Michael Schmelling takes photos that are so raw, honest and exposed, it's the photographic equivalent of open heart surgery: everything is left bare out on the table.
From behind his lens, Schmelling has a remarkable ability of bringing his subject's wonderful weirdness to the forefront. His portraits reveal something that might not be immediately apparent, which makes going through them feel like a special, intimate, nearly voyeuristic experience. Ultimately, Schmelling's music editorials illuminate something important about each individual, almost as if saying, "Here I am, warts and all."
Whether it's a red-eyed Earl Sweatshirt grinning as someone holds a switchblade worryingly close to his face, or an up-close-and-personal shot of R.Stevie.Moore, Schmelling's photographs are instantly recognizable.