Mike Valente

Mike Valente

Coventry Conversation, Thursday 14th January

Today Mike Valente came into Coventry University and gave a talk about the work that he does.

Mike Valente is one of the UK’s leading car photographers. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (now called Middlesex University) and got a 3D Design degree. And then joined BBC TV as a trainee scenic designer and subsequently visual effects design assistant.

Then Mike Valente joined an associate company to 20th century fox and worked as a photographic printer producing pre and postproduction stills for the star wars, blade runner and superman movies amongst many others. His photographic career then moved to him taking picture for International Musician magazine, where he snapped music personalities such as Keith Moon, Les Paul, Link Wray, BB King and Ian Anderson.

As he has took a staff photographer’s role at Haymarket Publishing on What Car? Classic and Sports Car and Autocar

Then he began freelance and worked on many UK and leading international publications both magazines and newspapers, as well to a whole host of car manufactures and ad agencies. Mike now also produces and edits video and stills for many online channels and magazines.

From learning all this about Mike Valente, it was also nice to hear how photography has change, he discussed the old days when after you did a shoot, you took your film to be processed and you and the other photographers would go down to the pub for a couple of hours, whilst waiting for the film to be developed.

He also stated that in the modern era of photography there is considerably less contact with people, and it involves a lot of sitting by a computer editing away on Photoshop, and contacting people through emails, texting and phone calls. Also Valente mentioned that photographers don’t get a lot of money like they used to due to the fact that, you used to have to buy film and developing cost plus labour. Now you get paid for a shoot and editing onto a CD disc.

Furthermore Valente stated that he hasn’t used film for twelve years now, down to the fact that the industry doesn’t want to pay for film costs and digital is the way forward in context to modern photography.

From this talk I have learnt a lot, it’s was really interesting to understand his views of photography, It was great to get some advise on the industry and how things are moving to aid me with my career and hopefully I can continue to learn from inspiring photographers like Mike Valente.


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