Mike Bailey-Gates says that photography is something he never grew out of—rather than something he had to discover. “It's a medium I understand, and I don't really know how to do anything else in the same way.”
Mike grew up with a family of folk-art dealers and has been inspired by folklore and story telling from a very young age. The 20 year-old began taking photographs of the people and landscapes of his childhood, but over time, his photography developed in to a haptic process, combing childhood with the idea of a utopic place. He says he likes to keep changing his photograph style and process—constantly changing and evolving. “I don't like to confine my work to one particular style or narrative, because I feel like things become a little trapped.” Mike just finished shooting a series titled "See Jane Run" which plays with gender and exploring human representation, which has a lot to do with his upbringing—growing up queer. And most recently he says he’s been watching a lot. “I'm interested in photographing a town, or a group of people that I've created and have control over. I've been excited about the idea of mundane tasks becoming interesting.”
He tries to stay away from Photoshop as much as he can. He says it pushes him to make things more realistic, have a stronger connection to his ideas.
Mike currently lives and works in Brooklyn with his three cats, his boyfriend, and his friend Claire. “My apartment looks like a playhouse from all the photo-shoots Claire and I do together, but it's so much a part of our daily lives that we enjoy it.”