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)


Welcome Madeline Elise!

Posted in Personal, Portraits by Michael on March 15, 2014

Elise and I welcomed a new baby girl to our family last week, Madeline. We had a beautifully sunny afternoon and I used the flood of light to take a few portraits of her.

Doritos Intervention

Posted in Personal, Video by Michael on March 15, 2014

I forgot to hit publish a while ago on this one.

Recently I was contacted to be a part of a submission for the Doritos “make our commercial” contest with a friend of mine, Mike Venetis. He had a script and was playing the role of director and producer and corralled a group of actors, gaffers, sound guys and videographers (I was one!) to shoot it. It was a great way to spend a Saturday. When we wrapped, I said if we don’t win, it will be because we don’t have kids and animals in the video. Low and behold, the winners had kids and animals. Maybe next year!

…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.

Honeymoon Video

Posted in Personal, Trips, Video by Michael on February 21, 2011

I’m not here to be an Apple fanboy but when I saw the release of the iPhone 4 with HD video and iMovie, I got excited. Almost immediately I had planned to make a movie of Elise and my honeymoon. I didn’t have a script or anything, I just took a video of something I liked or thought would be nice in the video and added to the timeline. It really was simple and I had the video finished before we boarded the plane to leave. All of the photos and videos (except the ones from the wedding, which I received on the phone by email) were taken on the phone and edited on the phone. No computer was ever used. Grab the popcorn and enjoy!

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/19505137]

-XO Mike

Holiday Portraits

Posted in Family, Personal, Portraits by Michael on February 21, 2011

Before Christmas my sister asked me to get a photo for their Christmas Card and to get some pictures of my new nephew William. Working with a 4-year-old, a 1 month old and an exhausted and unenthusiastic Pat made the shoot frustrating but there were some shots that I liked.

-XO Mike

I’m still alive!

Posted in Family, Passing Through, Personal, Trips by Michael on December 8, 2010

The chief prepares for his dance with fire.

I’m still alive despite not posting since mid-July. Life has been crazy preparing to and getting married, closing a business, starting a new job (and the preceding search), getting a new apartment and filling it with stuff like a bed, dressers and couch. The honeymoon was amazing and where most of these pictures came from. I’m doing a portrait session with my new nephew Will on Saturday and I’m nervous because I haven’t shot much recently and barely remember ISO and aperture (ok it’s not that bad).

Here’s a few more photos from stuff that I liked (although I can see my decline in skill). I’ve chosen to mostly just take the photo straight out of the camera so there’s minimal editing on these.

Not purposeful but kind of cool looking. I was switching from portrait to landscape while on a slow shutter.

-XO Mike

Click your IT

Posted in Personal, Portraits by Michael on July 14, 2010

If you haven’t heard by now, I’m starting on site computer support business serving small businesses in the western suburbs. I registered with the county, state and US and I’m just waiting on some business cards at the moment. I spent some time today at my dad’s house using his office as a set for a couple of advertising photos. Getting two strobes situated without catching a reflection off of a glass case behind the desk was a struggle but it turned out. I also was model and camera man so the post processing was a bit more necessary than I think it would have if I were 100% operating the camera and not using a remote.

If you have any computer support needs or leads give me a call! (630) 589-9954 http://www.clickyourit.com

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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