Professional Athlete, Casey Short

Professional Athlete, Casey Short

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One of my favorite clients is Naperville Magazine, who I’ve been shooting for since 2007. The magazine has a circulation of over 40,000, and is bundled with the Sunday Chicago Tribune. My assignments have included shooting CEOs of multinational corporations, interiors of beautifully renovated homes, working with dozens of models for fashion spreads, shooting in restaurants, colleges and on the streets of downtown Naperville and other Chicagoland locations. It’s been a lot of fun and the variety has been great.

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Not too long ago, I photographed one of my favorites shoots for the magazine which also came out as the cover story. In late November, we met up at Toyota Park to do the shooting with Casey Short, who plays defense for the Chicago Red Stars soccer team and has been invited to try out for the USA national team.

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Casey couldn’t have been more easy to work with. We had the stadium to ourselves to work in and around, so we shot the cover image in the tunnel leading down to the field. We also used the field as well as the Chicago Fire (men’s soccer team) locker room. Most of the shots were taken using basic lighting– a medium soft box, with natural light allowed to fill in the background– and a Canon 1DX Mark II camera. I used a 70-200 f/2.8 lens for all the pictures except the action shots, which were taken on a 300mm f/2.8 lens.

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New Gear- the Eye in the Sky

New Gear- the Eye in the Sky

I've always wondered about professional photographers who blog a lot. How do they find the time? If they're busy running successful businesses, when do they write about their work? I mean, I'm glad some do, but as much as I love my job, I'm also busy with a family and other outside interests. All this is to say, I've been very busy on photo and video shoots, traveling with my family and working on lots of exciting projects. So, my apologies for not keeping up more with the MHP blog.

Several clients have been asking if I had a drone and until last week, the answer was always no. That's all changed. This has got to be one of the most exciting pieces of equipment I've ever owned, and I haven't even had it for a week. There's so much to learn, but already I have an assignment to shoot with it tomorrow.

The drone I got is one of the top of the line models, capable of shooting UHD 4K video (4X the size of normal video) as well as conventional video, and high resolution still photos on its large, 1-inch sensor (50% larger than most drone sensors). The range is just under five miles and it can ascend (legally) to 400 feet. It's really amazing– even on a breezy day, the drone can hover in place with virtually no movement. It's like having a tripod in the sky.

I'm working towards getting my FCC drone license (a must for commercial drone use) but I'll be posting some fun clips as I find new uses for it. For now, enjoy this clip shot over the weekend, gliding over woods near my wife's cousin's farmhouse in Iowa.

The First Photography Class

The First Photography Class

 Sunrise, Grand Teton Mountain Range, from Snake River Overlook, Wyoming

Sunrise, Grand Teton Mountain Range, from Snake River Overlook, Wyoming

I'm not into public speaking. I'm far more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. But last month I gave my first photography workshop on a subject that I'm passionate about– landscape photography. I love nothing more than to hike outdoors, far from computers, phones and with a camera in hand.

Last Spring, the people at Out of Chicago photography workshops learned about me from seeing my books online and in the stories in Bar Harbor, Maine. A flurry of emails followed and I ended up being booked to speak at a workshop in Maine this October. But before that, they had me come out to talk to a packed room of photographers at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

Despite my nerves, I had a great time and everyone seemed to learn something. Now that it's done, I'm wondering if I might try to find some other venues to speak at between now and October. Email me if you have any suggestions for me.

The new 2017 MHP Website

The new 2017 MHP Website

My first website went live in 1996– galleries of color, black and white and hand colored prints of my fine art images. It was pretty simple- small photos (375 pixels wide) that could load relatively quickly on dialup connections and was 'optimized' for Netscape 2.0. For several years, it was great. The internet was new and people would comment on my photos from all over the world. I sold prints to complete strangers thousands of miles away.

A lot has changed in the last twenty-one years. All my photography is digital now. Pictures aren't even delivered on CD, but in folders of images deliverable via the web. I'm shooting far more video than I ever was back in the 90's.

My most recent commercial photography website was written by hand (I did all the coding and hated it) a few years ago and becoming dated. The software I used hasn't been supported in years. So it was time for a change.

This new website will be updated far more frequently, along with stories of jobs I've been working on, some of my favorite shoots from the past, video clips and more. The pictures are now full screen and beautiful– no more tiny pictures.

I hope you enjoy the new look. Email me if you'd like a quote for a job, and pass on my name to your colleagues and friends.

Thanks for your support. Mike