your views and preferences? Steve Maisch: I think it depends on where you are at in your photography career. When you first start the most important thing is in building a strong body of work. Getting your portfolio polished is essential. That can only come through a ton of trial and error, and doing a bunch of TF shoots. Paid is always preferred, and never refused, but I don’t think artists just starting out should expect it. Also I just love the idea of collaborating with a team of people whose sole purpose is to make good art.
GlamModelz Magazine: How would you best describe your personal style? Steve Maisch: Out there? LOL. I love pictures that make people put a story to them. Something that makes someone think, while at the same time allowing them to enjoy the artistry of it. A lot of my shots involve heavy photo manipulation and crazy “out of this world” concepts. I also use heavy saturation in a lot of my images to get a lot of bold colors. I am also in love with the look of high contrast black and white photos.
While I love the concepts the most, I am starting to develop an appreciation for a pretty picture that is just that, something to look at. I love to make female models look powerful, strong, and intense, while at the same time sexy and seductive. My work with male models is limited, but I will be using them more and more here in the near future.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are your goals for your photography? Other goals? Steve Maisch: My original goal was to keep photography as a hobby and simply get published. Now that that has happened, I feel I need to go further with it. I want to be published in a national level print magazine, have an art gallery showing, and see the models I work with have success in this industry. I also love shooting bands. I would love to shoot a major label band or two, and get a few CD covers out of it. That would rock.
GlamModelz Magazine: What qualities should Models/MUA’s/Stylists, etc have to work with you? Steve Maisch: As far as models are concerned, I have one simple rule. We have to click. Since I do this mainly as a hobby/obsession, I have to enjoy the time I put into it. If the model and I get along, have fun, and laugh, I would gladly work with her. I do a lot of work with girls just starting their portfolios, so industry experience isn’t a must for me, but a connection is. Now when you do work with a pro, who also clicks with you, then you make magic. I am just blessed that I get to work with some of the most beautiful, and fun loving people in the world. I truly feel honored that they even shoot with me.
As far as MUA’s go, you have to be creative and want to contribute. Sometimes my vision is not complete, and having an outside eye to give suggestions is invaluable.
I don’t need a stylist. I have the best one in the United States living under my roof. My wife is a designer with over 16 years of experience. She can do styles from any era. It’s a commodity I do not take lightly and thank her every time .
GlamModelz Magazine: Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date or what makes you most proud. Steve Maisch: Hmmm. I have several I am very proud of. First and foremost being chosen for this interview, it is very flattering and I’d like to thank everyone at GlamModelz. Being chosen as a finalist for Capture Cincinnati and having my pictures in their coffee table book was very nice. But what make me most proud (in photography) is the people who follow my work on SteveMaisch.com, Deviant Art, my Facebook fan group, and comment on all of the pictures. Their support and feedback really mean a great deal to me. Sometimes even the little things make me very proud. When I shoot a model and then check their website and my picture is on their main page or used as their avatar. That makes me swell with pride.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new/amateur photographers who want to shoot glamour? Steve Maisch: Prepare for drama. Since the average age for starting models is 16 to 22 you have to realize you are dealing with young, impressionable people who take what they do very seriously, and are putting their potential career in your hands. The job is part photographer, part therapist, and part shoulder to lean on. Some photographers may be able to get amazing pictures by just meeting a model once and never having contact again, but that’s just not how I work. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve made invaluable lifelong friends through this hobby, and it has enriched my life a great deal.
Also have a thick skin. Expect cancellations, no shows, bad shoots, temperamental models, and angry boyfriends. It is bound to happen and you have to learn to deal with it. The best advice I have for a new photographer is “jump in feet first and start shooting”. When I decided to do this I did 3-5 photo shoots a week just for practice. Yes most of them sucked, but I learned so much from them.
GlamModelz Magazine: Any advice for models? Steve Maisch: For models they need to find quality photographers that you can trust and don’t settle just for anyone with a camera. Look at their body of work and see if it will improve your portfolio. If it won’t, skip it. Always look to expand, better yourself, and create good art. There is a wealth of talented and trustworthy artists in just about every city. But there are also a lot of creeps. Know that you do not have to do extremely risqué shoots to get paying jobs, but also understand the nature of the business you are going into. Understand that swim wear shoots, sexy ad campaigns, skimpy runway clothes, and the like are part of the beast that is this business. You are selling an image of your body, it is what models do.
GlamModelz Magazine: In addition to photography, do you have other skills/interests/talents in which you excel? Steve Maisch: I love the sport of mixed martial arts. I practiced it for several years along with other forms of martial arts on and off throughout my life. I love weight training (though not so much in my advancing years), and I am a decent wii bowler J. I consider myself a well rounded artist. I can draw, paint, write, and design. Other than that I love spending time with my family and friends, and I am a rabid fan of the NFL.
GlamModelz Magazine: What other interesting facts would you like GlamModelz readers to know about you? Steve Maisch: The main fact I would like to share is that I have only been doing photography for 8 months. This is a fact that shocks a lot of people. The truth is if you are truly inspired, you can accomplish a lot in a short period of time, with the right innate skill and determination.
I would like to thank a few people that mean a lot to me. Thanks to my wife Tanya and my children for putting up with and supporting this obsession of mine. I love you all.
I want to thank Steve Beverley of www.911inc.net for his support and guidance. Without it I would never have gotten off the ground.
I want to thank Kelsea Hume for being my muse, inspiring my visions, and pushing me to the next level.
Thank you to Melanie Hernandez, a fantastic model who also just happens to be one of the best friends a guy could have.
Thanks to Leslie, Marisa, Danielle, Franco, Brian, Peggie, Paul, Rachel, Vanessa, and Heather for being a core team of models that any photographer would be blessed to shoot with. Special thanks to Lyn from Serket Jewelry. Her jewelry line rocks and she has really been a new source of inspiration.
Finally I would like to thank my mother. Every ounce of talent I was born with came from her. I miss you.