ABOUT MIKE & HOW I GOT HERE
My photography is
mostly about people.
I think people are the most interesting subjects in
all the world.
am the kind of photographer who goes to the Pyramids
and comes back with just a few shots of the pyramids
themselves but many more shots of the people I found there.
In the upper left corner of this page there is a photo
of a young girl on a donkey. She was at the
pyramids the same day I was there.
Photos to me are a slice of life, a tiny fraction of a
second that existed at a certain place and time, and
which forever after is both a memory and a story, a
small piece of history in the lives of the people who
were there. That's the kind of photography that
appeals to me. I can find it walking down some
strange street in a foreign land, in small towns and
big cities, or any event that brings people
When I look back at the
faces in my photos I wonder what has become of these people?
What is the girl on the donkey doing now? What about
the father with his newborn son, the mother preparing
her daughter for marriage, the young couple in love,
the teenager about to graduate from high school, or
the young girl gazing off in the distance to watch some
other children playing?
I was there for that moment in each of their lives and
I have made it possible for them to revisit that
moment whenever they choose. That makes me feel
good about what I do. I like that.
So now you know why I am a photographer.
history of Mike the photographer started way back in
late 1960's and early 1970's in Philadelphia.
Photography was an area of study in college and I
worked alongside a pro for several months as his
assistant; shooting weddings, shooting products for
catalogues, and helping out with anything that
involved camera work. I slowly acquired all of
my own professional gear and was then hired as a
wedding photographer by the same studio where I had
worked as an assistant.
During the tumultuous era of the late 60's to early
70's I also loved street photography; photographing
people, events, and faces, on the streets of
Philadelphia. Photography was what I
loved and it looked like a photo career was in my
Then there was a day of devastation. I returned
home one night and found that my apartment had been
burglarized. My photo bags were gone, along with
cameras, lenses, and lights. I had no insurance
coverage. My studio job required that I provide
my own photo gear so I was also out of work.
There was simply no way to quickly replace what was
gone. So I took other non-photo jobs and then
drifted away from photography altogether. The
natural environment and the outdoors have always been
of interest to me, so I shifted in that direction, I
got a degree in natural resource management and I worked for many years as a park manager for the
Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
Photography came back to me at the start of the digital age, in the early
90's, when I picked up a digital camera for the first
time. I was almost
instantly back where I had left off and I loved the
feeling of having a camera in my hand once again!
But now the darkroom was in the computer and you did
not have to book "darkroom time" to process pictures.
There was now a digital darkroom. I started back in the photography business in 1999,
I learned web design, image processing, and graphics,
and started to do art shows, weddings, and portraits,
and a few websites from time to
time. I also taught photography for a couple of
years for the community education program of a local
college. In 2007 I left Idaho State Parks and I am a full time photographer.
find that photography is both the same as it always
was and also very different.
Photography is still all about light, all about
capturing the right moment, all about the expression
on someone's face, all about color or the
lack of it, all about using focus and composition to
direct the eye of the viewer. At it's core,
photography is still the simple process of capturing
images with a lens to tell the story that the
photographer wants to tell. None of that has changed.
the mechanics of photography have evolved considerably.
You can now view your shots immediately on the back of
the camera and you don't have to pay
.50 cents for film each time you press the shutter
button. Photos can now be shared worldwide and
instantly. About 15,000 - 20,000 visitors
now come to my website
each month and I get emailed comments from all over
the world about photos I have taken. I answer
questions and give advice for new photographers
worldwide and I ask questions and take advice from
many others . None of that would have been
possible back in the days of film.
I am asked about my "style", I say it is
a "blend of classic photography and photo-journalism"
but that's just an attempt to put a label to it.
It is best that my pictures just speak for themselves
and I stay away from labels.
most of my work in Idaho and Washington but I can be
persuaded to work about anywhere in the world.