A conversation with the talented Michael Holl

May 30 2022

This week's blog circle is about a conversation with a follow photographer.  It was fun learning more about someone who is a talented photographer, a growing business owner, a marvelous mentor, and best of all - an extraordinary friend. 

A bit of history: I have known Mike for many years, over 20! I first met Mike during my high school band days. He was one of our band instructors. I always said he was the favorite of all the instructors. Mike is kind, patient, understanding, and has this aura about him that puts everyone at ease. I think that is what helps his senior photography. He is able to connect with his clients in a way that creates amazing portraits. He is also funny once you get to know him :)

We connected again at a photography meet up and have become close friends ever since. Mike is most likely going to blush at this but his is an amazing friend and an even better mentor. He is an inspiration to fellow photographers, musicians, and others in his orbit. 

It is my pleasure to introduce to you Michael Holl of Holl Photography and provide some insights into an amazing person who is passionate about senior photography and helping others learn. 

Ok Mike, let's chat....

Gretchen: How did you get into photography? Did you have an “ah ha” moment or a session that got you into it?

Mike: 10 years ago my daughter “allowed” me to use her good camera to take photos of her graduation ceremony. I remember being intrigued with all the settings (and totally confused!). I shot the entire ceremony on automatic because I had no idea what I was doing! But I knew I wanted to figure it out.

Gretchen: What details do you think are important to include in a portrait?

Mike: I love to capture personality in my senior’s portrait. There are times when I capture the “real” smile and almost laugh out loud! Or when I can capture an image of how I see them and can show them proof of their own beauty!

Gretchen: Your portraits are awe-inspiring! Where do you get the inspiration to create such amazing portraits?

Mike: My clients are the ones that inspire me. Every day I have a chance to see inside the world of incredibly talented, young adults that have hopes and dreams. I love talking to them but it  inspires me to create something incredible that matches their personality!

Gretchen: You must have a favorite piece of camera equipment that helps you create such beautiful images. Tell us your seceret.

Mike:  Light! No matter where it is coming from - artificial or natural- it makes beautiful things look better!

"Pay attention to all the beautiful things around you everyday!"

-Michael Holl

Gretchen: When you aren’t creating amazing portraits, what are you working on?

Mike: Right now, I’m working on my recovery from shoulder surgery (and my patience) but I’m building what I hope to be an incredible studio/property for my future photography endeavors!

Gretchen: Now that you are a full time photographer, what do the next 5 years look like for you?

Mike: I envision a life full of beautiful photography in my finished studio!

Gretchen: Ok Mike, what is your recommendation for photographers?

Mike: Open your eyes! See before you ever pick up the camera. If you can’t see it, imagine it!

Untitled photo

I had a lot of fun with this week's blog circle. But most importantly, I had fun getting to show off my friend! Mike is a special person - always helping others be their best.  

Mike - Thank you for all of your kind words, being a mentor, having patience with my stubbornness (I get frustrated trying to learn some concepts!), support, and most of all being a great friend. 

And thank you for trusting me to be your right hand the last few months while you heal from your shoulder surgery. I can't express how much that has meant to me and how much I have learned from you!

Did you enjoy this post? Great, there’s more coming your way because it’s part of a photography blog circle featuring photographers specializing in a variety of niches! To see more content like this and what the next photographer is sharing for our weekly theme, “A conversation with,” check out

Amy Tedrow with Believe, Create, Inspire shares a conversation with Pittsburgh's best pet photographer, Jessica Wasik of Bark and Gold Photography. 

Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

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