Michael Tighe grew up in New York City. He has been shooting photos since childhood. It was his dad’s hobby and as he says…“I had great cameras and a real darkroom from the get go”. He began shooting formal portraits and working professionally when he was nineteen,1974. Michael Tighe studied with famed portrait photographers Philippe Halsman and Arnold Newman, both major influences in his early work.
The mid seventies his career took flight shooting regularly for Andy Warhol’s INTERVIEW Magazine. From that initial exposure came other magazine assignments for French & Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Esquire, Details, Time, Newsweek, New York Times…and a lucrative fashion career shooting ads for Saks Fifth Ave, Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Gucci, Diane Von Furstenberg – to name a few.
As so many talented artists have done, Michael fell prey to drugs, heroin addiction and by 1980 lost everything, ending up broke and homeless.
After a long recovery and rebirth of his career Michael’s passions were directed towards the entertainment business and in that mostly the film business. Finding new friendships with many of the stars he was shooting, like Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, River Phoenix and Kiefer Sutherland he became known as an insider photographer able to capture intimate often vulnerable portraits of his subjects because of the trust they shared.
In 2004 Michael stopped shooting professionally needing a break from it and having other creative pursuits he wanted to devote himself.
In 2012 he started shooting again… “Loving it more now than I can ever remember.”