(For the latest post, click on Home.)  I am a commercial photographer, 30 years and counting.  I am also a wide-format printmaker.  I love today’s printing technology and what it can reproduce. I make archival prints, mainly of flat artwork, i.e., paintings, illustrations and photography.  The experience from the two crafts has inspired me to create a third position at Ming Studio.   I am now an art impresario.  I support artists by organizing and financing art receptions and exhibitions.

I began my career in 1981.  I assisted fashion photographer Peter Ogilvie www.ogilviephoto.com in San Francisco.  Peter shot for retailers Wilkes Bashford, Macy’s, Gump’s, The Emporium, Victoria’s Secret and many others.  Geena Davis was one of our lingerie models.  I met her on the set just prior to her being cast by Sidney Pollack in the film Tootsie with Dustin Hoffman.   Although she wore a size B cup, which was the standard for the catalog in the day, her humor was a size D.

By the time I arrived on the scene, Peter was well established as one of the top fashion photographers in Northern California. He shot album covers for Journey and The Tubes, photographed mayor Diane Feinstein and other socialites and luminaries of the SF Bay Area.

My predecessor at Peter’s studio was Michelle Clement.  She went on to have her own stellar career as a creative and award-winning commercial photographer http://www.studioclement.com/ .

Peter’s studio manager, Nancy Haigh, a wonderful person (as was Peter), went on to work as a set designer.  She received Academy Award nominations for Set-Decoration for Barton Fink, Road to Perdition, Forrest Gump, Dreamgirls and True Grit. She won the Oscar for Bugsy in 1992. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Haigh .

Working with so many talented individuals from the get-go wasn’t too shabby for a fledging like myself. In the 80’s, the opportunity to become a professional photographer was very encouraging. Those Reaganomics years and inflated advertising budgets (And oh my word, the concomitant egos) were incredibly lucrative for someone with imagination and an interest in the print-ad industry.

After Peter left to work and live in Milan, I assisted advertising photographer Jim Blakely.  He shot many calendars for the Peterbilt Motors Company.  I remember having to paint white walls on these gigantic tires with 1st assistant Michael Fong at the Burbank Studios in Southern California.  We had to simulate a ticker tape parade, circa 1920, down a Wall Street set, and feature an immaculately polished semi-trailer truck, with 50 speakeasy-attired revelers in toll.  Jim is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.  The college was (is) equivalent to a Harvard or a Yale education in Arts and Design.

Before I went on my own, I assisted product photographer, Rudy Legname.  The fiery pisan’s lighting technique of wine bottles, reflective surfaces, and food was so luscious and gorgeous that I decided that product and still life photography would be my specialty. (… to be continued…)

Ming Louie

    • MUIMUi
    • April 6th, 2009

    What a fabulous idea. I have just bookmarked your blog and will visit frequently. I must pass this on to others

    • Laura
    • February 20th, 2011

    Very interesting story! Thanks for sharing.

    • Nancie
    • February 22nd, 2011

    Very cool, Ming!!!! xoxoxoxo:^)nm

    • Very cool, yourself, Nancie. Let me know what’s cooking with you and if I can help in anyway. For those who are meeting Nancie for the first time, allow me to introduce her. We’ve worked together on many photo shoots. She makes my work look easy and fun, a real Southern Bell, if I may say so. I give you Nancie Marsalis http://www.nanciemarsalis.com/ . Ciao Ciao

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