Max Flatow

As this class has proved, just being in the city leads to some of the most amazing sights and stories, most of them are worth sharing. A bustling population is even more of a reason photographers find solace in the five boroughs. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to speak to such an artist.

Max Flatow, spoke to us about his experiences, his works, and his techniques. Flatow’s entry into photography serves as a clear example of his passion for the art and his dedication to success. He attended South Vermont College and was unsure of his career path, yet he wanted to pursue photography as a hobby. The school wasn’t very focused on their photography course, so their single darkroom was left locked and unused. Flatow decided to ask the supervisor for the key and he was granted full access to the room to use at his own whim and desire. This opportunity really helped him learn how to use basic equipment and set the spark in his career.

As someone looking to get into photography, Flatow’s techniques were very helpful in helping me understand how to take better pictures. He explained how he avoids using flash and instead prefers to play with the light in the room. He is a fan of natural light and manipulates it to make a more aesthetically pleasing image. Sometimes he blacks out the the subject, forming a silhouette, to bring attention to the colors of the background. He also showed us about the rule-of-thirds, where the subject is placed in a section away from the center to balance a focus with openness.

Credits to Max Flatow

Credits to Max Flatow

Flatow’s main interests remained in two key areas: weddings and food. He enjoyed working on weddings because he found that every wedding project he worked was different and a new experience. He liked food, because it’s different from human subjects and everything is still and constant. He commented on how food photography can be more challenging yet often more interesting.

As Baruch is largely a business school, I was glad to see that Flatow went on to explain the aspect of business and entrepreneurship in his past experiences. He described how he is forced to wear “the many hats” and be able to socialize, make sales, maintain contacts, and so much more. What I found most interesting was how he goes on vacations. In order to avoid any loss in business, he tries to gain clientele in the are which he’s visiting, often abroad. It was obvious that his business led to a great deal of success, with clients such as Harrison Ford, Adrian Garner, and other well known celebrities.

Credits to Max Flatow

Credits to Max Flatow


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Photography In a Professional’s Eyes

Max Flatow came in and gave us the story of his life, well at least the story of his life in photography. He spoke to us about many of his experiences and his work.

Photography was a gamble for him as he went to South Vermont College and was incredibly unsure of his career path and what he really wanted to do. His hobby at the time was photography and the school dark room would later help him foster his ability to shoot and create photographs.

But Max Flatow is a modern photographer and we can definitely see this as he appreciates all the changes in technology that the photography industry have gone through. The expenses of film are no longer a problem as digital allows him to take hundreds and hundreds of photos in order to capture that perfect shot. That is exactly what he does too. As a wedding photographer, capturing the moment is part of his job. In order to do that effectively, he snaps away whenever the moment allows for it.

As a wedding photographer, he explained that in the past, the wedding photographer would have only a few basic shots and then they left to develop them and you would hvae no idea how everything turned out. Technology has allowed for the capturing of the wedding before, during, and after the ceremony.

During his segment of wedding photography, he explained some of his techniques and how angles as well as subject placement play an important role in the composition of the pictures. His pictures offer a breath of amazement as the clarity and composition of these photos are just breathtaking in some sense. Although he does not rely heavily on photoshop, he appreciates the tools that it offers to create certain effects.

He later went on to talk about food photography and how the industry is changing. The industry used to revolve around enhancing the look of food products with dyes and pigments that the product is not something you would want to eat. Recently there has been a shift to create foods that are naturally beautiful and photograph them immediately before they go bad.

He explained that his business started out as a free service and later on became bigger as he started charging people for money. His best advertising is word of mouth. He experiences travel as he would often travel outside of the country in order to shoot his weddings. He is also an adventurer as he may wander off and take pictures of foods during a wedding project. He has gotten the opportunity to meet some very famous people such as Harrison Ford and Adrian Garner.

As a student who wants to develop photography as a hobby, his visit was incredibly helpful as it gave me an idea of how photography became such a big part of his life and eventually he left me some advice through the techniques and experiences he presented to us during his presentation.

My own photo attempting food photography:

Sushi From Jebon

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“I Am My Own Boss”

Not many people can say they are the head of a successful business. But Max Flatow can.

Max Flatow is a self-taught photographer who went to Southern Vermont College. It was a small school with about 450 students. This is where Flatow became a photographer. The school simply gave him a key when he asked about a dark room on campus. How awesome is that? He learned photography from utilizing the equipment that he had. After he learned the art of photography, he began to learn the tricks of the trade.

Flatow uses social networking to show his work to the public and expand his consumer base. It is easy to view his Facebook page and see a lot of his outstanding work. Flatow posts his favorites to the page. Here is a link to the page so that you can decide for yourself.

In addition to the Facebook page, Flatow believes heavily in word of mouth. Passing ideas from one person to another is sometimes the best way to get business. When people are recommended business from a close friend or relative, then they may be more inclined to actually take the person’s advice. Sometimes Flatow will even be the one recommending his work to others.

Flatow takes pictures of everything. From photos of weddings, to children, to celebrities, and food. If you can photograph one, then you can photograph them all. That seems to be a motto of Flatow and it has proven to be successful for him. When he travels, he contacts local restaurants and shows them his work. “Be your own marketer,” great advice from Flatow. If the restaurant likes it (which I’m sure they all do) then they have the option to hire him to photograph their food. Essentially, even on vacation Flatow is always working. But as long as he is doing something that he loves, then he really isn’t working a day in his life. It can get a tad tedious though.

Flatow will often take 800+ photos and narrow it down to 10. It sounds tough, and I’m sure it is. This is why I’m not a photographer, I would not have the patience for that. This is also probably why I am not rich…

All photos from Max Flatow’s Facebook page. Check it out.

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A Self Created Photographer

Max Flatow, originally from Brooklyn, has had an extremely interesting climb to success. Coming from a high school with a great photography program, he indulged in this art. However, college was a completely different experience. According to him, while the Southern Vermont College (a small private school of 450 students) had a darkroom, it was barely used, and there were not many classes pertaining to this area either. However, he was able to make the most out of what the school had to offer and spent countless hours in the college’s darkroom, teaching himself and experimenting with different techniques. He also studied abroad in Spain to expand his knowledge.

Max Flatow is an epitome of the modern photographer. He appreciates Instagram and uses social networking to advertise himself. He calls Photoshop a “digital darkroom” and prefers digital cameras to film because they let him take a thousand shots instead of twenty five, and goes on to describe the growing importance of technology, referring to the fact that the famous Captain Sully plane shot was taken on an iPhone. Ever since he sold his works for the first time at a café, he knew he wanted to be a photographer. As an entrepreneur, Max Flatow appreciates the importance of networking. In high school and college, he worked under the supervision of Mary Howard, who taught him how to run a business and how essential face to face networking is.

“People are gonna get married no matter what.” This is the explanation Mr. Flatow gives for why he started his career mainly as a wedding photographer. However, he has expanded into many other fields, including food. All of his photographed food is natural, and he always tries to include photographs of the chefs, as they are integral in the production of this food. Flatow has been involved in many famous shoots, such as those of Brady Lowe’s pigs.

One thing that could be seen right off the bat was Max Flatow’s appreciation of technique in photography. As he went through the slideshow of his various pictures, he described his mindset and the technique he was trying to use in each photograph. He began by talking about “depth of field,” in which everything but the subject is a blur. With lighting techniques, there are endless possibilities according to him. He described the silhouette shot he took of a couple, and how, the right shutter speed combined with the proper amount of light gave him the perfect shot.  There is also the rule of thirds, in which the subject is not in the center of photograph, but towards one side. However, the one thing that must be kept in mind and he made this very clear, was that “even though a lot of techniques are cool, do not overuse them”.  One technique that stood out to me was the tilt. I had no idea simply tilting the camera could have such a large impact on the dynamics of the picture.

Efficient, modern, and elegant: three words that describe Max Flatow’s photographic career and style. His ability to appreciate the natural is what makes his work that much more appreciable.

Here is a link to one of my personal favorite photographs groups by Mr. Flatow:


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Documenting True Beauty

Before coming to Max Flatow’s presentation, I always believed that photographers specialized in one subject. However, Flatow has changed this mindset because his photographs have proven that he “shoots everything.” His wide-ranged portfolio reveals how he is willing to travel around the world to capture the beauty of many things. One photo I remember clearly is the photo of the couple in the middle of a field. He cleverly uses the wind to spread the veil behind the bride, creating a dreamy effect. Not only does Flatow document a connection between the couple, he also captures the mood. As the viewer, I am able to experience the moment in the photo.

Flatow mentions that he doesn’t use flash. Rather, he uses exterior artificial lighting. He is able to create effective shadows in his images. One photo that stands out is the image where two flower girls are standing on the stage. There is a single light in the middle that brightens the photo just enough so that the viewer understands the setting. The fact that subjects are not posed makes the photo even more perfect. The beauty of these photos can easily capture the audience’s attention because the moment is real. His innate ability to snap a photo at the right moment proves that photographers can be successful even if they are self-taught.

Although Flatow is a photographer, he also seems to be a businessman. He understands that his portfolio needs variety if he wants people to hire him. With experience in taking photos of various subjects, he has opened doors to many opportunities. He does not forget to mix up the techniques he uses before taking each photo.

After looking at these photos, I was inspired and determined to take photos of my own. It has always been a trouble for me to take photos at the “right” moment. However, after attending this presentation, I learned that many great photos are not posed. Rather, it’s the natural expressions of the subject that makes the photo just “right.” Photography is also about experimenting and choosing one out of hundreds that best convey a theme. Although it requires a lot of work, Flatow’s portfolio has motivated me to document special moments I see around me.

The Veil- taken by Max Flatow

taken by Max Flatow

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A Dream for Me, A Living for Him

Becoming a photographer had been a dream for me for several years, until my reality check hit me and I fell back into the real world like those people who wanted to become a rock star realized after multiple auditions that it just not going to happen—though for me, the journey ended before it start. For this reason, I admire anyone who is determined to be or has became a photographer. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be able to hear from one of these “heroes”, Max Flatow, who came in on November 6th and talked to us about his career path.

Max Flatow is a self-taught photographer. Even though he didn’t plan to become one, he developed this interest during college and whoa-la! Time flies by—this is his seventh year into the profession already. In fact, he was uncertain whether or not to become a photographer for several years, until his experience in Spain changed his mind forever. He took many pictures during his trip, and had a gallery show in a small café. I guess the satisfying feeling he got when he knew that people were appreciating HIS images was really affecting—why else would he change his mind?

During the conference, he said that approximately 85 to 90 percent of the photos he took were for weddings. Then he showed us some of his photos. I really liked them. There was one particularly caught my eyes.

Max Flatow

I wouldn’t consider this the best of all, but it was surely the most meaningful one in my eyes. From the white scarf flowing in the wind in that specific angle, the couple showing off their love with a gentle kiss on the lips to with the color of the image and the background—all I could say was that everything made sense. I don’t know how to further analyze it except for one word, “WOW!”

He also took photos of food, though he admitted that it was a stressful job because most foods need to be photographed in a critical condition. Many of the slides in the presentation were taken in an angle; and the subjects tended to be put a little off to the side. He liked facial expressions and black-and-white photos, and he especially stressed that he didn’t like camera lights. When one of our classmates asked him that “is it a good idea to take pictures with Iphone”, he laughed. He simply loved the idea.

He said, “Well, the worse thing that can happen is your phone’s battery dies. Then you charge it and then shoot again!”

Well, there goes an alternative way to become a photographer. I should try it sometimes.

Max Flatow

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Feel the Love

Max Flatow lives the life of our envy. His job takes him around the globe to some of the most beautiful places on Earth where he has the pleasure of witnessing life’s most blissful moments. As a photographer, Flatow is invited to photograph couples on their wedding day, whether it is in Canada, the Caribbean, or India, just to name a few locations.

Visiting our Arts in New York class, Max Flatow had an infectious light in his eyes. Though appearing to be a timid character in his gray suit and newsboy cap, he soon began to capture our hearts and minds with his enchanting photographs and inspirational words.

Equipped with a slideshow of his favorite images, Flatow presented each piece and its story. One of his favorite weddings to shoot, not surprisingly, was his own.  As a smile spread on his face, he showed a photo of his wife with immense pride. Standing in a lake at sundown with her wedding dress half submerged, she was well illuminated against a backdrop of dark trees and brilliant pink clouds. He knew that the photograph was excellent, but this knowledge was veiled by the immense love and admiration that he felt for his subject.

It was this kind of love that he sought to capture in the couples that he photographed. When asked of his approach to capturing the ideal emotion from the wife and groom, he replied, I tell them to “look into each others’ eyes and feel the love”. He stressed the importance, however, of letting them look natural, or else he would get a “contrived, toothy grin”; and nobody likes that.

Flatow’s style is quite unique, as he tries to focus on the entire aspect of the wedding day, from the tedious preparation, to the romantic kiss, to the amusing reception, and all the nuances in between.  “Clients expect one thousand photos of the day”, he says. His assignment lets him take photographs from unconventional angles and experiment with light; and his results are astounding. His signature style is to photograph the silhouette of his subject and take advantage of the natural light in the background.

Though an established photographer with his own growing Brooklyn-based business, Max Flatow received no formal education in his field. He was briefly exposed to the art in middle school and was later able to experiment with it in college. Though Southern Vermont College did not offer any photography classes, it did have an excellent dark room. With permission, he was allowed to use the facility to experiment with film photography and augment his skills.  It was just a hobby then, but it would set him along a road to success. After a trip to Spain, he realized that photography was his life-passion. He started to sell his photographs at a coffee shop, and later worked for free to build his clientele. His photographic interests vary from weddings, to travel, to food.

Regardless of what he captures, he brings a fresh approach to his field of work. Redefining the significance of photography in our culture, he promotes the use of any kind of camera — as long as photographs are taken. “Shoot as much as you possibly can”, he tells us. Whether it be a professional camera or an iPhone, he wants the young generation to understand the joys and rewards of photography.

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Max Flatow

“Everyone with an iPhone or camera can be a photographer.”

Oftentimes you would come across someone with a really nice and expensive DSLR camera and call themselves a photographer. Max Flatow, however, believes otherwise. Flatow went to middle school with a photography program but when he went to Vermont college, he wasn’t offered many courses that pertained to what he wanted to study. However, he was given access to a darkroom, where he got to play around with different techniques and improved his photographing skills. He studied abroad in Spain when he was still in college, where he took pictures that he was able to display at a local cafe to sell himself as well as his work and about fifty to seventy people showed up. From there, his career finally took off.

His talent has brought him to opportunities and projects in different cities in the US and even to different countries like India. There, he shot photos for a couple that was getting married. A lot of his projects are for couples getting married because “People are always going to get married no matter what.” However, he is not only interested in photographing weddings but he “like[s] to shoot everything.” Some other subjects he had taken photos of are football players, bands, and of course, food. In the past, he even shot music photography.

There are many different techniques that comes up a lot in his pictures. Some of them include the rule of thirds, depth of field, using artificial lighting, and taking advantage of natural settings. In a lot of his indoor shoots, he has a large spotlight that can produce the appearance of shadows and darkness, such as the one with two flower girls and the one of a couple walking down the steps. In another photo taken outdoors, he used the wind to take photos that were untraditional, with the veil of the bride flying in the air.  Unlike most photographers, he takes a lot of photos that are in the moment and candid, such as the couple on the streets of Manhattan, because he understands that many people aren’t fond of being told what to do and how to pose. At the end of the day, he says that out of the hundreds and thousands of photos he takes, his clients choose the one where they are acting most naturally and make them feel as if they are reliving the moment.

Flatow’s passion for photography was definitely emphasized as he went through his slideshow of photos. He used each and every technique to catch the subjects in their most beautiful angle and lighting, which encourages me to play around with a camera for the photography projects. The fact that he learned all his photography skills on his own is really inspiring and definitely makes me want to learn how to use a camera to its fullest potential.

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Max Flatow: Photography Boss

“If you have an IPhone, you can be a photographer.” That’s a pretty bold statement Max Flatow makes, considering the fact that his career revolves around being a photographer.


Flatow is based in Brooklyn and has been doing this for seven years. His love for photography stems from a 7th grade program. In order to better his skills, he worked by and taught himself. In college, he found a darkroom and taught himself the techniques. Still, he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. All that changed after his study abroad trip to Spain. When he came back to America, he showed his pictures took a local café and they decided to hold a gallery for him, where he sold the pictures.


From that, he worked for many set designers, which led him to be exposed to famous photographers. He even got a job in video production. But he didn’t like it so he quit to become a full-time photographer.


After he created his business, he needed to build clientele. The only way he saw he could do this is by using Facebook and doing work for free.


He likes to take wedding pictures, but he is versatile. In these shots, he doesn’t like the standard picture where the bride and groom stand in the middle. Instead, he creates a more dynamic image by applying the “rule of thirds”. He does have his preferences. He “doesn’t use flash”. It’s either natural light or his assistant would create an artificial light. Flatow likes shooting in black and white because it gives “classic taste, but only when appropriate”. Still, he loves to shoot silhouettes.


Besides weddings, food is another area where Flatow enjoys. He isn’t a fan of the pretty product. He rather see the backstory on “how it’s produced and caught”. Before he goes on a vacation, Flatow would call the restaurants and ask them that when he is there if he could take a picture of their meals. According to Flatow, “Chefs love when people take pictures of their creations”.


In all, Max was an interesting guy. As a young Brooklynite, he runs his own business and he is “his own boss”. He knows the classical techniques of working in a darkroom as well as the modern skills of Instagram and Photoshop. Most important is that his pictures are amazing!

Credits goes to Max Flatow

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A Love for Photography

Being a professional doesn’t necessary equate to a formal education in school. For Max Flatow, his professionalism in photography is essentially self-taught. It is the result of practice and experience. One would expect a well-established photographer who was self-taught and had built his own career to be somewhat haughty; Mr. Flatow, however, was very friendly and appeared to be easygoing during his class visit to Baruch College on November 6th.

Mr. Flatow’s interest in photography began in 7th grade and persisted to his college in Vermont, where he took advantage of a fallow darkroom. Because no one was using it, he had full control over the room, experimenting with lighting and chemicals, and eventually compiling a photo journal. He lightheartedly said, “You have got to start somewhere.” Although advancement in camera technology has nullified the effectiveness of a darkroom with Photoshop (Mr. Flatow playfully called it “digital darkroom,” or otherwise the “light room”), he quickly adapted to digital cameras. Reflecting upon his own decisions as he told us his story, he was very cheerful and seemed to smile quite often. He was never sure whether or not he wanted to become a professional photographer as he was discouraged by the people he knew, saying that it “isn’t tangible” because of very portable cameras and iPhones.  It wasn’t until his study abroad in Spain where he sold some of his travel photographs in his first gallery showing at a local café that inspired him to become a full-time photographer.

Working with Mary Howard, Mr. Flatow’s career took off at a great start. He was able to get exposure to how professionals work. He eventually quit the job and started his own business. Although he is an optimistic person, in both speech and the work that he does, he never expected to be immediately successful. Instead, he offered to do much of his work for free knowing that he wouldn’t get customers right away. He explained quite frankly that it was an effective way to build relationships, networking, and even to learn how to run a business. One of the many other ways to get publicized was, of course, through web services. And I think many of us would agree with him when he said, “Facebook works wonders!”

Mr. Flatow takes photos of a variety of subjects, of weddings, food, celebrities, travel, buildings, and corporate portraits. In particular, there were two fields that Mr. Flatow was really interested in; they were weddings and food. From the slideshow of photographs he showed us, I could tell that he especially liked to play with light, depth of field and angles. The first photo of a newly married couple standing on the meadows was incredible. The couple was set toward the right side of the image while the bride’s veil stretched across to the left. The positioning of the subjects forced the viewers to not only look at the beautiful couple but also at the amazing scenery.


Credits to Max Flatow


In another wedding photo, set in a church, Mr. Flatow used the light effectively to capture a gorgeous silhouette image of the couple. His silhouette photo of two children dancing had a similar effect, differing only because the silhouette shot of the two children used a staged light. He, however, told us that he never used camera flash.

Silhouette Shot of the Couple – Credits to Max Flatow

Silhouette Shot of Kids Dancing – Credits to Max Flatow

His food photos were so clean and sharp that it almost appeared to have been edited using Photoshop! Particularly, he took photos of almost all his subjects, including food, at a slightly tilted angle. One could tell that he loved his work when he added, the tilted angle in his shots “creates a little bit more excitement.”

Credits to Max Flatow

Why does he love his work so much? It is because, as he puts it, “I’m my own boss.” He is able to do what he enjoys. He travels, gets in touch with chiefs, eats wonderful food, and encounters many cultures. Max Flatow is certainly a talented photographer with a sense of fulfillment and playfulness.

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iPhone Photography

“You don’t need thousand dollar equipment, last year’s photo award was made with an iPhone.” Max Flatow embedded in our minds that anyone could be a photographer, and we don’t need a pricey camera to be one. He shares that even as a professional photographer, he uses his iPhone to capture the moments he wants to keep.

Flatow tells us that his love for photography started in seventh grade. “I’m self taught. I spend a lot of my free time honing my skills.” He had motivation, which made the art of photography more the interesting for him to discover techniques on his own. He took over an unused darkroom in college and started studying photojournalism. After his study abroad trip to Spain of his senior year, he decided to hold a gallery at a local café, where he gained some attention and were able to sell some of his artwork. He worked for a set designer, Meredith, by painting sets, which gave him great exposure to photography.

What exists everywhere, no matter where in the world? Food. Flatow works mostly on wedding photography, though he also photographs food on the side. On his job, he actually does a lot of travelling, and at every new location, he tries to contact local restaurants to have their dishes be photographed professionally. One couple had him travel to India. He describes that trip to be the most interesting wedding he’s ever been able to photograph. The couple walked onto the scene on elephants! The vibrant colors he captured allowed us to peer at what amazing time and experience he had on the job.

Going through his slideshow, he would also stop to tell us the techniques he used for each picture. He gave us pointers on how to create a depth in field effect, perfect a silhouette, and more. He inspired me to take photos of my own to capture everything around me. He was self-taught, and it only takes practice. Maybe I can get there some day.

All taken by Max Flatow

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Max Flatow: Photographer and Entrepreneur

Max Flatow’s career as a photographer began in the dark room during middle school.  As he continued his education, his interest in photography grew.  After high school, Flatow enrolled in Southern Vermont College, where he was given complete control over the school’s abandoned dark room.  Much of his time was spent in here, and he said that he “essentially taught himself.”  During his final year of college, he spent the entire year abroad in Spain.  When he came back to America, Flatow had some of his travel photos displayed at a local café, and this is where his career began to take flight.

Fresh out of college, Max held a few jobs before becoming a full time photographer.  He worked for Mary Howard, a renowned set designer, and for a post-production video editing company.  After working these jobs, he realized that this was not his scene, and he made the decision to become a photographer officially.  For the first 1-2 years, he did a lot of his work for free to get his name out there.  He worked for another famous photographer in addition to taking his own snapshots.  “He taught me not only how to run a business, but also how to network myself,” Flatow said about his employer.  He values the importance of being both a professional and an entrepreneur.

With the transition from film to digital, his photography was revolutionized.  Flatow effectively applies the principles of “Depth of Field” and “Rule of Thirds” to his work.  When using depth of field, the subject is focused, whereas the remainder of the backdrop is blurred.  In order to obtain this effect, one must open the shutter and allow light to enter.  He said, “I try to be as versatile as possible with my lighting,” and it should be noted that he never uses a flash on his camera.  As for applying the rule of thirds, Flatow tries to put his subjects off to the side because it “creates a more dynamic image.”  To top off his techniques, Flatow has picked up a slight tilt to his photography.  “A lot of these photos, I’m just capturing a moment,” he said, “And adding a tilt creates more excitement.”

This Brooklyn-based photographer has been quite successful for being in the business for just seven years.  He has photographed a wide array of subjects from weddings to desserts.  He has even shot portraits of celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Cee Lo Green, and Steve Nash.  But what I enjoyed most about his presentation was his mindset as a photographer.  “I am my own boss,” he exclaimed towards the end of his presentation.  While Max Flatow realizes there are many difficulties to being an innovator and an entrepreneur, he focuses on the positive light and attempts to let it shine through his photography.

Photo Credit: Max Flatow. Here he uses lighting and depth of field, along with his “signature tilt” to capture the perfect wedding photo.

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A Snapshot of a Photographer

Max Flatow’s interest in photography began in the 7th grade. Although he took a break during high school, because his school had no dark room, in college his interest in the art revived South Vermont College’s dark room. He says that starting off in the dark room was helpful because he was able to experiment with the chemicals and lighting on his own.

Though he had a college professor to teach him about the dark room, “I am essentially self-taught,” he says. And he has taught himself well. Today, he is a Brooklyn based photographer, a professional for seven years,  who has traveled the world taking photos of weddings, food and celebrities. In giving his presentation, he was inviting, friendly and eager to share stories about his art.

While studying abroad in Spain during his senior year of college, he took many pictures that he featured in a café for his first show. This turned out to be a huge success and he sold all his work. After graduating college, he worked for set designer Mary Howard and was exposed to fashion photographers. Although this was a learning experience, he quit because this was not what he wanted to do.

He started his own business and at first did a lot of work for free to build a clientele. He says that the biggest help was being taught how to market himself. He emphasized marketing and mentioned how word of mouth could be used, but also that “Facebook works wonders.” Marketing through social media can help aspiring photographers and has certainly helped him travel the world in his career.

Before traveling, he makes calls to try to set up photo shoots in these foreign countries. He gets to go to foreign weddings, and take pictures of exotic food, which he mostly gets to eat afterwards. Most people are very receptive of his requests and because of his reaching out; he has been able to go to places like India and South America not just for his travels, but for business as well. He also gets to take portraits of celebrities and has taken shots of big names like Harrison Ford and Steve Nash. His photos are featured in travel brochures, menus and magazines.

Credits to Max Flatow

As for his style, he likes versatility in lighting. In his slideshow presentation, he showed his versatility, with some photos very dark, and others nicely lit. He never uses flash on a camera; rather he has an assistant stand with a light in a certain place to make for the perfect shot. He experiments with depth of field and the rule of thirds by often putting his subjects off to the side for amazing effects and creating a more “dynamic image.” He enjoys black-and-white and will convert to it if he thinks it enhances the shot. His tilts create excitement and though most shots are candid, he will have couples pose for the perfect shot they want.

In person, Flatow is young, energetic and passionate. Being young, he also keeps up with current photographic technology. He shoots pictures with an iPhone for himself sometimes, even though he admits a camera is better. He also says he loves Instagram. However, his professional work is all done by camera and the photos in his presentation were unique, dynamic and showed a variety of lighting and placement techniques. He loves traveling and his job, calling himself an artist and a marketer. But above all he says, “I am my own boss.” And the decisions he has made in both marketing and photography in addition to his warm and friendly personality have started an excellent career.

Credits to Max Flatow Blog


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Food & Wedding Capturer

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Photo from

Max Flatow was not the type of man I was expecting to come in and speak to us about photography. I pictured a flamboyant, eccentric, artsy type of guy who would speak hyperbolically on the wonder of photography. Instead, the real Max Flatow entered the room, a stout man with a beard who seemed by all appearances just “run of the mill”. All things changed when he started to tell his story and as he showed us his portfolio of photographs from food to wedding parties. His company is currently based in Brooklyn and has been for the past seven years. His passion for photography began in the 7th grade when he stepped into a darkroom. She is totally self-taught and truly believes in “practicing your own techniques.”


In his senior year of high school, Flatow traveled abroad to Spain where he took many different types of photographs. Upon his return, he asked a local café to feature his prints and it was upon selling his work that he decided, then and there, that he wanted to become a professional.

As a person interested in business, I really liked how Flatow explored the business side of having your own photography business. Many artists neglect and even despise the business side of their art, but it is very important perhaps the most important aspect to “look after.” For, one can create the best artwork in the world, yet be unable to continue due to lack of funds. Flatow stressed the importance of networking and “social networking in particular.” He also spoke of the importance of building a clientele, and how sometimes you must work “pro bono” to build a customer base.

The second half of his presentation consisted of him showing the audience some of his work. He asserted the importance of weddings for his business, and how “each wedding is very different” something I never had thought about. He spoke of the “rule of thirds” and depth of field. He often utilized silhouettes to give his photographs a certain tone to them. He liked to give his photos a little tilt, giving the viewer a new perspective on an otherwise conventional photograph. His work on shadows was of particular interest to me. I really like how shadows can be photographed and the different perspectives they can give a scene.

In his final segment, Flatow spoke of photographing food and the specific challenges that accompany this niche. He spoke of the trend towards the natural in preparing the food to be photographed; Glue and Lacquer is being replaced by the foods natural substance and color. The actual process of food is often the most interesting and I agree with this exactly. I want to see how the food is made. It is much more interesting than staring at the static finished product.

Flatow presentation brought me a fresh outlook on photography, and actually instilled in me an interest to be an amateur photographer, every now and then.

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In the Spotlight

A series of close-up, 360° views of guest artists and speakers. The goal here is to weave together direct quotes and background information about their lives and work to create  vibrant portraits. Let us see them, hear them, understand what makes them tick!

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