Michael J. Moore: Creative Spaces

Dec 18, 2014
Photographer Spotlight

A few years ago, Tuscaloosa-based photographer Michael J. Moore photographed Chuck Leavell (keyboardist for The Rolling Stones) at his pine tree plantation in Georgia. Chuck has a passion for renewable resources, and got “so jazzed up” while talking about his trees with Michael that he played piano and sang until midnight.

This kind of passion and connection with a subject inspired Michael to start his ongoing personal project, Creative Spaces, featuring different artists and the “place that fuels their passion.” This could be many things, from a studio, a forest, a rooftop or even an apartment.


Since the inception of the project, Michael has photographed painters, dancers, musicians, authors, chefs and actors in their creative space. He’s been everywhere from the Hollywood hills, to the Mississippi Delta to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.

Of course, every project has it’s challenges, one in particular being the limited time and knowledge of space that Michael has going into the shoots. For example, the portrait below of Dana Wilson (Justin Timberlake’s back-up dancer):

Her “Creative Space” was her apartment in Los Angeles – specifically a small extra bedroom where she warms up and practices everyday. This small bedroom was not the easiest of assignments and not to mention that I had less than one hour to set up, light and shoot two ideas so that she could get to the Emmys on time. I loved what I walked away with and made a great friend in the process!


Dana Wilson in her studio

Michael takes these challenges as opportunities to get acquainted with the different artists and learn all he can about them and their creative space. Not only does this help him get the shots he wants, these connections are also one of his favorite parts about the project.




This project is ongoing and once it’s completed, Michael hopes to compile the series into a book. To view more portraits and more of Michael’s work, visit michaeljmoorephotography.com.

Tags: artists creative spaces liz ream michael moore personal work photo photography portraits wonderful machine