April 2010, Seville, Andalucia. Spain guide book commission
Michelle was commissioned to update the text for Seville City Spot Guide, which is published by Thomas Cook, which has a policy of using journalists based in or near their destinations. Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is a hub of activity, and in recent years much has changed there, from tempting new tapas bars to a tram service within the city – checking all the information is a meticulous task. April marked the date for completion of the project, and the guide will be published in July 2010.
April 2010, India Photography Magazine
Michelle was interviewed by Mathew Thottunga, Executive Editor of Smart Photography magazine, India’s top photography and Imaging publication. The interview and images covered seven pages of the magazine. Questions included: “It goes without saying that one requires an immense amount of patience to shoot in different geographies. How do you go about conceptualizing images in different locations given the fact that every country is different from the other in terms of language and customs/traditions”. “As an International photographer, you’ve seen and visited a lot of countries across Europe, Asia, Middle East, and United States. In this context, apart from Spain, is there any particular country which has had an emotional effect on you, and how?” A PDF of the full article published in the May edition of Smart Photography magazine can be viewed here.
April 2010, Estepona, Andalucia. Studio images of Spanish bullfighter Joselito Ortega
This was a first for Michelle – a bullfighter, not in the ring, but here for a portrait session in the studio. Joselito arrived in “civi” attire, accompanied by his mozo de espadas (dresser). With the help of his mozo to dress him, Joselito reappeared wearing his full traje de luces – suit of lights – transporting this ordinary guy into the taurino world.
Joselito is a shy, sensitive man. One of the challenges of studio photography, when shooting an artist who isn’t completely comfortable with his surroundings, is to make him feel more at one with this temporary environment. Prior to Joselito´s visit, Michelle had purchased the album Su majestad el pasodoble from Itunes. As soon as Michelle´s assistant Joaquin played this music, Joselito´s expression changed immediately, and he took on his identity as a matador, elegant and composed. This allowed Michelle to capture the images required for a home page feature on Andalucia.com, the world´s most-visited portal on Southern Spain.
April 2010, Malaga, Andalucia. Semana Santa (Holy Week)
This month Michelle returned, after 17 years, to photograph a particular Good Friday procession in Malaga, the “Descendimiento”, that she had shot during her first year in Spain. Michelle states that “As a travel photographer, Semana Santa ticks all the boxes: natural light, street theatre, passion, tradition, great facial expressions among the onlookers, and a visual feast, all ready to be captured on camera”. Her original images were shot on black and white negative and that luscious old Fuji Velvia; these days, we’re in a purely digital age. The procession was identical to when she saw it all those years ago, following the same route, with the same enthusiasm that only the Spanish have for maintaining their traditions, and from a photography point of view, still a joy to capture on camera.
April 2010 Madrid EuroDIG
Michelle attended the The Pan-European dialogue conference on Internet governance EuroDIG held in Madrid on the 29th and 30th of April 2010.
EuroDIG is an open platform for informal and inclusive discussion and exchange on public policy issues related to Internet Governance (IG) between stakeholders from all over Europe. It was created in 2008 by a number of key stakeholders representing various European stakeholder groups working in the field of IG. EuroDIG is a network which is open to all European stakeholders that are interested in contributing to an open and interactive discussion on IG issues.