There is something slightly unnerving about Michael Lewis’ collection of photographs he calls Places & Things. Scenes, which at first glance, seem bland and uninteresting, tell stories that go well beyond what is in the frame. A hole smashed in a wall opposite from a framed picture of a couple’s wedding day, keys in the open front door with dropped bags of groceries in the entry, an empty car with the lights on and (presumably) the engine running; they all show something almost sinister going on behind the scenes and it sets your mind spinning. I love photography like this. It’s different, it’s creative, and it’s not gimmicky. It has his personality embedded in each image. The rest of his work is just as good. On his site, you can see a wonderful series of self-portraits he has been taking for the last 14 years. “Self-portraiture allows me to experience empathy for the people I photograph,” Lewis says, “I feel an obligation to my subjects to remain in touch with how it feels to be in front of the camera.” There is also a series he calls “On-Set” in which he appears in the photographs with his clients. These are not just snapshots. Instead, he makes himself a part of the shot… photographs of him eating lunch with Paul Rudd and partying with Jack Black, as well as doing chores with a family in Illinois or watching Rachael Ray with a woman in Florida. If you are looking for inspiration in your portrait photography, Michael Lewis’ site is the place to go.