That’s a very good thing. You’ll see.
You already know Michael’s work from his campaigns with surf brands like Fox, Gravis, Osiris, Billabong and Channel Islands. And you’ve seen his music photography with The Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Edward Sharpe, Lenny Kravitz and the Smashing Pumpkins. But you probably don’t know that he designed and was the creative director for the 50th anniversary Grammy clothing line, “The Grammy Brand,” which featured his art and photography and is worn by the likes of Gnarls Barkley, Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Bono. Or that he moonlights as a music producer and director for artists like Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Curren$y. Or that he himself is a musician (drums, keys, bass), and that he’s currently working on two book projects — one world heavyweight boxing champs the Klitschko brothers, and the other on world famous tattoo artists.
Impressed? We were. We are. “Michael’s work speaks for itself,” says Tristin Akahoshi, producer of the Swimsuit Issue. “His vision and creativity will take this year’s issue to the next level.”
Shooting begins mid-November in a few places you wouldn’t expect. Visit surfingmagazine.com for Swimsuit Issue blog entries and witness Michael turn his vision into a reality. Till then, here’s a three-question interview with the man with three names:
SURFING: What is your history as a photographer?
Michael Sterling Eaton: I started shooting at the age of 12 with my father. I always loved it, and the more I shot, the more I understood what I wanted to capture. I then fell in love with the idea of moving pictures and music, hence doing music videos — a combo of visuals with the emotion of music — it’s a powerful combination. I never lost my passion for still photography though. I began shooting fashion once I met my wife Sanoe [Lake]. We actually met on a photo shoot, and she introduced me to a different world of photography. Her expertise, knowledge and experience are priceless.
What do you plan on bringing to the issue?
I plan on bringing my love and respect for the surf culture while at the same time showing my fashion-forward artistic sensibilities.
Why did you want to get involved with SURFING’s Swimsuit Issue?
I wanted to be a part of it due to the legacy and brand of SURFING. Aesthetically, I feel SURFING is the most progressive and highbrow of the surf magazines. With its photography, typography and design it stays core while pushing the envelope — all things I strive to do with my work.