Seeing a photo of Earl Sweatshirt rolling a spliff in an open JFK shirt and a terrifying blade being held next to his face as he grins, pink-eyed to the camera is not your everyday kind of photojournalism. In the world of Michael Schmelling, whose instantly recognisable photography has won him editorial spots in magazines like WIRE and our personal in-house favourite, Die Zeit, this is pretty standard.
It’s hard to say exactly why Michael is so good, his knack of getting the perfect portrait is something to do with pinpointing the sitter’s weirdest aspect and fully dwelling on it with his lens. His photos of R. Stevie Moore for WIRE are exactly how portraits should be taken: taking the elements of a character and laying them out on a table for the benefit of anyone who didn’t really know about them before. For me, this is the most exciting music photography I think I’ve ever seen, especially that one of Explosions in the Sky. Woah.