The “12 days of giving wiki” is a website that provides information about the 12 days of Christmas. It also includes information about how to give, and what to give.
The 12 Days of GIVING is a project that will culminate on December 10th and promote the importance of giving back. With these twelve days, we celebrate and remember those who were given to us in our lives with joy, love, laughter or tears. We hope you take time throughout this year to give back by making a donation or volunteering your time for someone who needs it more than you do.
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We’re back with another installment of our So You Want My Job series, in which we speak with guys who work in coveted positions and ask them about the realities of their employment as well as tips on how men might achieve their goals.
Many photographers want to work as professional photographers. But it takes a lot of luck and a lot of hard work to get from photographing the birds in your garden to shooting the cover of a magazine. Michael Le Brecht II is fully aware of this. Michael received his big break when he scored his first Sports Illustrated cover with the “chosen one,” LeBron James, a teenage high school basketball star. Micheal has since shot over 30 Sports Illustrated covers, including another with LeBron James, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Eli Manning, Oscar De La Hoya, and others. Michael is a brilliant portrait photographer who took time out of his hectic schedule to tell us about his work.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself (e.g., where do you come from?). What is your age? What school did you attend? Describe your job, including how long you’ve been doing it, and so on.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and currently live in New Jersey. My name is Mikey the III, and I am 33 years old. I am married to Yesenia and have two children, Samantha and Mikey the III. I attended SCCC in Loch Sheldrake, New York, and F.I.T. in New York City. Since the year 2000, I’ve worked as a professional photographer. As a freelance photographer, I typically capture photographs for Sports Illustrated.
2. What inspired you to pursue a career as a photographer? When did you realize you wanted to do it?
When I was a youngster, I used to love attending to professional sports events and capturing photographs. I took a photography class in high school, and I’ve known since then that this would be my career, to the point that my photography instructor wrote in my yearbook, “When you become famous and shoot for Sports Illustrated, give me a call.” That’s exactly what I did.
3. What is the best way for a guy to prepare for a career as a photographer? Do you think it’s better to major in photography in college or choose a different route?
Shoot, Shoot, and Shoot some more. It is not essential to major in photography. Taking classes is only beneficial. The most essential thing an aspiring photographer can do is assist and shoot.
4. What is it like to work as a freelance photographer? Do you only be paid if your photos are accepted and published by a publication?
You are at the mercy of a phone call as a freelance photographer. The good news is that you can refuse any task without risking your job; the bad news is that you can’t refuse any assignments. It is critical for a freelancer to be accessible when needed. Payment is made each task, and you may be paid extra if you use photographs (Space over rate, whichever is greater). For example, a $1000 day charge plus a $2000 use fee for a cover photo is $2000.00.
5. Is it difficult to get a job as a sports photographer?
Very. As much as I’d want to claim it’s natural skill, it isn’t. It’s all about “who you know.” Talent keeps you in the game, but it’s “who you know” that gets you in.
LeBron James is featured on a famous SI cover.
6. How does a person go from photographing high school football games to being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated? What steps did you take to get to where you are now, and what advice do you offer for others?
Practice and timing are essential, but being in the right location at the right moment is crucial. In sports, luck plays a significant role. You can plan and predict every move, but the element of surprise is what makes sports so exciting. I believe that anybody interested in becoming a professional photographer can do it today, thanks to advances in technology. If you have the financial means, shoot a lot of high school and college games, and build a strong portfolio, you can work your way up. It does, however, need a little of luck. I began my career as an intern at ABC television in New York. I met James Drake, an ABC editor at the time who had previously worked as a Sports Illustrated staff photographer, there. Manny Millan, one of the finest basketball photographers of all time, was introduced to me by him. Manny was a photographer for Sports Illustrated who eventually hired me as his assistant. Manny was my coworker for five years. He was a mentor to me, and I shall be eternally thankful to him. When I began shooting more often in 2000, SI took note and recruited me for my first gig, the Little League World Series. Because it turned out that the New York squad had a ringer called Danny Almonte, the story became a national one, and my photographs of him were published in the magazine. Early the following year, I photographed my first cover for SI, which was LeBron James, “The Chosen One.” I’ve already shot over 30 covers for SI.
7. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
Having the ability to creatively freeze time in order to record history.
8. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Travel delays and being apart from relatives
9. How do you strike a balance between job, family, and personal life?
Balance is the most difficult element. However, as I am learning, you must arrange everything in order to avoid neglecting one aspect of your life. Managing all of this is difficult, but not impossible.
Grant Hill and his family received a personal Christmas card.
10. What is the most common misunderstanding about your job?
That you have it easy, that you don’t have to do anything when you’re not filming. The simple part is shooting; the difficult part is everything else. I feel that as a freelance professional photographer, you have a job that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m always promoting myself, and I spend a lot of time archiving and editing photos. It’s a widely misunderstood concept.
11. What are your opinions on the future of photography in today’s shifting media landscape?
Video is the future of photography. It’ll only be a matter of time until the majority of assignments are filmed in video and stills are taken. As a result, a photographer will always be required, but the photographer must continue to improve.
12. Do you have any other advice, ideas, or stories to share?
Professional photography is not for everyone, since the uncertainty of your next work is stressful enough to induce hair loss (as it did to me), heart attacks (not yet), and very high divorce rates (hopefully not me). But, despite my misgivings, I wouldn’t exchange it for a 9 to 5. I think I was born to work around the clock. Every minute of each and every day, one’s life may be savored to the maximum.
The “12 days of giving full movie” is a film that tells the story of 12 people who are trying to change their lives for the better. The film was released in 2015 and has had over 5 million views on YouTube.
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