Category Archives: Site Updates

Back in the Saddle

Mike & Caitlin - Wedding DayHey… hi… hello. It’s me again. With all of the best intentions in the world to maintain this blog and post on a regular basis this year, once again, that glorious, beautiful, amazing thing we call “life” pulled me out of the saddle for a while. What was it that could cause me to abandon my fans, friends, and followers, you ask? Well, I got married… that’s what. So who feels like a meanie now… hmmmm?

That’s right… the reason I’ve been radio silent for the past few months was due to the constraints of my schedule, which went a little like this: wake up, do wedding stuff, eat breakfast, go to work, do some more wedding stuff, get off work, do some wedding stuff, head home, eat dinner, do some wedding stuff, stare at the computer screen waiting for motivation to write a blog post, probably have to answer a wedding email or question or five, then stumble into bed and do it all over again.

But, the payoff was definitely worth it in the end. The girl and I tied the knot on October 5th at what Vanity Fair magazine would call “the event of the season” (if they ever visited Peoria, Illinois) and then we headed south of the border to beautiful Cancun for a 10 day honeymoon at one of the most gorgeous resorts I’ve ever seen.

A Much Needed Reboot

Honeymoon

Being down there where the hardest decision each day was whether or not to sit next to the pool or the ocean, I was able to do something I haven’t done in a very long time… turn off. Turn off what, you ask? Everything! My brain, my stress, my worries… thoughts of finances and plans and tasks and lists… just off. Simply off.

Like resetting your computer when the fan is running too hot, this “off” period gave me a much needed reboot and I’ve decided to get back in the saddle with regards to my photography. It doesn’t hurt that my schedule has opened back up as well without all of the wedding planning going on.

The first order of business is to get caught up a bit here on the blog. I’m going to be spending the next week or so doing some spring cleaning of portfolios, writing posts, and uploading some new wallpapers, seeing as I missed, you know… every month since July. Whoops!

So, if you can bear with me, dear friends and followers, for just a little while longer, I promise a plethora (that’s a great Scrabble word, ain’t it?) of fun blog posts and images. Until then…

Joining the Washington, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Every year, I make a set of photography resolutions to help build and develop my vision. One of this year’s resolutions was to try new marketing ideas for building my business. I’ve put together a number of things including monthly and seasonal promotions, a monthly email newsletter, and social media giveaways and discounts.

For the past few years, I’ve been thinking about joining a local Chamber of Commerce and this year felt like the right time to do it. When I lived in Peoria, Illinois, I looked at joining the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, but found that the cost was out of my price range at the time.

Washington, Illinois Chamber of Commerce Ceremony

Joining the Washington, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

When I moved back in December, I stopped by the Washington, Illinois Chamber of Commerce offices and met with the staff to discuss what they had to offer small businesses. What I found was tremendous; Washington, Illinois is all about supporting local business so the Chamber of Commerce keeps their overhead and fees down while offering more opportunities for marketing, advertising, sponsorships, and anything else you can name for local business owners to help grow and prosper in the area.

So… I’m proud to say that a few weeks ago, I had my official plaque ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce staff and board members. I’m so proud to be a part of this city and this organization; I look forward to a prosperous partnership with them moving forward.

Tuesday Viewsday I

With my mind full of resolutions for the new year, I’ve decided to bring back a segment of posts that I started a few years ago when I had a personal blog running. Forgive me for the name… it’s pretty corny, I know.

With all the questions that I get asked about my photography, the one I hear most often is “How did you shoot that?”. Well, my hope for this segment is to help answer that question one image at a time on a weekly basis, every Tuesday!

So, without further adieu, here’s the very first Tuesday Viewsday. Enjoy!

A Cue in Time

A Cue in Time

A Cue in Time

Since this is the start of a new year, I figured it would be best to take a look back in the archives at some images from the past to see how I got to where I am now. This shot, “A Cue in Time,” was one of the first fine art images I ever shot and the first I uploaded to my Flickr account.

I shot this back in 2005 on my first digital camera, a small FujiFilm Finepix A350 point-and-shoot, back before I even knew what digital photography really was. It would be almost a year and a half later, during my junior year of college, that I would learn how to use a dSLR, a Canon Rebel. But, Mike, don’t you shoot Nikon? Ummm…. yes. All I can say is not everyone can be perfect! (Just kidding, Canon folks, you guys are pretty cool too!)

But, I digress. I took this photo in my hometown of Petersburg, Illinois, a rural farming community that remains a place of quiet solace for me to get away to from time to time. Until a few years ago, there was a hometown bar and restaurant along the square in town that my buddies and I used to go to so we could shoot pool and listen to music on a Saturday night.

At the time, I didn’t really know the capabilities of Photoshop and inadvertently stumbled across the color replacement tool. Set that puppy to black and created my first selective color image. When I think back on it, I had no clue what I was doing between the shooting and the editing, but somehow, this image remains one of my favorites.

I guess we all need a foundation to start building something great.

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