M. Westholm (1975) was born in Des Moines, IA. The eldest daughter of an evangelical preacher and a Mennonite baker, she grew up in numerous towns and cities of the American Midwest.

Michelle earned degrees from the University of Northern Iowa, Vanderbilt and Harvard before moving abroad in 2003. Since that time she has lived in Mexico, Indonesia and Argentina.

She currently lives and works in Buenos Aires where she spends her time between photography, teaching, and design. She often works in conjunction with her partner, Mexico-based furniture designer Vik Servin .



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Digital or 35 mm?
I believe digital photography is a great equalizer. It opens up the medium to a vast array of people who have traditionally been excluded by the expense of film. In so doing, digital promotes experimentation and egalitarianism, which is why i prefer it over 35 mm.

What camera do you use?
I've found that the less attention my camera calls to me, the better a shot I get, so I use a Pentax K01. It is a small, unassuming camera with fully manual settings and high resolution.

Do you use Photoshop?
Because I reject the notion that photography is an objective record of reality, I do make use of post-production techniques when they contribute to a better image.

Do you pose your shots?
Although I love the honesty of candid shots, they are not always well-received by their subjects. Therefore, whenever possible, I ask permission before taking someone's picture. Many times, people refuse. But when someone does grant permission, I try to use their image respectfully and carefully. By this, I mean that when I exhibit or sell my work, I never do so with the intention to judge, belittle or laugh at the subject.

Why don't you do limited editions?
Digital photos are, by their very essence, easily transferred, reproduced, and printed. "Limited Editions" of such works create a false sense of scarcity, drive up the price, and are admired for their market value rather than their intrinsic aesthetic qualities.