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Merethe Hopland

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The wonderful Joanna at Fashion Gone Rogue recently ran some of my shots of Merethe Hopland. These are some of my favorite shots I’ve done of a model in a while. I was the first to shoot her with the new haircut (well, kinda… it was cut while shooting an editorial so… kinda 2nd). Being first I felt I should make iconic images of her that could stay with her as she starts booking work and bigger campaigns. We literally only had 4 hours to shoot because she had to fly to Milan for a job that afternoon. Since then she has shot with a few others – I hope they can keep her momentum going and I really hope these do a lot of good for her career!

Michael Donovan


Written by Michael Donovan

05/11/2010 at 5:54 pm

Posted in art, Beauty, fashion, Photography

Dear New York Times

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I love your newspaper. I read it every day. In fact, sometimes I read it several times a day. I carry it with me everywhere I go so I can read it on the train, while eating lunch, walking down the street, in the bathroom, waiting in line… wherever. I love your writing, the stories and the format. I am getting it all for free too.

I get the NYT on my HTC Evo. It’s great because it updates all day and I never spend a dime. I noticed the only advertisement I EVER see is for home delivery. I’ll be honest, you will never get me to order a subscription. I still purchase books and magazines, but newspapers are too big and don’t add value to me. I hate getting newsprint on my fingers and I don’t feel like carrying around one more thing (right now I just carry my phone and wallet… I’m sure those two will merge eventually too). I would consider a monthly recap/collectors edition magazine with the best stories, best photographs and best of everything, but I don’t see myself ordering a full paper with home delivery.

So my suggestion: do a little pop up ad here or there. I won’t mind. Add a little ad for a deli at the bottom. Or maybe get a locksmith to throw in an ad here or there at the bottom of a story. Or a car dealership can advertise. Whatever. You could compete with ads sold by Google, Facebook, Myspace and the other sites that have popped up selling ads. In fact, as a photographer that makes money from people advertising, I will LOVE you for it!

The fact is: I love the work you do and I want you to keep doing it. in fact, I want you to hire some more strong writers and turn it in to the best news publication in the world… and I want it or free. So charge for ads on mobile devices and get a few on there! Really, it is much better than trying to convince me to pay to have the paper delivered to my home and will actually save you money (no paper + no shipping + no delivery costs = more money you can spend on hiring writers, giving yourself bonuses and catered lunches)

Thanks for reading,
Michael Donovan

Written by Michael Donovan

31/08/2010 at 2:08 pm

The New New York

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There are two battles going on involving building in New York.

1) The mosque near Ground Zero
2) Penn Station near Empire State building.

Here’s my thoughts on each project:
1) Build it.
2) Build it.

It’s 2010, practically 2011. Both disagreements are issues started by people who are against progress. In the case of the Mosque: people are trying to stop other people from practicing their religion in a city that is built on openness. Going against the mosque is the most Un-New York thing a person can do. And the people in DC, Florida, Kansas and Albany that are against the mosque really do not have a voice in this one since this is our backyard, not theirs. Ask the average New Yorker and we’ll say “Yep. Build it. It’s not a big deal.”

As for the Empire States building vs Penn State issue: the problem has come up because the people at the Empire State Building are concerned this would destroy the skyline. The Empire State building would be blocked from midtown views across the hudson in Jersey. And it would create an interruption in the skyline. SO WHAT?!

Personally, I loved the Chicago skyline when I lived there. And I loved that it was constantly changing. The building owners want to keep their tower a tourist trap. But if the owners of the Empire State Building really had balls, I mean REAL balls they would remember that the Empire State Building is only as tall as it is, and carries its weight as it does, because the original developers said “hey! We’re going to make the tallest fucking building in America!” The story of the race to the top between Empire State Building and the Chrysler building is historical (and that is what they sell to tourists, along with the views… not the elevator ride).

If you go to Chicago, you’ll see the original skyscrapers, tallest churches and many other once-been-giant buildings ecliplsed by surrounding buildings two and three times their height. Personally I hate the city of Chicago but I love their willingness to go higher and create more. I would hate to see Chicago even try to be compared with New York but the owners of the Empire State Building seem to want that.

So if the men owning the building had real balls they would build their own building and quit standing on the shoulders of the dead. They might even include a mosque on the top floor if they were truly ballsy. But, to try to heed progress in a city known worldwide for being #1, they’re acting like complete idiots and I will proudly say

Build it.

{PS: My thoughts one the matter are not altered by the fact that the owners of the ESB refused to light up the building blue and white to celebrate Mother Theresa’s birthday. I DO find it terrible that they would be willing to change the light for a turkey sandwich or to celebrate the birthday of a twinkie, but refise to change the lights for one night to honor a peace keeper)

Written by Michael Donovan

28/08/2010 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Architecture, Culture

The New Phone…

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As many of you know, I have had my blackberry for 2.5 years. It’s the same phone and is completely trashed. I have been holding out for a better blackberry, or a more useful iPhone. I finally decided to get purchase a new phone and it is….

An HTC Evo.

I am sad I lost my keyboard and BBM. But that is ALL I’m sad about. I like it for its faster internet, larger screen, access to helpful apps, customizable, syncing contacts with facebook, excellent google maps accessibility, and more. I had several opportunities to race friends to search locations of bars, restaurants and googling facts last week while I was in Chicago and even though I stayed on the 3G network, it was still INSANELY faster than the iPhone. And the iPhone was INSANELY faster than any of the Blackberry’s.

I thought I would hate the keyboard. I actually like it a lot. I’m still getting used to it but am almost up to the same speed of writing emails as I was with the BB keyboard. I’m sure I’ll be faster than I was before within a month.

My only beef is the battery. I’m a heavy user and prefer to keep my music playing whenever I’m doing anything… and I tend to make a lot of calls, emails, and search read online when I’m commuting or walking to perform errands. The battery needs to be recharges a little more frequently than my BB did but at least it doesn’t just kill the calls at 10% without warning like the iPhone.

A friend told me “Well you have Sprint, Sprint sucks.” She’s clearly an idiot. Sprint charges me $105 per month for unlimited everything, I have not had ONE dropped call in the 2.5 years I’ve been with them (that I can remember). AT&T is great if you have an iPhone… otherwise why would you pay more for slower speeds with a company that was a former monopoly which continues to tie up a contract with “the coolest phone?”

A few key apps I love:
• Yelp. Perfect for NYC and was very helpful in Chicago.
• NY Times. I loved that I could access pages and pages of news while underground and on the plane
• NY Subway Map. It’s just helpful to have, you know?
• EasySleep. I have never had a more soothing train ride than when I rode the PATH and listened to “Pink Noise”
• Advanced Task Killer. This just makes sense if you own the Evo. Get it and save your battery.

So there you have it. Good job to everyone at HTC!

Written by Michael Donovan

30/07/2010 at 12:28 am

Posted in Design

Graphic Design

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I saw this poster for Inception and I love it. It almost reminds me of the days when things were done by hand. I’m looking forward to more art like this again.

Written by Michael Donovan

21/07/2010 at 8:54 am

Posted in art, Design

The Luxury Project

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Here are some from today. I broke one of my rules and photographed vehicles (I didn’t want to date stamp any of the images). I’ll try to avoid breaking my rules next time.

Written by Michael Donovan

13/07/2010 at 10:43 pm

Posted in art, Culture, Photography

Ongoing Retraining

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I’ve continued to spend the past few days retraining my eyes to look at things differently. I’m using documentary style of photography in my spare time to establish a new way of looking at luxury, fashion, wealth, life, humanity, etc…

This has been a great exercise – I am finding my personal weaknesses and strengths. I’m coming up with new ways to think and see; and I have completely new ideas that will make my work much more exciting to my fans, my clients and their clients.


Written by Michael Donovan

12/07/2010 at 9:34 pm

Posted in art, fashion, Photography