michael shoots Walden

We were very fortunate on many levels April 13th.  First, we shot and spent the day photographing the very wonderful Jennifer Walden.  Jennifer is the “HOTTEST” plastic surgeon who recently moved from NYC back to her home Austin, Texas.  Jennifer has earned national status over the years due to her excellence and innovation in the field of plastic surgery and celebrity status including appearances with The Biggest Loser (season 11) as her surgeon and a variety of national network shows. She came back to NYC to have us shoot her. Second, the sun was out and the trees were blooming in the west village and it truly felt like Spring was finally here. Third, my 8 yr old son along with my great crew worked this shoot. And fourth, Phil of Sugarcamp productions showed up and made a cool little walk-away behind the scenes video. Who could ask for a better day.

[this video was previously posted but hacked, so youtube had to remove it.  I am reposting and hopefully without a future hack and appreciate your likes and sharing.]


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Editorial Piece For Johns Hopkins Magazine

I was asked by the Johns Hopkins Magazine team to shoot an editorial for the Spring Issue of the newly redesigned magazine.  The piece was interesting in it that features Susannah Leisher who with her husband and 3 sons spent a year off the grid in the Maine wilderness.  Now back in mainstream NJ and in the fringe shadows of Manhattan, she and her family are readjusting. An accomplished woman with a complicated but oddly calm story my team and I along with a very insightful graphic designer needed to craft a single image that fit. After spending the better part of the day in her home town scouting contrasting environments, alleys, train tracks, woods and the meditation area in the family living room we settled in on 3 spots.  What we thought was going to be a lead-in image instead perfectly lent itself to be a closer.  Read Susannah’s story “Out of the Woods” in JHU Magazine.   20130214_jhuni_ 5033


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Brenda Watson’s Heart of Perfect Health (HPH) went live via a PBS special in nearly every TV market in the US this past weekend. The 430 pg. beautiful hardcover book resulted from the tireless and wonderful work between Brenda, her team, myself and my BLACK SUN crew over many months. I handled the creative (brand, design, paging and photography) from manuscript to print ready files. Part of my team included the illustration talents of Adam Questell.  This being our 3rd book with Brenda we couldn’t have been more honored to work with her and Renewlife again. As we watch the success of Brenda and HPH continually grow, we are in awe of her commitment and ongoing contribution to the health and wellness field. Here’s a small peek at what’s inside.






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missing caption

feel free to submit your caption.

– michael

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shoot the ones you love

I don’t really think I need to explain anything here except… love to shoot, love who you shoot, and shoot who you love.

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UP ON facebook

I will be supporting an up-to-date michael black | BLACK SUN page up on facebook. My intent with this new facebook page is to in snippets share industry info for interested folk and share the “going-ons” in and around the studio. I have a lot of exciting projects that are just wrapping up, some I am in the thick of and a few very juicy ones that I am just about to dip my big toe into. You can link to via: facebook.com/michaelblack.BLACKSUN I will still be supporting this blog with more detailed information, larger images and functions available on facebook.

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Spring Resolution #1: Show New Work

OK, so I have written out 10 Spring Resolutions and I am going to stick with them.  Here’s #1: Show New Work.  I believe one strength of myself and Black Sun is that work and deadlines come first.  I can say we have a perfect track record of never missing a deadline, but that has come at a cost.  Many of my shooter friends share the same ocd like qualities and the need to make sure all ducks are in a row.  The cost is that with so much attention to others we typically put our own work and promotions second.  So this resolution is to bust out of old habits and start cranking on showing fresh new work.  Keep an eye out for Resolution #2.

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BLACK SUN site Goes Live

I am pleased to announce that the BLACK SUN studio site has gone live today! Aside from getting out the nuts-n-bolts info regarding the studio, there is a page dedicated to events and exhibits beginning 2011.

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Black Sun Studio – Sleek Design

State College, PA- Black Sun, a commercial arts studio specializing in high-end digital and film photography, has moved its operations into The L•A•B•B•, a new 9,500-square-foot creative arts building on East Beaver Avenue on the edge of downtown and one block from the Penn State University Park campus.

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Pricing and Preparing for a BLACK SUN Shoot

Each project, no matter the breadth and depth of scope is treated an individual project. As such I estimate and price each project accordingly. If you are primarily price shopping, then I am not the photographer and Black Sun is not the studio for you. However, if you want:

  • yourself and project understood so that it can best be conveyed into photographic artwork and
  • you want us to exceed your expectations

…then we are a perfect fit for you.  We strive to take the worry out of a job for our clients and delivery exceptional photographs and digital files, not to mention service second to none. Whether you are a seasoned art director, commercial art buyer or setting up your first professional shoot there are elements that factor into the cost of photography. Some are most likely standard to every shoot while other costs may be additional.  Here are a few that we consider.


  • Days shooting
  • Assistants and Creative Professionals
  • Digital Capture, Processing, Proofing
  • Digital Editing
  • Materials (film, paper, etc.)
  • Equipment
  • Copyright Usage
  • Creative Fee


  • Studio Rental
  • Props
  • Mobilization/Travel
  • Permits/Fees
  • Models
  • Wardrobe
  • Product
  • Set/Set design
  • Scouting

Give us a call or drop us an email about your project and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you and provide a clear and detailed estimate.

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