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Michael Grecco

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Michael Grecco

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May 20, 1958 (age 65) (
United States

Naked Ambition: An R-Rated Look at an X-Rated Industry

Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry

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Michael Grecco (born May 20, 1968) is an American photographer, film director and author.


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Life and career

Grecco grew up near New York City and received his first camera (a Mamiya/Sekor 35mm single-lens reflex) when he was 12. He went on to study filmmaking and photography as an undergraduate at Boston University's School of Communications. While still at university he began working freelance for the Associated Press as a photojournalist. During that time, he also began his career as a magazine photographer. This included an extensive body of work for various national magazines, including Time, Newsweek, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and Rolling Stone. As a staff photographer for the Boston Herald, he won several Boston Press Photographers awards.

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As a regular contributor to People, Grecco made his transition from hard-news photojournalism to photographic coverage of celebrity-driven events, including the Golden Globes, the Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards. He used this experience to launch his current career as a celebrity portrait photographer. Since 1992, Grecco has been regularly shooting magazine covers for Time, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, People and others. His celebrity portrait subjects have included Martin Scorsese, Hugh Hefner, Robert Duvall, Lucy Liu, Will Ferrell, Mel Brooks, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Jet Li, Bill Murray, Joaquin Phoenix and Rene Russo.

In 2007, Grecco published his book Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry, a collection of photographs on the American porn industry and its stars taken at the AVN Awards and Convention in Las Vegas. A documentary film, directed by Grecco and with the same title, premiered in April 2009. His two previous books were on lighting techniques in photographic portraiture.

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Grecco is based in Los Angeles, and has three children.


Grecco received the Hasselblad Masters Award in June 2001. He also received several awards in the 2011 Prix de la Photographie Paris competition including ones for his portraits of Steve Martin and Martin Scorsese and in 2012 was one of the eight recipients of the Professional Photographer Leadership Award from the United Nations International Photographic Council.


  • The Art of Portrait Photography, Creative Lighting Techniques and Strategies, 126 pages. Amherst Media (2000). ISBN 0936262850
  • Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait, the Art of Celebrity and Editorial Photography, 192 pages. Amphoto (2006). ISBN 0817442278
  • Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry, 224 pages. Rock Out Books (2007). ISBN 0979331404
  • References

    Michael Grecco Wikipedia

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