Michael Masser Photography Blog - michaelmasser

Minneapolis Portraits

12th December 2014

Sat on a flight from Minneapolis to Austin this past weekend, I realised that it was probably about time to add a new blog post to my site so I decided to keep it short and sweet and show off some of my favourite portraits I have shot over the last 4 months since I moved to Minneapolis in August. Below you will see images of Danielle Andersen, Reide Housley, Meghan Rook, Casey Moore, Jennifer Claire, Billie White, HJ Steele, Karlee Ann Callender, Nam Garsini and Lindsey Jo Angelo.

Click through to my portrait portfolio to see more images.


Fun Portrait Photoshoot

3rd May 2014

Recently I got the opportunity to be involved in a really fun photoshoot with Tiki Rolin Frederiksen in Copenhagen, Denmark. The concept behind the shoot was to really show Tiki's personality. It certainly turned out to be one of the most fun portrait sessions I've done. This was all shot using one light which in this case was a Nikon SB-700 inside a Westcott Apollo 28" Softbox. This ultra portable set up is one of my favourites to use on location.

Makeup: Estelle Berdel


Sweet Sneak 7

16th April 2014

Recently I was asked to create a video of Sweet Sneak's (www.sweetsneak.com) latest pop up bakery event in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Taken from their website: "Every other month, an unexpected place somewhere in Copenhagen is turned into a paradise for sweet teeth. Whether you are a chocolate lover, cannot resist a fruity cupcake or you appreciate the sophistication of a macaron – you will find your favourite among the great variety of home-baked treats."

Having tested the cakes I can assure you they are superb. If you're in or planning a trip to Copenhagen soon, be sure to like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sweetsneak to stay up to date on their next event.


Photographing Cassandra Bankson

14th March 2014

It's been a while since I've written a blog post so to break the silence here's a little background to my shoot with Cassandra Bankson. She contacted me through the popular modelling site, Model Mayhem (you can find me here: http://www.modelmayhem.com/2901900) saying that she would be in Copenhagen for a few days in December and was interested in working together. We discussed through some ideas for the shoot and after finding a slot in our busy schedules we managed to get it arrange. Now we just had to hope for some decent weather, always a risk in Denmark it seems but we lucked out and it stayed just about dry.

Cassandra was amazing to work with and I highly recommend working with her if you get the chance but also, be sure to check out her awesome YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DiamondsAndHeels14.

During the shoot there were a couple of mishaps such as a light stand falling over into the sea which ended up with me having some very wet feet, but it's all worth it in the end when you get the shot. Here are a few images from the shoot. Hope you like them.

  • Cassandra Bankson Photoshoot - December 2013
  • Cassandra Bankson Photoshoot - December 2013

Leaving England

2nd August 2013

Well it's now August which means this is the month I leave England after 27 years and move to Copenhagen, Denmark. I'm excited to get there. A creative city and lots of opportunities to push myself with more photography.

Of course I will miss England and my family but in the overall scheme of things it's still just a stones throw away. Sheffield has been my home for the last 9 years and the below photo is certainly one of my favourite places. The Peak District National Park is right on the doorstep and there are incredible landscapes and quaint villages everywhere you turn.

This photo itself was taken at Stanage Edge just on the outskirts of Sheffield and is a great place for a hike if you're ever in the area.

Sunset on the horizon  at Stanage Edge HDR - Peak District, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Portraits and Graphic Tees

31st July 2013

One advantage of knowing local designers is not just having access to unique clothing. If you are lucky, as a photographer, you will be asked to photograph for the brands.

One of Sheffield's largest independent brands is Hantu (http://www.hantustore.com/). Co-Founded by my good friend Angga Kara, who recently did a talk for Ted X (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrboGtI0ezo), they were the first commercial shoot I did.He also helped set up Yorkshire Tee (http://yorkshireteestore.mysupadupa.com/), a garment printing company working with brands internationally.

This photo is from a recent shoot for Yorkshire Tee and Debauchery. The model is a local tattoo artist (https://www.facebook.com/Immortalinkstudio) and musician (https://www.facebook.com/OriginsOfficial), Sam Ellis. Having worked with him before he was great to work with under a heavy time constraint.

Shot in the basement of Bird's Yard Sheffield (https://www.facebook.com/BirdsYardSheffield) I was lucky to have this sofa and lamp already there and at the end of the shoot I wanted to get this shot. I got some power to the lamp and tried to balance my flash (Nikon SB700) to it using a CTO gel through a Westcott Apollo 28" Softbox to the left. I wanted this to be a warm scene so I boosted things a little bit in Lightroom. There was very little processing done other than that.

It turned out to be one of my favourite portrait images I have taken, telling a bit of a story beyond the typical graphical tee photoshoot.


Ullswater and a Family Adventure

30th July 2013

I travelled up to the Lake District in northern England recently to see my family before jetting off to live in Copenhagen (I'll come back to this in a future blog).

After a long hike over Loughrigg from Windermere to Grasmere my father took me to Ullswater to photograph the sunset. The photo below was taken just after sunset right on the edge of the water. The long exposure as the water moved between the rocks really added to the interest of the black and white which is a look I've been enjoying a lot recently and hope to shoot some more images like this in the near future.

Ullswater after Sunset - Lake District, England, UK

The New SmugMug

30th July 2013

So welcome to the new blog on the new SmugMug. I'm really enjoying the new features and style of the site and am looking forward to making the most of them. Now that my blog is fully integrated into the site it will be being updated far more regularly on my site with the latest news, photos, hints and tips and anything else you would like to know about.

Feel free to drop me a message through the contact form with any information you would like to be included in a blog post. The below photo is one of my favourites taken on my first trip to Chicago.

Click through on the photo for more information on where it was taken.


Pre-Christmas Vacation Road Trip

10th December 2012

Well two weeks from now I will be over the Atlantic on my way to JFK for what is potentially going to be my most exciting Christmas ever. I will be flying in to New York where I will be picked up by my awesome girlfriend before we drive up to Toronto arriving late Christmas Eve.

After a few days in Toronto we will be driving down to Chicago and staying there for a week, the highlight of which is likely to be seeing the Chicago Bulls live in person on NYE for the first time since becoming a fan in 1995 (one of the many downsides of living in the UK is not being able to see them before now).

We will then proceed to drive from Chicago to New York where I'll hopefully get a day to take some photos there before flying home. I was in New York for Christmas and New Years last year (2011) and it is certainly one of my favourite places to go for photography. Here are a few photos from my last trip there.


Art in the Metro - Stockholm's Largest Gallery

19th October 2012

I was told before my recent trip to Stockholm that one of the best things to see whilst there are the metro stations. I did a little bit of research beforehand and they looked interesting enough, but let's be honest who wants to spend most of their time underground? Turns out, this guy! In person they are incredible.

Having been to London numerous times, the Underground is great for getting around but it's all about getting in and out of the Tube stations as quickly as possible.

In Stockholm you will end up taking your time! Here are a few photos that I took whilst I was there. Click on the images to view them in full resolution.

First up is Solna Centrum, then Universitetet, Tekniska Högskolan and the final one is from Stadion.


Photographing History In London

18th September 2012

In December 2011 I took a trip down to London for the first time with my camera. I wanted to get photos of all the landmarks that you see time and time again and I was fortunate enough to stay in the City not far from Tower Bridge and the Gherkin.

Whilst there, I was on the south bank just as evening was setting and took a photo looking back towards the City. It turned out, this was the area of London my Grandad used to work in many years ago. I decided that for his next birthday I would print this picture and frame it for him.

Upon receiving it (a few days ago) here is what he had to say:

"Mike, I have now had the opportunity to have a closer look at the super picture which you sent for my birthday. The older building in the right foreground is the Port of London building, just to the left of it is the LLoyds building (with cranes behind it). I started work in The City in 1955 when my office was in Fenchurch St which runs parallel to the river and between the P.L.A.building and LLoyds. For many years I parked my car alongside the P.L.A.building, no meters or any other charges in those happy days. So you see how appropriate your choice has proved to be."

My grandparents have always been there for me and have been extremely supportive over the years so it really means a lot to me that I have been able to share something with them. Though it was a simple gesture on my part it's a great feeling to, in a sense, capture history through the memories my Grandad has.

I hope one day I can share this story, which provides a real insight into how London has changed over the years, with my future grandchildren.


Sunsets and Travel

17th September 2012

This week I get the pleasure of visiting a good friend of mine in another new city for me. I'll be headed to Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday for a long weekend trying to fit in as much as I can in a short space of time.

The last time I saw this friend I was lucky enough to sit with them at Puffer's Pond in Amherst, Massachusetts and watch the sunset. It couldn't have been a more relaxing, nice, still, warm, spring evening. Here's one of the photos I got whilst I was there.

I'm hoping my time in Stockholm brings me plenty of opportunities to capture just as beautiful scenery, that Scandinavia is known for, along with plenty of relaxation.


My Alma Mater

6th August 2012

Over the weekend I was walking on the University of Sheffield campus with a friend on our way to sit in the sun and talk through some photography techniques with him. The University of Sheffield has been a major part of my life. Having graduated from the university in 2007, long before I got in to photography, I've always wanted to take some pictures of the campus. Although I live just a couple of minutes walk away in the last 18 months I haven't really got round to photographing any of the buildings.

Two years ago the University of Sheffield refurbished the Students' Union building and a major part of that was the new main entrance. Out of term time it's very quiet on campus and I saw this as a great opportunity to grab a picture.

Some may have seen this posted on Twitter (@michaelmasser) yesterday, but this morning I got an email from the University of Sheffield Students' Union's digital marketing department asking if they could use the photo on their Facebook page. It is now their cover photo (this can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldstudentsunion).

With a new intake of undergraduates and postgraduates around the corner it's an honour that the first thing they may see when looking up what they will be able to do at the Students' Union, where I spent a great deal of time myself, will be this photo.


The Mid-Atlantic Ridge - Iceland

12th June 2012

Here is a re-edit of a photo I took whilst in Iceland in July last year that I decided was due a "full treatment." This is a quick shot of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in Iceland where the Eurasian Plate and North American Plate in the North Atlantic are separating by around 2.5cm/1 inch per year.

This photo does not do justice to just how clear the water is there but what you're seeing below the water line is NOT a reflection. It really has to be seen to be believed. I can not wait to go back and get a better shot of this that is not taken through a window of a bus.


Meeting Inspiration - A Times Square Story from New York

31st May 2012  

People who know me will understand why I got so excited about this reply on Twitter. Trey Ratcliff is one of my true inspirations when it comes to photography!

For those that don't know the story. 18 months ago one of my best friends (and a superb photographer in her own right) sent me a link to this picture by Trey Ratcliff: http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/440698504ad9502ccdeo/742619262_k84PY-L-1.jpg

When I saw it I decided it was time to finally get a DSLR and begin learning. A year later I was in New York for the first time and I was determined to recreate the photograph that had inspired me to take up photography in the first place.

The photo below is my recreation. When I tweeted it to Trey Ratcliff this evening he replied positively (see above). It's not often in life one of your inspirations communicates with you directly and although it was just a simple message it was an incredible feeling.

It just goes to show if you work hard at the things you enjoy the rewards are there to be had.


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