Style Observer

My Kingston... Michael Daley April 29

Sunday, April 29, 2018

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What are your fondest memories of Kingston?

I'm a pretty low-key person, so my fondest memories are hanging out and/or playing kalookie with my friends in Stony Hill or going to the theatre.

What has been your favourite meal enjoyed in Kingston?

Anything prepared by my mother Hermine Daley. Best cook in the world!

If you were Mayor of Kingston for a day, what would you do?

Well, this couldn't be done in one day but I would push for an all-purpose-entertainment centre that would house at least three theatres of different sizes with enough space for rehearsal facilities and a storage area for set, costumes and props. It would also have a theatre museum and gift shop for local and foreign tourists interested in learning about Jamaica's rich theatrical history.

What word of advice would you give to a first-time visitor to Kingston?

Link up with someone who knows the city and be prepared to explore and enjoy all the city has to offer in terms of food, friendship and fun.

How long have you been in photography and how did this passion evolve ?

I have been “practising” the art for about 11 years and still learning. My father Rudolph Daley is an awesome photographer, so he has taught me a lot — critiquing and giving me tips on how to improve my work.

Who is your favourite photographer and why?

Donnette Zacca. You will understand If you've ever seen her work. If not, go check it out! Amazing creativity that is not limited to one particular area of photography.

How viable is photography as a career option in Jamaica?

I think photography is quite a viable career option once the photographer establishes what is his/her niche. However, with everyone nowadays taking pictures with their phones, it is important for the professional photographer to really step up the creativity behind what is offered to clients and keep abreast of latest tools to provide the highest quality images.

What are the major challenges faced by photographers in Kingston?

I honestly don't see myself as a part of 'the Kingston photographers'. I mostly do work for the theatre community and I don't really come in contact with many other photographers there. For me, though, the biggest challenge is finding the balance between getting good images during a performance and not annoying patrons with the constant clicking of the camera.

How do you see photography emerging as a visual art medium in Jamaica?

I have seen some interesting work being done by photographers but I would really love to see the medium encourage more photo competitions and more avenues for budding talent to showcase their work.

Which piece fom your body of work would you say is your favourite?

The ones I do of theatre. They are all so special to me. Photography is the one medium that allows viewers for years after the fact to see one exact moment that can never be recreated. Being able to do that for theatrical performances gives me a sense of pride, as I am also able to allow the perfomers to see themselves and get an idea of the impact they have on their audiences. My favourite piece was probably one I did of Sakina Deer performing with Shantol Jackson in the Patrick Brown play The Bucket List in the “8x10” festival a few years ago. She is showing so much strength, but also so much vulnerability and I am glad I caught that moment.

If you could create a production based on any one photograph from your work, which would it be and why?

That's a difficult decision to make. Many of my stronger images come from pieces that are already beautifully produced plays. It would be an interesting exercise to create a completely different narrative from an existing photo. For instance, there is a photo I took of Stephanie Hazle playing a mentally challenged lady who is in love with someone who doesn't want her (Craig McNally's Meanwhile Next Door). I would love to develop that further, looking at how she got to that place and what choices she made once rejected.

How does your work in photography influence your directing style?

Both complement each other. Photographs show me what the work on stage looks like and helps with the process of deciding how to arrange the actors and theatrical elements to produce a more pleasing visual. And on the flip side, how I direct helps me to get stronger images that tell powerful stories.

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