This week we are excited to introduce an exceptional photographer, videographer and business owner. He is the founder of creative agency, Ori Media, where his team of creatives specialize in photo, video, advertising, branding, marketing and web design. He is a master of storytelling and has worked with top-of-the-line companies such as Canon, Ford and Real Salt Lake. This week we are featuring Michael Ori! Keep reading to discover how Michael has created such success in his career.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into photography/videography.
"I grew up on a farm in the small town of Price, Utah. I moved to Salt Lake City in 2001 to attend the University of Utah. Shortly after the move, I realized that engineering was a path that would have led me back to the coal mining industry that my pops worked in for 25 years. After a few conversations with him regarding that choice, his advice was to follow my heart. So, I skipped class and went for a stroll. I found two students with a video camera and I questioned what they were doing. They both looked up and with a smug reply they said in unison, “we are making an art film.” I walked to the advisor's office and changed my major to film studies. I graduated in 2004 and began looking for work in the commercial media space."
2. How did your creative agency, Ori Media, start?
"With the advent of the Canon 5D Mark II, I realized that there was a better way to create content at a lower cost with a higher value. The HUGE production crews that I worked on were going to get smaller and smaller. I saw an opportunity to become a one-stop-shop for photo and video. My only problem was that I didn’t know a single thing about photography."
"I bought the camera and started to teach myself, I also worked under some very talented photographers and a lot of their lessons still guide my process today. In 2011, I founded Ori Media, a creative agency that specializes in the art of storytelling, our medium being the digital arts. I shoot exclusively on Canon cameras because I love the image, their staff, and they continue to push the envelope of multi-use cameras which fits our workflow perfectly."
3. What advice do you have to other photographers/entrepreneurs who are looking to start their business?
"Through the years, I’ve seen a lot of people run out and buy the latest and greatest equipment assuming that gear is going to make them instantly successful. Unfortunately, without hard work, determination and a little luck those cameras will sit idle and before long they will end up on KSL. My advice is simple, shoot every day, work your ass off, and share your knowledge. It’s the only way you will grow."
4. What is in your gear bag and what piece of equipment do you rely on the most?
"I’m actually sitting on a flight to Italy and I just purchased the WNDR 31-liter PRVK bag with camera cube. The bag is aesthetically pleasing, well built, waterproof and is designed with the international traveler in mind. I had room for my Canon EOS R with 24-105mm kit, iPad Pro, 4 batteries and charger, Mavic Pro and the rest of the whatnots to make everything work. I also had room in the expandable upper section for my clothes and toiletries and I don’t feel like I had to leave anything behind, but every ounce counts!"
"As far as my one piece of equipment that I rely on the most, I’d have to say my EOS R; I am beyond impressed with this camera and its ability to transcend photo and video. It works as an amazing studio still camera as well as a great B camera to my C200. I can’t wait to see what Canon comes out with next that will utilize the R mount the images are just astonishing."
5. Do you prefer shooting on location or studio work and why?
"Each scenario has its own appeal to me. I love the control that a studio affords me, but I also love getting out and about. If I had to choose I would likely say studio work because that is the majority of my clientele these days, but chasing light has always been one of my favorite past times."
"When I travel I will take a very small kit, likely just a tripod and a camera and I will go and shoot. It’s an exercise that I love to do because it keeps me sharp, it forces me to be creative and to work with what gear I have. If I’m shooting in the studio I typically have all the gear I could ever want, but is there the right amount of thought in each shot? I hope so, but you never know, life is funny that way."
6. What is your favorite part about video production?
"I love storytelling and video production affords me the ability to do that each and every day. The most exciting feeling is when I write something and I can see every detail in my mind before production even starts. Taking that vision and seeing if I have the ability to pull it off is a rush. Don’t get me wrong I have been off before, but that is only a chance to grow and become better at my craft."