Teenage talent, photographic future

At the very young age of 15, the unbelievably talented Michael Carroll spares a few minutes of his time to tell us his inspirations in photography and some of his favourite bit of gear and photos.  Here’s what the resident DopeKoto teenage photographer has to share with us.

What got you into photography?

My brother, he taught me the basics for taking photos. Back when JDMST meets were held monthly, I would tag along and take photos. Since then I’ve been taking photos of cars whenever there’s a chance.


What was your first camera and what do you use now? Any lens of choice?

My first DSLR was my brothers Canon 600D.  There were some stunning photos I took with this camera that even today I can’t seem to replicate.  Early October 2014 was when I upgraded to a full-frame DSLR.  I said goodbye to my savings account and bought myself a 6D.

I would say my go-to lens is the Sigma 35mm f1.4. Out of my 24-105mm and the 50mm, the 35mm is my favourite.


What else can’t you leave home without when heading to a shoot?

When heading to a shoot, I cannot leave home without a SD card. It happened to me once and its never ever going to happen again. Usually I pack a backup SD card inside my camera bag incase I leave the main one at home. So always check if you have all your equipment, sometimes you can never be too sure especially when you have a shoot the next day.


Name three people who are your inspirations?

I have many inspirations, but Daniel Karjadi is one of many whom I look up to in the world of photography. Not just because he’s taught me many techniques but he’s a freelance freak! I mean that in a good way, I just love Daniel’s work!

Another photographer I follow is Paul from PT Works, his work is just outstanding. One thing I can say is that he is a Photoshop pro and his style is unique.

Last but not least, would be Felix Alim, the owner of ClubITR.  His photos are just pure eye candy.  His style is clean, filmy and natural.  He’s another man who deserves more than me. I love his work, and I definitely follow this guy on Instagram 24/7. I wish I can take photos like Felix!

I envy these guys’ work and I try to keep at their level. These are people who inspire me to get out there and take photos, even with a phone!


What’s your proudest moment or what piece of work are you most proud of?

I think my favourite set I’ve taken so far would have been of Ty’s Liberty Walk M3, you can check it out on my blog. When editing the photos from this shoot, I was hooked to a totally different style. The oranges were super and I’m surprised I pulled it off while making it still look fairly natural.


Being at such a high level of talent at your age, do you find it hard to balance school and photography?

Balancing this talent with school is difficult especially when moving into your last 2 senior years of high school, it’s definitely going to be a challenge for me. But I will still continue to shoot given every chance I get.


What’s in the future, any travel plans or big events coming up? Where can we find your work online?

As of yet, absolutely nothing! Though, I would like to spend “schoolies” in Japan.  Maybe I’ll take some photos there!

You can find my work on my site, on Instagram (@itsmehmike) and Facebook.