XO Mike

Mother’s Day 2014

Posted in Events, Family, Personal by Michael on May 31, 2014


Just a few I enjoyed from Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day 2014 (1 of 8)


Mother's Day 2014 (2 of 8)


Mother's Day 2014 (5 of 8)


Mother's Day 2014 (7 of 8)


…And We’re Back

Posted in Events, Family, Personal by Michael on July 8, 2013

It has been quite some time since my last post and I think I finally know why. After leaving the Daily Illini, taking photos changed a lot. I no longer had assignments, no reason to bring my camera, no reason to get in people’s faces, and finally, a good reason to stop living behind some glass.

I brought my camera to my company’s Farm Party a few weeks ago and had an absolute blast enjoying time with my family, co-workers and friends but also enjoying taking photos that pleased me. In the past, I felt a need to critique my work and worried about how others would critique it which took away the fun of shooting. That day for the first time I was taking photos for me and it was an absolute blast! Enjoy some shots since then:

Pat and Meredith

Ethan and Alex


Shannon and Michael




Happy Fourth

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Easter 2011

Posted in Events, Family, Personal, Video by Michael on April 30, 2011

For the last three years my dad has dressed as the Easter Bunny and tried to surprise Reaghan. She would have none of it; she wouldn’t go near him, wouldn’t want to be in the same room and hardly even look at him. We heard her say something to the effect of, ‘I think it’s just a man dressed up.’ We thought we could make the day more enjoyable by showing off the real Easter Bunny. I wasn’t quite ready for the impromptu reveal but I managed to put together this quick video.

Celebrating Stateside this Year

Posted in Events, Family, Personal by Michael on July 6, 2010

Last year I celebrated the 4th in São Tomé. It was fun but not the same. This year I went to Na’s with Elise for the weekend. Saturday, many of us went to Ravinia to see a live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. It was very nostalgic to sit out on the grass listening to a radio show and having a picnic. Reaghan accidently posed perfectly to show off a bit of Radio Flyer Americana before we went home to prepare for the 4th. At Na’s we setup a huge feast for about 20 people including burgers taller than your fist. After eating we went on her balcony where you can clearly see Oak Park and Forest Park fireworks and you can see about 3-4 other cities barely over the trees. Sparklers were in huge supply and we had a great time.

I exclusively used my 50D, 14mm and 50mm lenses this weekend because my dad was using his equipment in DC. It took a bit to get back into the swing, partly because I was used to the 5D and partly because I haven’t shot in a while. I forgot how much fun it is and I enjoyed the challenge of using just two primes on a cropped body in the dark.

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-XO Mike

First Wedding

Posted in Events, Personal, Portraits by Michael on June 11, 2010

As mentioned in other posts, I did my first wedding shoot a few weeks ago. The day went pretty smooth aside from people showing up insanely late. I was surprised how many good shots I got and was glad to send the couple about 200 images of their wedding. I need to work on using a hotshoe flash because I used it the entire time at the reception because of the poor which I did not expect, however, my eneloop rechargeable batteries lasted longer and with more power than I expected. I’m quite pleased with that buy.

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-XO Mike

Final California Shots

Posted in Events, Personal, Trips by Michael on May 26, 2010

The view from a trail near Palo Alto.

Another view from a trail near Palo Alto.

The Zipper. Quite a scary ride.

I have a good amount of saturation in these images but I kind of like it as a change of pace. Not for everything but kind of fun.

-XO Mike

Puppy! (and redwoods)

Posted in Events, Personal, Trips by Michael on May 25, 2010


Yup, that headline was just to lure you in. I made it up to Sacramento/Folsom yesterday and Hillary, BJ, their dog Trudy and I went over to Montgomery Woods to take a walk with the redwoods. We took some glamor shots of Trudy and had some fun hiking through the forest. Here are a bunch more shots from the trip. Beautiful landscape.

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-XO Mike


Posted in Events, Personal, Portraits by Michael on May 15, 2010

Elise Nieman in front of Altgeld Hall.

After 18 or 19 years of school (including preschool) I’m finally done! In order to skip disgustingly long lines today and tomorrow, Elise, Xing, Meeker and I went out to all the photo spots around campus and played around in our caps and gowns. I’m glad to be done but nervous about the next few months. Next week I’ll head to San Francisco and Sacramento to visit Chris and Hillary as a mini graduation present to myself. I say mini because travel and lodging will only cost $40 after my free mileage. After that I’m going to be finalizing the plans for my computer repair business and opening doors sometime in June. Wish me luck!

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-XO Mike

Stop Motion Driving

Posted in Events, Passing Through, Personal by Michael on May 13, 2010

Click and watch in HD, fullscreen

On the way back I asked Xing if he would help me do a stop motion project and he obviously agreed. We did half second shutters continuously while I drove around campus. We used about 750 frames for the video and the tune is Airplanes by B.o.B. Enjoy! Comments would be excellent!

-XO Mike

Riding the Rails

Posted in Events, Passing Through, Personal by Michael on May 13, 2010

Xing and I went out last night in trying to do some star trails. We realized there would be too much cloud cover but figured we could get some fun shots of trains at slow shutter speeds. There was only one train and neither of us really got something amazing. We drove around to some other spots and I grabbed the one above facing north on the tracks from Chicago to Carbondale. With the cloud cover and light pollution it almost looks like a sunrise and I love how much of a mirror the rails are. The one below is nothing great. I was checking to see how much flash power I would need because I was going to use a red gel (translucent red cellophane). Turns out that a 580exII at full power will melt the gel. Oops. Pic 3 related.

-XO Mike