Me at work during a 2015 wedding

Me at work during a 2015 wedding

How I value photography.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
— Ansel Adams

I don’t have a story about picking up a camera as a kid and instantly falling in love. However I have spent the past ten years of my life using cameras to tell stories. This isn’t just a job, it’s an adventure for me and I make sure it is always interesting. I find that I work best with clients who I would want be friends with if I happened to cross paths with them elsewhere. Generally I meet with clients over lunch, or a light dinner to see if we match well. I am aware that everyone has a budget and I deeply appreciate everyone’s personal financial situation, so I am up-front in saying my wedding packages start at $3,350. My business, like my art, is a handled with the utmost love. I have liability insurance, flawless data management (It is impossible for anything to ever be lost), and back up gear for worst-case scenarios. If you hire me, you are making an investment in art, but also in the security that your photographs will come out perfectly, and last forever.

 

 


 

 

 

INDUSTRY INSIDER & PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTOR

Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ has been my home away from home for the past 6 years. It’s rare to call a place of work, a home, but I love my job. I am not bragging about the company because I work there full time. If I had a job I didn’t like, I wouldn’t talk about it, on my personal website. Unique Photo is run by smart, passionate, family-oriented, and intense people. They challenge me to work hard, and keep me on my toes. I have worked in a variety of positions, and I currently work in sales and education.

If you’re in the market for a camera, please reach out to me, mikez@uniquephoto.com. I want you to pay me to take your pictures, but I am also happy to help you pick out the best camera for your needs, and share my knowledge and teach you how to capture your own memories as well.

 

Teaching a night photography workshop in 2012

Teaching a night photography workshop in 2012


Living the dream, photographing landscapes in the Arctic Circle

Living the dream, photographing landscapes in the Arctic Circle

Take me to Tromsø.

Travelling the world is a new passion of mine, and hopefully one day it will be a way of life, intertwined with my career in photography. Over the last 12 months I have traveled on two photographic excursions to chase the Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway. The first time was with a large group, and my mother was with me. Seeing the Northern Lights was a dream of hers, from a young age. This made our trip extra special, and something I will cherish forever. I returned to Tromsø only three months later with a small group of seasoned Arctic travelers. Both trips taught me a lot of about photographing in challenging conditions, and the virtue of patience. Sometimes it takes many hours of waiting for only minutes of strong Northern Lights. Yet it is always worth it and the adrenaline rush of seeing the Lights, never wanes, even after multiple viewings.

In October 2016 I am mai Tromsø isn't that cold because of the gulfstream effect, but it is nearly always cloudy and there will only be a few hours of daylight. We travel for one week, but there is no guarantee of seeing the Northern Lights. However, we travel with some of the leading experts on the Northern Lights, which gives us the best possible chance of seeing the Aurora.  Here's where you can sign up if you would like to join us.

 


The Joy of Good Food

When I’m not using a camera, chasing the Northern Lights, or discussing the business of camera equipment, you can find me in the kitchen. Growing up as a kid, I never learned to cook and for some reason I recently found this to be embarrassing. So I have dedicated the past year of my life to becoming a proficient and creative cook. It is nice to have another creative outlet, since so  much of my life revolves around cameras and photography. Almost all of my dishes start with olive oil, and marinated pork chops are my favorite item to grill.

While I usually cook my own meals, I am still a sucker for an awesome restaurant. Food is a universal language and sharing a meal with someone is a great way to bond with people. This is why I like to meet my prospective clients over a nice meal. Here are some of my favorite places to grab a bite to eat.

  1. UPSTAIRS (MONTCLAIR, NJ)
  2. The Wood Pit (MONTCLAIR, NJ)
  3. Abbondanza (JERSEY CITY, NJ)
  4. Macho Nacho (MORRISTOWN, NJ)
  5. Ah' Pizz (MONTCLAIR, NJ)
  6. Raymonds (MONTCLAIR, NJ)
  7. The Original Pancake House (WEST CALDWELL, NJ)
  8. Zeppelin Hall (JERSEY CITY, NJ)
Some of my food creations. The Pizza (Gencarelli's) and Donuts (Montclair Bread Company) aren't my own, but just really tasty and deserved to be mentioned!

Some of my food creations. The Pizza (Gencarelli's) and Donuts (Montclair Bread Company) aren't my own, but just really tasty and deserved to be mentioned!


mikezportrait.jpg

My roots in large format film photography help define who I am as a person and as a photographer. I spent many red-eyed hours in the Montclair State (BFA, 2010) darkroom laboring over prints and building bonds with now life-long friends. From time to time I still use a 4x5 monorail camera for portraits or landscape photography.  I am a sucker for anything historical and romantic, so large format cameras fit the bill. During my college years at Montclair State I was able to intern for Bill Westheimer, a photographic artist who specializes in conceptual work and historical photographic processes such as tintypes. 

American History, especially the 19th Century, also fascinates me. Photography was invented in the mid-19th Century, and was used to document the Civil War, one of the most important events in our country’s history. There is no doubt that my affinity for this dynamic period plays a major role in my interest in photography and period artwork.


Photograph Everything!

Outside of occasionally impressing family and friends with a delicious meal, I don't have many hobbies outside of photography. My life is photography, so even outside of professional work, it is my #1 hobby as well. I try to involved photography in any other ventures or interests I have. I don't play an instrument, but I do enjoy a variety of kind of music., You can follow what I listen to on Spotify. During the Summer of 2014, I spent many weekends photographing music festivals like TomorrowWolrd, Moonrise, and Mysteryland for Dancing Astronaut. 

If you like talking sports, I can do that too. Sports photography was one of my first passions, but the daily grind and rigorous travel schedule were not for me. Though from time to time I still manage to grab a press pass through Unique Photo, and enjoy taking sports photographs for fun.

When it comes down to it, I like to photograph everything besides jewelry, because that just isn't fun to me. Though I do give those guys and gals a lot of credit. Really tough work that my personality isn't cut out for. 

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me a little bit here, and if you want to get me more, use my contact form to get in touch!