“I am a visual artist … a storyteller who tells stories with the images I make.”
I am a visual artist residing in Natchez, Mississippi, an arts & cultural center with a long and storied history. The city sits high atop three-hundred foot cliffs overlooking Ol’ Man River – the mighty Mississippi – and celebrated its 300 year tricentennial in 2016. The beauty, the people, and the culture of my hometown of Natchez as well as my home State of Mississippi and neighboring Louisiana, has had a profound influence upon my vision and approach to the visual media that I am so passionate about.
To make you look amazing, or present your product in a way that makes it extremely attractive to buyers, and to tell your story in a way that no one else quite has: with quality, uniqueness, professionalism, and with a WOW! factor.
To produce powerful, high-quality visuals that tell the stories that you wish to convey to your customers, or your friends and family.
To go deep … to take an adventurous peek into the essence of my subject or whatever I am depicting, whether with still images, motion, or graphics. Like Toto pulling back the curtain in Oz, I am passionate about telling stories that convey the profound magic of this amazing universe, and reveal that there is much more going on than what meets the eye.
Born in raised in Natchez, Mississippi, I returned to my hometown in 2002 after living in both western and eastern Europe and various locations around the U.S. for many years. My background in photography goes back to journalism classes in High School, where I learned 35mm SLR film photography under photojournalist and instructor Charles Ross. He was the person who planted the idea of and love for photography and image making (and not just “taking pics”) deep within me. A few years later, I was lugging my beloved Canon AE-1 and several lenses all over Europe when I was stationed in West Germany as a soldier there in the 1980’s.
In the 1990’s I took up the digital side of things, using a Nikon camera that did a particularly good job with macro photography. At the time, I co-owned an import-export Russian jewelry and folk-art business, and was taking close-up product photos of the items so that we could present them and sell them over the Internet on our e-commerce website.
As a child, and through my formative years, I enjoyed expressing myself artistically and creatively in some medium, whether it was sketching, painting, writing, or using a camera. Today, that creativity is mainly centered on still photography, photographic art, cinematography, motion video, graphics, and web design. I still use both Nikon and Canon cameras. 🙂
[To Turn the Video Auto-Play Off & On – Click on the Outer Edges of the Frame of the Video.]
Six Things About Me:
Family & Friends: My life has always centered upon the relationships I have with my children, my parents, my siblings, my friends, and my extended family. They are the source of my greatest joys and delights, triumphs and stumbles, and my perspiration and inspiration. Like you and yours, we laugh, we cry, we eat, we live, and we love.
Sport, Adventure, & Exploring “Stuff”: Whether it’s camping, cycling, mountain biking, scuba diving, skydiving out of Otters and Cessna’s, or parasailing off the Greek Isle of Corfu, I’ve always loved travel, sports, adventure, seeing the world, and exploring history. Triathlons, swimming, kayaking, riding my bikes, hanging out with family and friends with good food, wine (or beer!) … having intelligent conversations, studying Latin or speaking Russian … playing my drums … reading a great book, or watching one of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson or a Harry Potter movie … it’s all part of who I am and what I do…
Creativity & Outside-the-Box Thinking: I’m an artist and I like hanging out with creative, innovative people. I enjoy making things come to be that otherwise would not have, or at least not in the same way. The creative process is somewhat sacred to me, which leads to my celebrating it in others as well. Beauty, awe, wonder, amazement, and discovering something in a new way are all things that captivate my imagination and take me to a place – a world – that ours was originally intended to be. When I “make” something that causes even a bit of that reaction in others, I’m thrilled to the marrow…
Wide Range of Interests: My life has led down many paths: a student, carpenter, soldier on a tank, deputy sheriff, hand gun instructor, entrepreneur, drummer in bands, retail sales, and construction contracting. I enjoy learning, thinking, growing, and striving for goals … but also working hard, being active, and making things happen. I’m very practical, but I also value the magic and myth of the cosmos we live in, and enjoy authors from Tolkien and Rowling, to Perrault and E.E. Cummings, who simply were alluding to the truest “myth” of them all…
“Glocal” Experiences: I’m global yet local (hence “Glocal”). I’m very much a child of Mississippi, and I understand full well both the positives and negative stereotypes that surround the land upon which I was born. Someone once said, “Mississippi is to America what Ireland is to Britain.” I like that. I think it’s spot on. The land of poverty, ignorance, and the target of ridicule from the rest of the nation has also produced the envy of it: from musicians and entire genres of music, to writers, poets, actors, dancers, scientists, and astronauts. I’ve also lived many years in other States, and lived and worked overseas for four years in Germany, Russia, and Estonia. My daughter was born in Moscow. I’ve been in at least 27 countries. I have seen sunrise over Albania, snow falling in Red Square, sunsets in Istanbul, shared a beer and laughs with jovial patrons in a Welch pub, and helped bury a Russian friend’s grandmother in the frozen steppe of their motherland. My understanding of other cultures, their people, and the life experiences shared with them have all positively influenced my art…
Believer in the Spiritual and Material Worlds: I am a person of faith, a Roman Catholic Christian who carefully and thoughtfully chose this faith in my fifties. I have a Master’s in Theology. In a day and age where it’s not popular to reveal one’s faith in a business context, I suppose I’m bucking the politically correct trend (which says a lot “about me”). I believe in Christ. Everything I strive to be, and all that I do is influenced by my worldview (who’s isn’t?) and how I have chosen to answer the age-old questions: Who am I? How did all this get here? And, does my life have any lasting meaning or purpose? I won’t bring up the subject, nor smack you in the head with it. At the same time, it is very much who I am…
Thank you for taking the time to read my page, and I hope that you can identify with me and where I’m coming from in a few ways. I’m friendly, a pretty good conversationalist, and very conscientious about getting you what you need. I would love to visit with you to discuss your project, and look forward to meeting you soon!
“I am so thankful to have Mike on my team as our official Amazing 12 photographer. His professionalism and attention to detail shows in his work and makes my job possible to do. It is such a relief to know that I can leave this part in Mike’s hands and it will be beautifully and professionally done.”Amanda Hudson, Sfg II
"Mike made photos, as well as recorded and produced a video for me during a grief workshop I held in Natchez. The setting presented some lighting and background challenges, but Mike did an excellent job and the final results were outstanding. He is very professional and it is obvious he has a gift to see light and shadows necessary to produce a great photograph and video. I have used Mike for visuals on several occasions and would highly recommend his work to anyone."Bob Willis