It’s truly a pleasure to be able to score an interview with my next guest. He’s a photographer, loving father, and owner of his own business. He’s gotten to hang out with some pretty interesting people as well. Some of those people include band members such as Suicide Silence, 10 Years, Seether, Saliva, Edge Of Paradise, September Mourning, Kobra And The Lotus, Wayland, Shallow Side, and Super Bob. It doesn’t stop there though, he’s also been able to hang & photograph models such as Allison Ronconi, and Tabbie Athame, along with many more!
Who is this mystery person you ask? None other than Michael David Harris, owner of HF Music and Media Group. And he’s the awesome interview he did for Altgothictalent. Enjoy!
Luny: Please tell everyone your name and where you are from.
Michael Harris: Hello my name is Michael David Harris and I own HF Music And Media Group. I live in New Bern, NC USA.
Luny: How long have you owned HF Music & Media, and how did you get started?
Michael Harris: I have owned HF Music And Media Group for almost 5 years. The whole project got started with me photographing bands performing live onstage with a disposable camera like you can get at any drug store or department store. I would photograph them and then turn the camera and get the photos back on CD Disc. I would then post them edited from my standard Windows editor mostly in Black And White just as they were shot. Everyone told me I was good and so I just started advancing from there and 5 years later, I own this massive project that started with a $12.00 investment.
Luny: I imagine your work has led you to meet some interesting people. Who are a few of your most memorable people you’ve been introduced to?
Michael Harris: There is really to many to list. But a few notables are band members from Suicide Silence, 10 Years, Seether, Saliva, Edge Of Paradise, September Mourning, Kobra And The Lotus, Wayland, Shallow Side, and Super Bob. Most of the models I have worked with have been local and regional to my area, but nationally and internationally published in multiple publications.
Luny: What sort of equipment do you use for your photography and media profession and why did you choose it?
Michael Harris: I use all Nikon equipment. I chose Nikon because to me from the ratings I read when I first got started, it was considered to be the workhorse the one of the most functional in all settings. From the studio to the stage, it is a workhorse. I use a variety of lenses and really to be honest it just depends on the shot and setting as to what I use for particular looks in photos. Most of the media I use if for promotional purposes of the artist. If the artist gets noticed and their music or artistry seen, then I have done my job. Especially in my model photography. It is very very important that these models look the best in every shot so that they are happy with the work and use it to further their career. Without their approval, I wouldn’t do it. So far, so good lol!
Luny: What are a few upcoming events, models, or performers you are considering promoting and why?
Michael Harris: Right now I am promoting Allison Ronconi out of Jacksonville, Florida. She is absolutely one of the most versatile models I have worked with. Her style meshes with mine and we have found a nitch in a gothic and dark style that I loved and experimented with for years. We work well together and we feed off of each other when we shoot like a dream. She is awesome and very fun to work with. Another model I am working very closely with is Tabbie Athame. She is a workhorse and will every time she steps in front of my camera I know it is going to make for the perfect shot. We literally shot in someone’s driveway in the snow and the shot was one of the best I have ever done. Truly amazing talent and fun to be around at the same time.
Luny: Has there ever been a single promotional event that didn’t end well? If so, what was it?
Michael Harris: I had a concert event one time about 3 years ago. It started raining and just got would not stop. Flood warnings went out and clubs were closing left and right. The club that I was working with at the time decided to stay open. I think 15 people showed up hahahaha! It was horrible. We all laugh about it every time we talk about it, but it was a soaking wet disaster.
Luny: When you aren’t running your own business, what could we find you doing?
Michael Harris: Running my business. I never stop. Only time I stop is to spend time with my daughter. She is my world. Every year I ask her does she want me to stop and she says, “Nope Daddy!” and so I strive to be an example to show her that giving up is not the answer. You are going to fail. You are going to fall down, but you never give up. You never know when that star is going to rise over that hill you are climbing and show you what you have been looking for.
Luny: If given the chance to promote someone from another country, who would it be and where would you go?
Michael Harris: If I was given the chance to promote any band it outside of the USA it would be Nightwish or Kamelot. If it was a model it would be Dani Divine or Psylocke. Both of those bands and both of those models are very high in my favorites and I would consider that to be the pinnacle for what I am trying to achieve right now. Knowing the industry, I can honestly tell you that it will probably never happen. They have very connected booking agents and public relations firms that take care of their promotional needs, but still, it would be cool to interview or work these projects or models either one.
Luny: Looking back at your career, what has been the hardest thing you’ve managed to accomplish and how did you do it?
Michael Harris: The hardest thing I have ever done was book and promote the band Edge Of Paradise out of Los Angeles, California. Trying to get a band from California completely across the country to the east coast on NO BUDGET is probably my crowning achievement at this point in my career. They are an amazing band and I also consider them to be my good luck charm. Ever since working with them, everything turned itself around for my company. I have had amazing crowds ever since they visited NC for the very first time. I have been very fortunate to work with them twice and both times it has been amazing. They treated me like family from the beginning and I look forward to working with them again very very soon.