Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bad-ass Bloggers (BaBs): Meet Michelle of Photography by Michelle Etwaroo

Michelle and I are former schoolmates from good ole P.S. 135 in Brooklyn who have reconnected through the medium that is FaceBook. It's been a blast catching up on her life through her amazing blog, Photography by Michelle Etwaroo.  Imagine my joy to discover that she is a Bad-ass Blogger on top of everything! I just knew that I had to feature her as the first BaBs for 2011!!

Michelle, you've had your amazing photography blog for about two years now. I've noticed that many photographers use a blog to showcase their art to a broader community. Was this the motivation for this blog?

Totally! I respect many of my peers and today's industry leaders. What do they all have in common? A blog(site). Most blog platforms are free and allow photographers, designers, etc. to display work, make announcements to subscribers, and communicate with clients. And let's not forget about Facebook! I have my blog feed into my Facebook notes, which is another way to stay connected to people. When I go on a group shoot I can tag my partners, clients/subjects, venues/fan pages; Subsequently, they can share it on their's just a wonderful thing to have a blog these days. It's like free advertisement [considering you are updating it regularly].

I love so many of your photographs for different reasons: a couple silhouetted by a tropical sunset, a community rally, and a sultry, seductive photo for a very special (and lucky!) man. You capture all of these very different images with the same passion and focus. What most often goes on in your mind when taking these pictures?

Really, every time i go out, I am trying to outdo my last photo shoot, I am my own worst critic. I also try to capture and focus on elements of the frame most would overlook, i.e.: the lashes on a little girl or the hands of an elated grandmother while she stuffs a pinata at her grandson's 1st birthday. I consider myself a "detail" photographer. Anyone can take a front and center frame of someone. I try to up the ante by giving the client another dimension.

While in the moment, do you see the mechanics of how to orchestrate the picture ("Move your head to the left.." etc.), do you see THE (with a capital T*H*E) photo in the moment and say "Yes!" or it sometimes a combination of both?

I feel like I have always had an eye for photography. And then I took up theory and photojournalism ... over 13 years ago during the film era. Literally, I took classes in a darkroom while in college. As i'm sure you can imagine, there was no room for error with film and obviously there was no "review" feature. If you screwed up a shoot, you found out as you developed your film and prints. Versus digital, if you overexpose your subject or the composition is not the best, you can see and remedy that right away. So as corny as it may sound, I feel that everyday has the potential to be an album and everyday i have my camera, something will take place where I "see" a photo about to happen. On the flip, If I am working a shoot, I try not to "pose" my subjects, that's not my type of photography. If needed, however, I'll give them a role to play and some direction to capture them effectively. Most people have never modeled so they don't know their angles or where the mark is. So I guess speak for most photogs and would have to say, BOTH!

One of your most recent blog posts highlights a massive, gorgeous vision board you created for 2011. Can you discuss your motivation for creating this vision board?

My motivation for creating the board was just a want for change, and making a conscience decision to take matters into my own hands. If you read the blog post, you'll see a number of reasons why I had to step up and re-claim my life. This past December, I shared a revelation with a friend of mine, "I am not living my own life. This person you see before you...I don't know who she is". The more I thought about it, i began to remember the last time I felt truly happy and sadly that was over 10 years ago. The irony is that in 2000, unknowingly, I made my first vision the time I didn't know what a vision board was. It was just a collage I put together in an art class in college. On it I had diamonds, an SUV, a puppy, an image symbolizing travel, etc. Everything I put together came true within a year, minus the puppy, instead I got a kitten :)
A few years back, a group of women shared the vision board theory with me and I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

What's up next for the blog? What new projects will you be sharing with us in the near future?

Well, for starters i'd like to facilitate giveaways (prints mainly). I'd also like to feature more bikes and the motorcycle sub-culture (I'm a rider!) There was a huge response to the shots from the NYC Motorcycle Show at The Javits Center. A niche I hope to feature more would be, Boudoir Photography. A woman's body is a work of art and I love empowering women with photos representing their confidence and sensuality.

Be sure to visit Michelle at:

If you'd like to featured in a future BaBs posting, or want to suggest a BaB for me to profile, please click here to contact Miss Moon's Musings.


  1. Thanks Audrey, the piece is divine.

    Love and Light

  2. Yay! I am so glad you think so, Michelle! Your beautiful photographs brought some much-needed elegance into this chaotic den of rantings, ramblings and revelations!! ;)

  3. Beautiful pics and a well written piece... kudos ladies! - CT