We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Louis Slebodnik and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michael Louis, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The only risk, is not taking one. I know that sounds cliché and it took me a long time to be able to say with any confidence behind it, but it really is true. If I have an idea I want to execute, to me the risk would be taking on paid work that distracts me from the idea I want to execute. There’s a mentality of ‘make hay while the sun shines’ but at a certain point professionally, the sun shines more than you need it to. Sometimes you have to say no to clients for pursuit of passions. I find tremendous growth in those moments since they force you to achieve personal goals by taking financial & professional security head on and realizing that the riskiest thing you can do is let your path be determined by other people.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The hardest part about becoming an artist (makes me uncomfortable to say everytime) is being comfortable with not caring what others think. It’s such a struggle for me whenever I create something. From family to friends to strangers, there are a million voices in my head judging whether or not what I’ve created is good enough. But those voices are just me being insecure about my work being up to my own unrealistic standards. I block them out as best I can and make the next design, or plan the next shoot, with passion and creativity in mind. I’d like to start incorporating more underwater movement and colored lighting into my next shoot. Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The first thing we do is hop on my boat and ride out to Catalina, jump off and spear some fish for and beachside BBQ dinner. Camp out under the stars and head back the following morning to hop on bikes and cruise through Venice and over to Santa Monica to the Victorian for a bite, some patio sunshine and relaxation with some solid people watching.

Next day we drive out to Joshua Tree and get after some rock climbing inside the park, and be sure to stay up late to catch the stars – I have found that the best view of the galaxy is around 3am. We grab a bite at Pappy & Harriets in Pioneertown and head back to LA, where we’ll head straight to Topanga to catch the best sunset view around from Tuna Canyon, and friend fish & chips at the Reel Inn.

My favorite part about LA is not the city, but how the surrounding areas and some powerful nature is just an hour or two away. You just don’t get anything like that anywhere else. Probably why it’s so expensive here, but I still don’t think people take advantage of it as much as they should.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I first moved to LA, I got a gig working for this guy Dave Andrews who was doing digital consulting for Sony Pictures at the time. Ever since working for Dave, we’ve stayed in touch regularly, he’s a client of mine, and I consider him a friend. His guidance was invaluable to me when I was younger, and he’s someone I still call to this day if I’m at a crossroad professionally. Great guy, check out his new company PullPatch.com

Website: https://michaellouisphoto.com

Instagram: @michaellouislouis, @moderndayvices

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