This week we would like you to meet photographer Michael Pucciarelli.
1. What was the inspiration behind you becoming a digital art photographer?
I started in photography by taking a course at Montgomery College. It was during the summer of 2009. I was in the middle of another program at the University of Maryland – studying for a Masters of Telecommunications Management. My first class was an introductory course in digital photography. I started out as a landscape/architect photographer. Using natural light is my strongest skill. I finished my Telecom Management degree in 2010, and then earned an Associate Degree in 2013 in Digital Photography. Ever since the first digital photography course, photography has changed my life. It still is changing my life. I am so addicted to still life photography and I like to light paint and to photograph with long exposures. I want to follow the footsteps of Ansel Adams, Kenneth Wyner, Marcel Christ, and Nicholas Duers.
2. Can you take us through your creative process? Does everything you create make money?
Regarding my creative process, I like to use long exposures when shooting still life photos and nature’s waterfalls. Sometimes I use one exposure, and sometimes I use several. I love to photograph glass on a white or black plexi table. Sometimes I use gels, and sometimes I don’t. Right now, I am doing photography as a hobby, and would like to turn it into a career. I do own a business called Fine Art Photography of Michael Pucciarelli. I make some money selling my photographs, but not on steady basis. I also work full time as a report writer for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
3. When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I became aware of copyright and protecting ones rights as a creator through an organization called Professional Photographers of America (PPA). I received an email from PPA, inviting me to get involved in a creator advocacy event. I got excited about participating, and I went to Capitol Hill in DC. I do want to be more involved in such events. Artists should be loved and protected. Artists should be respected. Sometimes these last three characteristics are not always met. It has been a real honor to be part of PPA’s initiatives. Being part of their community has been a life changer. I’ve met so many wonderful people, and PPA is a wonderful organization with so many valuable resources.
4. What is your biggest copyright related challenge?
My biggest challenge with registering my work is finding the time to do it. Cost is another factor, but this is not as much of a factor as time. Today, everybody is so busy.
5. What is the best advice you can offer to fellow creators about copyright and how to protect themselves and their work?
My best advice for fellow creators is to get involved in protecting creator rights. Infringement has been a tremendous problem. We need to deal with this together. We are not alone, as there are organizations that work to support creator rights. We need to continue to emphasize the importance of copyright and its protection.
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