Being an entrepreneur requires an enormous amount of dedication, especially to remain successful for over 30 years. Through ups, downs and digital, Michael Houghton has been behind the lens at Columbus-based photography studio, STUDIOHIO.
Houghton’s work focuses on interior design and architecture, but his portfolio is extensive with experience in everything from portraits to landscapes. He has photographed Columbus landmarks like the Convention Center and the Hyatt, and the offices of nationally-known companies across the U.S. such as American Express, Jim Beam, Aveda, AAA and Huntington. His skills have created successful contacts with other design companies in Columbus, including Chute Gerdeman and Big Red Rooster.
STUDIOHIO opened its doors in 1983. Early in his career Houghton shot primarily architecture and design work, but desired to try his lens at studio work. He spent several years doing product and portrait photographs, while also working with several artists. Working with several agencies across town expanded his skill set, developing his continued interest in lighting.
“It really makes a difference in the end product, in the end result,” Houghton says of his touch for carefully crafted lighting. Instead of relying on programs like Photoshop, he focuses on using lighting to produce detailed photos that need minimal editing.
Any industry is bound it change in 30 years, and photography is no exception. Houghton has seen a shift not only in photography techniques but in the publishing methods themselves.
“Today most of the work is web-oriented,” he says. “The internet killed a lot of print publications.”
While everything seems to be digital now, the true art of photography is not lost on Houghton. He’s made the switch from film to digital but still believes in the quality film can produce.
“I don’t think digital quality is anywhere near the quality I used to be able to produce with a 4×5 view camera,” he says. Houghton breaks down the difference between digital and film photography. Digital results are dependent upon an algorithm. Light strikes a sensor within a camera and an algorithm calculates everything. With film, light enters the lens and records the image on the film and that’s what you get when you take it out of the camera.
Houghton also shares his passion for photography by teaching courses at Ohio Dominican.
“I love turning people on to the possibilities of what they can do with a camera,” he says.
Between successful teaching and photography careers, Houghton shares what has kept him in business – persistence and always believing in the positive side. He also says to believe in the quality of the work you produce and know it is worth being paid for.
For more information, visit studiohio.com.