Michael Tighe is a talented photographer, who was born in New York City and currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He got into to photography at a very young age.
Started shooting formal portraits during high school and working professionally by 17. After graduating in 1973 he studied with famed portrait photographers Philippe Halsman and Arnold Newman, major influences in his work early on. He was soon shooting regularly for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine where his career took off. Leading to more magazine work with GQ, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue and some lucrative fashion work through the 1970s.
“1975 is the year I mark as being my first as a professional, I was twenty years old. I decided I wanted to be a portraitist after studying with Philippe Halsman and Arnold Newman. I started out by writing letters to every famous artist, actor, musician, director, writer, politician… everyone I’d heard of asking to photograph them. I didn’t have any connections to them. But I lived in Manhattan where many of them did. I’d mail my letter with a few of my photos asking for fifteen minutes of their time. The very first week a few wrote back with a yes, amazing! After that I got very intense and driven pursuing all the artists I admired.”
He disappeared for several years for personal private reasons… drugs, rehab, drugs, rehab again, rebuilding decimated life, stuff like that.
“To keep things interesting, I started shooting heroin. Made a mess of my life. Lost everything, ending up broke and homeless. It took a while, but I got my act together. Starting over just the way I began, mailing the letters.”
Reemerging better than ever in the early 1980s directing his attention and talents towards the entertainment business shooting for Premiere, Esquire, Time, Newsweek and the major television and movie studios. Eventually moving to LA where he continues to work.
|Sean Penn with Robin Wright Penn and Dylan Penn|