I first came accross Michael's work years ago on the internet under the name "Tinytinybirds".
This nickname he probably chose himself is perfect to convey the tenderness and the fragility we can feel watching his unique, personal way of shooting photographs. I have always felt extremely touched by his intimate though universal approach to make pictures. Michael's work is a visual and written diary. His work is a personal narative involving his own life with family in the rural south. The heroes of that story are his wife and child, and himself of course, as we can almost always feel this off-camera presence of the photographer, always tenderly, not self-absorbed, sharing the intimacy of his own happiness and misfortunes, with the greatest modesty.
"I make work that is about my life. Personal stories. Some beautiful, others not. For the better part of the past five years I've been documenting the life of my wife and our new family. Through living in three states, and countless other journeys.
I'm a fairly private person in my everyday life. Most of the people I see outside of my family don't even know I am a photographer. The struggle I've had comes from both making and sharing this work. Should I be enjoying these moments instead of trying to make work out of them? Do I really need to write about getting arrested? How much of my personal life do people need to know about? I think it's important to share it all though. I can't see myself making work any other way.
I work in three different formats, 120, 35, and instant, along with writing and printmaking. Trying to make them all work together, being cohesive, and not too cluttered has always been a challenge for me. I make books for myself to help work this through. Arrange, rearrange, rewrite, rework. It's easy to just group them together by the format I shot them, but it's not my total vision. I want it to be seen by others how I see it. How I work it.
I don't make a living off photography. I spend five days a week being a dairy manager at a grocery store. Most days I'm awake from 3am to 11pm. Working and helping my wife raise our two daughters. Photography somehow fits in between those times. It's hard, can be frustrating, but I take it for what it is. This is my life. My passion."
Michael Christopher McCraw is photographer currently living and working in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Discover more at michaelmccraw.net
(Interview by Alex Crétey Systermans)