Photography

On Abbot Kinney: A Look Inside the work and life of MICHAEL DUMLER

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FIRST PICK UP A CAMERA?
I had a writing teacher that used to give me a photograph and have me create a full story from that one image. I think that’s where my fascination with photography began. When I picked the camera up for the first time I was quite lost. I needed something to ground me, something to hold onto, and I always thought that would be the pen, but it seems to be the camera.
 
YOU SEEM TO PHOTOGRAPH A LOT OF MODELS, WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THEM?
We are so used to seeing these amazingly gorgeous women in adverts and editorials all done up and perfected. For me, I love seeing them as they are. Granted I love to see a well styled model, but nothing beats a model on the streets of NYC in a pair of sweats with a philip lim jacket. I think really a woman is most beautiful when she is just being herself.
Street Photography
 
WHO IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE?
In my personal life it’s my parents. I had a really chaotic early life and I made it difficult for anyone to be close to me. As I’ve gotten older I have developed a close relationship with both my Mother and Father. They are both in their own ways responsible for any success I achieve. Professionally I have been very lucky to have photographers Kwaku Alston and Adam Katz Sinding mentor me. I also have been fortunate to befriend some very talented models such as Sophie Sumner, Lauren Hastings, and Kassidi Batt.
 
YOU SEEM TO HAVE PRETTY CONSISTENT STYLE, WHAT IS YOUR DAILY UNIFORM?
Levis. I pretty much wear all levies regardless of where I am or the temperature. I’ve developed a strong dislike for shorts and bright colors. Aside from my socks, I like colorful socks. I am searching for a perfect pair of  boots, otherwise I am wearing Converse. Recently I started wearing Garrett Leight sunglasses and don’t foresee myself switching that up anytime soon.
 
WHATS IN YOUR SUITCASE?
I actually don’t own a suitcase. I travel with a Billingham camera bag and a Low-Pro back pack. Contents include:
2 Levi’s Jeans
2 Levi’s denim shirts
2 Levi’s jean jackets
2 Converse (off white and black leather)
Canon 5D Mark II
85mm 1.2
Passport
Marlboro Reds
Zippo
2 Garrett Leight frames
 
Camera Bag
 
YOU STARTED SHOOTING IN LOS ANGELES AND YOU ARE NOW WORKING IN NEW YORK. HOW DO YOU LIKE BEING ON THE EAST COAST?
LA was a great place for me to start, but after my first Fashion Week in New York I knew I had to move. There is some great style in LA, but at least in the states nothing compares to New York. I have grown to appreciate the higher end of fashion such as Phillip Lim, Balenciaga, and Céline, which you don’t see as much of on the streets in LA. 
 
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHOT SO FAR AND WHY?
When I asked Catherine McNeil to take her photo I had no idea she would become one of my favorite models or even that she was a big model. She was quite sick when I stopped her that day, but despite being sick she remained beautiful and intriguing to me. That I believe is key, a sense of intrigue or mystery. Cat embodied that for me.
 
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO SHOOT WITH IN THE FUTURE?
Catherine McNeil would be amazing.
 
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY OTHER PROJECTS?
The focus will be interviews with models where they get to discuss all the other projects and activities they have going on in their lives aside from modeling. I’ve found in my time working with models that many are engaged in other work or hobbies, but we don’t really hear about those activities. And We Model will be a platform for models to showcase their lives in a more rounded and fulfilling light I hope.
 
Shoot With Models
 
ON A PERSONAL NOTE, IS THERE A LUCKY LADY IN YOUR LIFE?
I’ve actually been trying not to have a relationship for a while now. I’m surrounded by beautiful women for work and want to keep the two very separate. There is one girl that I have strong feelings for though, but I want to further develop a strong friendship and continue building my career before anything else happens.
 
WITH SUCH A BUSY SCHEDULE WHEN DO YOU FIND TIME FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
That’s been difficult, when I am in New York I can see my father frequently for breakfast which is great, but I don’t get to see my mother or brother very often which I would like to change. Most of my friends in New York are in or around the industry so we have similar schedules, but even when we do hang out its often work related. I guess I mainly just work, but that okay…I spent a long time just partying so now work is my thing. When I am in LA I seem to be more social, I think it’s more difficult to just work all the time there since I am more dependent on other people there to get around.