Customer Spotlight: Michael Dalton
We have a number of talented and interesting customers all across the country and we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on them. Every month we will be spotlighting a customer and ask them to share their special talents and experiences in the photography and video world. This month we talk to Michael Dalton from Oviedo, FL.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Michael Dalton, I’m originally from the Carolinas but I moved to Central Florida to attend Full Sail for Film. Post graduation I decided to stay in Orlando and find the work to make that happen. These days I make videos for CrossFit around the world, and pick up the occasional freelance gig between those trips.
How did you get into photography and/or video?
My Dad always tried to have a video camera or digital camera around. Some of my earliest memories are of the VHS camcorder plugged into the VCR and him shaking the camera yelling earthquake while my brother and sister and I rolled around the couch and floor.
From there I can honestly say I was inspired by Jackass the movie - those guys made a living playing around with their friends and learning their gear along the way. So my buddies and I made a ton of dumb videos, which eventually led to really terrible music videos and then film school.
Where are you located?
I’m in Oviedo, Florida these days, about 5 minutes from The Lens Depot. I like to pretend that I don’t miss the days where I would meet Oscar and Magda at Starbucks super early on a Saturday morning, and get a free cup of coffee with my lens rental. But those were the glory days.
What are some of your favorite hobbies/interests outside of photography?
Outside of video for CrossFit, I really enjoy doing CrossFit. It’s been a great stress reliever for me through the freelance years, and a great way of keeping my work capacity up to handle the long hours of lugging around heavy gear.
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?
There was a quote on the wall in one of the Film buildings at Full Sail, I believe it was from Sissy Spacek. It said - “One of the wonderful things about being a filmmaker, is that you get to live all these different lives...” I love getting to meet new people, and try to get to the heart of what matters to them and tell their story. Whether this is an athlete struggling to be the best, or a non-profit in Africa trying to save lives - the process is the same for me. I love people, and I love getting to show a person’s heart to the world. I don’t take that process lightly.
What is your least favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?
My least favorite thing about this work is airports. I love being in new places but I hate the airport process. I don’t like checking gear (especially rental gear), so I carry everything on. But that being said, I’m thankful every day for the work I get to do. I’m living the dream, so I’ll live with the airports.
What is your current favorite piece of rental equipment?
If you looked at my rental history, you would probably say, “Why hasn’t he just bought that Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS already?” Currently, I would like to be noncommittal and say my favorite thing is all of it. I’m comforted knowing that all of the gear I might need is available, and can be rented and picked up on the same day. The prices are the most competitive I’ve found in the world, and I love the staff and how helpful everyone is. Boom, endorsed.
If you were going to a deserted island and could only bring one camera & lens – what would it be?
I swear by the Panasonic GH4 and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L with the Metabones adapter. Can you beat 4k at 24fps and then 96fps at 1080 in that small of a camera? Doubt it. And that is the most versatile lens in the world in my opinion. I’ve had mine for years, and I’m certain I could throw it hard enough to kill a small animal on the deserted island, use the lens reflection to start a small fire to cook it, and it would still work for documenting my rescue. Did I read that wrong? Is this a vacation? I don’t tourist well.
Where can people follow you or find your work online? (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc.)
Last, and most importantly – what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?Can I be that guy and say I almost never eat ice cream? I crave donuts. 3-4 at a time but only on Saturday.
Thank you Michael for taking the time to participate in our Customer Spotlight Series! We hope you enjoyed it. Here is some of Michael's work: