Noel Michele has more than a rhyming name. She has a photographic eye that places people into the most beautiful compositions. Her photographs are as harmonious as her name and her relaxed demeanor only adds to the overall package. We recently spoke with her UGallery friend Valerie Chiang and became intrigued. How did these two meet? How did we get so lucky to represent both? Find out the story of Noel’s photography philosophy, friendships, and more below.
What’s your earliest art memory?
I believe I was three when I began writing innocent stories about birds and school and turning them into books with crayon illustrations, cardboard covering, and yarn binding! Finger painting just didn’t have the same appeal.
What is one word to describe your art?
Who and what inspires you?
My fellow photographer friends (Tara Violet Niami’s portfolio in particular is beyond worthy of a peak); Seattle rain and greenery; cinematographically rich films; American cultures of the 20s, 30s, and 40s; architecture; sleep and dreams; hardship; and people-watching.
I have to ask, how do you know Valerie Chiang?
Valerie and I met online through flickr. There has been a small but strong unofficial group of teen photographers (though we’re all grown up now!) on flickr whose precocious styles turned more than a few heads in the online photo network, and Valerie was definitely a member. I became virtual acquaintances with a few of them, and shortly thereafter, Valerie and I collaborated on Still and Look.
Are there any artists on UGallery that you have your eye on? Any pieces of artwork in particular that stand out?
Do you have a favorite photograph from your own portfolio?
Echoes, which happens to be a portrait of Tara on Santa Monica Beach!
What’s the most important thing to you when taking a picture?
Before I even load film into my camera, I scout the scene for a frame to find the most intriguing and revealing composition. Depending on whether I am working with artificial light or cooperating with natural light, I’ll then adjust my lighting, camera position, or wait for the sun to cast off the most flattering light. In portraits, I find that the most natural expression is the best expression for the type of photos I strive to take, so making my camera invisible, as it were, is also key.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I will be adding some prints to ugallery in the near future that are scanned a few rolls of black and white film that I shot while in Los Angeles. Stay tuned!
For fun, what’s your favorite Edgar Allan Poe story?
“The Black Cat” and for poetry, “Annabel Lee.”