Guestagrammer of the Week: Michael Beller
Momenta welcomes this week’s guestagrammer, Michael Beller
Los Angeles, California
Connection to Momenta:
NOLA workshop 2015 and continuing as part of the Momenta family on special projects as they come up.
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today.
I fell in love with photography as a teen, mostly shooting friends and travel. While in college, I took photography classes, though it was not my central area of study. Once I started shooting black and white film and developing in the dark room, I fell completely in love. As years went by, I would shoot here and there, and then it trailed off. About 15 years ago, I picked up a Leica film camera and fell in love again. I started taking workshops, shooting around LA, and then branched out to travel workshops. A couple years ago, I became immersed with non-profit work from a more branding and content marketing angle, and a fired turned me on to the Momenta workshops and family. The NOLA workshop was an pivotal experience for me as an image maker, as it was one of the first times I focused on a particular project, and that has opened up my passion exponentially to focus on projects and narrative storytelling and events versus random street photography.
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
This does change, and it’s heart it is telling a specific story, whether it be a day in the life of a family at a rodeo, documenting extraordinary things happening in education reform by profiling programs and kids, as well as my own personal projects.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
Often books, other people’s work, as well as inspiration from people making the world a better place through selfless service, regardless of whether through art or other talent. Also, I find instructors and teachers very inspiring – hearing their own stories and methods for storytelling.
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly?
Instagram mostly – over the years have been able to create a curated feed of amazing photographers and storytellers that are inspiring. Also photojournalism via various outlets.
What is one passion you have outside of photography that might come as a surprise to our readers?
Not sure anything is a surprise :) I love spoken word poetry as a force for change, and am mesmerized by the work coming out of that genre by younger generations.
What can we expect to see next week from your “guestagramming” on our Momenta Instagram account?
I will be highlighting my work from the NOLA Momenta workshop where I photographed an organization named Roots of Music. Roots was founded by members of the Rebirth Brass band, and teaches traditional New Orleans marking band, drum core and other musical disciplines to inner city youth in addition too mentoring, homework and meals. Many of their alumni go on to prestigious music schools, while others feed the New Orleans music traditions to ensure that part of the City’s legacy does not disappear (not to mention kids that are taught to be good humans who may go into other disciplines where the tenants of mutual respect, commitment and other positive character traits ring true to make their lives fulfilling, as well as making the world a better place.
#seizethemomenta, and follow @momentaworkshops on Instagram to see Michael’s great work!
About the author…
Jen May Pastores
Jen May Pastores is a research and development team member and content developer at Momenta Workshops. Her expertise is in visual communications and social media.