Michael Putland was born in 1947 at Harrow-on-the-Hill near London. Encouraged by his uncle, he began shooting at age nine, and upon leaving school at sixteen he started work at a London studio where he assisted in advertising, fashion and architectural photography. Michael was privileged to work with Louis Klementaski, the Legendary motor racing photographer, during this period. After briefly assisting Time/Life photographer Walter Curtain, he decided to go out on his own, sharing a studio with two friends and eventually securing work with the music magazine 'Disco & Music Echo'. His first assignment was Mick Jagger. He went on to photograph John Lennon and Elton John, among others, before moving to 'Sounds' magazine and contributing photographs of the biggest names in music. He began to travel extensively and worked for most of the major record companies, especially CBS, Warner, Elektra, Atlantic, Polydor, RCA and EMI. Michael relocated to New York in 1977, where he continued his record company and editorial assignments, shooting artists as diverse as Billy Joel, The Clash and The Bee Gees. Whilst in New York he founded the photo agency Retna and after returning to London in the early eighties, he opened the London branch and continued to shoot mainly musicians, including Madonna and George Michael. He has recently handed management of Retna over to his long-standing business partner, Julie Grahame, allowing himself more time for his first love; photography. Whilst his current work is still predominantly portraiture, his sitters are likely to be classical, jazz or world musicians and lifestyle subjects.
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