Today we’d like to introduce you to Randy Macht.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Randy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My how I got where I am today story is much like the Semisonic’s song which goes, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. Which is to say, near the end of each venture I was involved with I ended up meeting someone new who allowed me to take the next step in my career. Today, because of these new beginnings, I am both a techy-designer guy crafting new user interfaces and a passionate photographer always seeking the best possible image I can create of the human form.
In the beginning of my design career in Los Angeles, a friend asked me to join him in creating a new Los Angeles based magazine. I jumped on the opportunity to combine design and photography and spent a year producing a highly successful coffee-table quality product magazine. It was an immense undertaking for which I had little prior experience, but my colleague appreciated my design and photography skills and believed in me. Through the project, I was connected with another person who asked me to support her on a start-up business. I fell in love with this new gig and joined her in the Bay Area as a co-founder of the business – an in-store digital recipe resource business that grew into a nationwide distributed network of kiosks placed in grocery stores. This experience lasted many years and during that time I met the top chefs from across the world, collaborated with creative agencies, and ran my own design team. We eventually sold the business to a company that turned it into a new version of an in-store kiosk that is in most grocery stores around the US today.
After that, my wife and I decided to move back to Colorado to start a family. In Boulder, I worked for a dotcom startup as the creative director and started my own Design|Photography business. In the evolution of our start-up, the company was acquired by a German firm. I’ve remained with this company for over ten years serving as the UX Director. This is what I do by day and it allows me to feed my passion work in photography by night.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In hindsight, I’d say it has been anything but smooth. It’s been nearly 100% unpredictable. The only thing that has been predictable is my passion for design and the visual arts. This has carried me through all the obstacles I’ve faced, if not being the the actual vehicle I’ve used to navigate the bumps in the road.
I’ve found through experience that if I wanted to get something done, the only way I’d be satisfied with the results is if I did it myself. So, at each point in my career where I was unable to find a satisfactory solution to accomplish what I needed, I would learn how I could do it myself. A big turning point came while doing graphic design for a variety of clients. Often, the project required photography and I would have to rely on the stock photo resources. However, the images were often very expensive and inadequate. This inspired me to do the photography myself as part of my design trade. It became the perfect marriage of my skills.
While I have experienced bumps along the way, I would never refer to my road as bumpy. I prefer to think of it in terms of how you navigate uncharted waters; every step forward has been something new and exciting – a learning experience. This is the best part of life in my opinion; not being able to necessarily see beyond the next bump, but always enjoying the ride as you go. As for the challenges, they are always there. In fact, I thrive on challenges to grow. Not knowing how to do something is the spark for learning how to do it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Macht Photography | Machtmedia – what should we know?
Macht Photography | Machtmedia is a medium where I can show someone something about themselves in an image that they were not aware of – that moment when they look at a photo and take pause in a way they’ve never done before. The most important aspect of my photography is how I work to eliminate the camera in between me and my subject. It is only then that I find people are willing to be themselves and show themselves. It is incredibly rewarding for me when I connect with them on an emotional level through my design/image. This is a magical time.
Whether I am shooting portraiture, live event, or dance photography, I think what sets me apart from others is that I’m willing to experiment. Photographically, I love to do things in an unorthodox manner as the results are often profound. I will go to the extremes to find an angle or framing that allows me to capture something unique, unexpected.
About ten years ago, through my daughter’s dance, I found one special niche, photographing ballet. This has fueled my passion for photography ever since. I cannot imagine a challenge more difficult than shooting live ballet, and I find this challenge incredibly attractive. I cannot control the light, I cannot control the staging, I cannot control where people are or what their expressions may be – in fact, the only thing I can control is my eye, my position, and my camera. Shooting ballet is inspiring and remarkable for me – the perfect combination of the study of body form and moving music. At the end of the day, if I’m tucked away in the dark wings of a theatre shooting a ballet performance rehearsal, I’m pretty happy.
I have had many clients over the years ask me why I’m not doing photography exclusively. The answer has always been the same: I simply don’t want to rely on income I’d produce from photography exclusively because I feel that would pollute my passion for the art form. I want to be free to explore my photography without any pressure. This has served me well by allowing me to fund my photographic interests and to keep my art pure.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife, for one, deserves credit for dealing with my intense workload and for always being there for me. My daughter also getscredit for pushing me to put myself out there, knowing how important this work is to me.
I have to also thank a key photographic mentor, Jerry Ghionis, an incredible wedding photographer from Australia. I was fortunate to spend a week photographing with Jerry and he continues to serve as an inspiration for me on a daily basis.
- Website: www.machtphotography.com
- Phone: 720-556-8136
- Email: randy@
- Instagram: macht.media
All shots submitted here are mine; shot in conjunction with Dance Etoile Ballet in Louisville, Colorado