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Michael Grecco
Founder & Board Member,
The American Society for Collective Rights Licensing, Inc.
Michael Grecco is an entrepreneur, content creator, author, and award-winning photographer and director based in Los Angeles, CA. An image-maker for 45 years, Grecco has built a global brand based on his celebrity, fine art, advertising, fashion, portraiture, and editorial photography.

Grecco is often referred to in media as the “Master of Lighting.” He is the author of two best-selling books on the subject, Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity and Editorial Photography (2006), and The Art of Portrait Photography: Creative Lighting Techniques and Strategies (2009). He has spoken around the world on lighting, sharing his expertise.

His third book, 2007’s Naked Ambition, presented his portfolio of images shot backstage at the Adult Video News Awards (AVN) – known as the Oscars of the Porn Industry – presenting hundreds of photographs of important personalities from the adult film world. The book’s success spun off the 2010 companion longform documentary, “Naked Ambition: An R-Rated Look at an X-Rated Industry.

An artist behind the camera, Grecco is also an advocate for artists’ rights behind the scenes. He is the founding board member of the collecting society, The American Society for Collective Rights (https://ascrl.org/), a leader in the administration and distribution of collective revenue from around the world for U.S. photographers, illustrators and rights holders of published works. He is also co-founder of the platform Titan Copyright (https://titancopyright.com/), which empowers artists by discovering who is using their images, helping them recover fees from unauthorized use worldwide, and increase their revenue stream. He has spoken before the U.S. Congress regarding artists and copyrights.

In the public eye, Grecco has been Chairman of the Board for Advertising Photographers of America/Los Angeles, and also served as National Vice President and Chairman of its Advocacy Committee. He was on the Executive Board of Directors for Editorial Photographers for five years. Other affiliations include being a selected member of Canon’s Explorers of Light Program, and since 2001, a Hasselblad Master Photographer and a Lecturer for the Kodak Mentor program.

Currently, Grecco’s multimedia exhibition “Days of Punk” is touring museums and galleries in the U.S. and around the world. The centerpiece of the show is the portfolio of photographs of punk music acts that he shot at the beginning of his career while living in Boston. He worked as an Associated Press photojournalist by day, and covered the music scene by night. The negatives for these photographs had been dormant in Grecco’s file cabinets until his archivist suggested revisiting them. Their efforts lead to Grecco’s best-selling book Punk, Post Punk, New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, In Your Face, 1978–1991 (Abrams Books, 2020), which introduced these images for the first time. The initial public showing of this historic, previously unseen body of work was at Photo London in 2021 as the multimedia exhibition “Days of Punk” which is currently touring the world.

Grecco has been based in Los Angeles since the late 1980s, when he was invited by People Magazine to come west to be a celebrity photographer for them. He has continued to create new work ever since, and his images have also appeared in publications including Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone, among many others – often on the cover.  Grecco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Filmmaking, with a minor in Photography, from Boston University.
  • 2024