Home / Artist Statement
studio|ménage is the photography label for myself, HSH Shadow Dragu-Mihai.
I have a varied photographic palate across many genres and styles. I work with celebrities, personalities and portraiture, fine art, editorial and fashion or concept - but always my work is focused on the personality of the subject (human or not) and an attempt to achieve artistic merit.
As a child, I watched in wonder at the vivid colors my father used for his oil paintings. The texture of his brush enhanced the colors, gave them a specific shape and created a geometry separate from his larger image. At age 10 I started to learn piano, then trumpet. The latter became my instrument of choice and I would play anything on it. I played concert and jazz music for many years but became a jazz musician upon leaving high school. The sense of color, texture and geometry I experienced as my father painted was and still is very significant in my experience of music.
After a professional foray into entertainment law, I returned to the arts when I attended film school and fell in love with cinematography. This was in the latter days of film - though no one knew it - and my journey took me through the physical nature of film photography (for cinematography is photography at 24-frames-per-second), how light and shadow affected a particular film emulsion, as well as the artistic and symbolic meaning of an image. It was a different art than today's dial-your-look digital cinema (which I also do and appreciate). The physical, analog nature of working in film - which sometimes took days to see an image - enforced a facility with light, shadow and composition which today's younger digital cinematographers and photographers, never having had that experience, often do not understand well.
My eye and my photos are informed by my experience in cinematography. In that art, one composes across the frame, and anticipates movement even with a still subject. That, and my appreciation for texture, color and geometry, give me a unique eye apart from other photographers. I choose different subjects, angles and composition.
On these pages is a broad a variety of genres and styles. Yes, I get bored quickly, and it so happens that my long experience in cinematography and lighting is applicable to every kind of photography, so I can move between forms and genres with relative ease. While my own artistic palate and preferences are wide, there are certain kinds of work I do not do: weddings (I will sometimes as a 'second shooter'), birthdays, or any retail-style package work which you might get at your super-market photo shop. Unless you really, really want me and my aesthetic, and are therefore willing to let me have artistic and documentary freedom, I am not going to do your wedding... I may do your portrait however.
Finally, I have significant art photo projects under way, as well as decorative image libraries. If you are interested in subscriptions to artworks, or wish to discuss commissions, contact me on this website.
I hope you find my work interesting.