The intent of this work is to suspend people and the places they pervade, within a slice of time, with a sense of nostalgia both personal and relatable. The driving force behind each frame addresses our ideas of memory and history. We see a little of our friends, our family, and ourselves within the context of these simple and ethereal images, and connect ourselves to them. Inspiration and concept come in the form of this definition from the world of theater: “Vignettes are short impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting.” This is the real world theater that I endeavor to contain within each still image. There remains a timelessness that the viewer can experience over and over again with no tangible aspect to date the image or the vignette contained therein.
The use of plastic toy cameras offers a process of using the simplest of tools to assist in concentrating on the composition and content of each moment. No batteries, dials, buttons, bells or whistles of modern digital technology to distract. Merely line of sight and a single click of the shutter is all I want between myself and the subject, nothing more.As an ongoing body of work, Vignette will never truly be finished, unless the theater of daily life were to cease…and that is what I like most about it. -Michael Kirchoff
Michael has spent his years capturing the still image of people, cultures, and landscapes from around the world, to around the block, with a very unique and distinctive style. A native Californian, Michael resides in Los Angeles, though equally at home trudging through Redwood forests, riding the rails deep into Siberia, or navigating the chaotic streets of Tokyo. He photographs with many types of cameras and film, from a clunky toy camera to the latest digital model, using each as a tool for a specific use. Michael’s fine art imagery has garnered recognition from the International Photography Awards, the Prix de la Photographie in Paris, Photographers Forum, and Critical Mass. His work has been published in Harper’s, Black & White (U.S.), Black & White (U.K.), Esquire, New Statesman, Adore Noir, Fraction, SHOTS, Diffusion Annual, and Lenscratch, among others. He also continues to exhibit his prints domestically and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, including work in the public collection of the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, CA. Michael was also an active Board Member for the L.A. chapter of the American Photographic Artists (APA/LA) from 2006-2016, and was Editor at Blur Magazine from 2014 – 2018. Currently, he is also Editor in Chief at Analog Forever Magazine and Founding Editor at Catalyst: Interviews.