MSP Seven Year Anniversary this May

websfrontpage03One of my first online advertisements for my business, branded with (if I remember right) my second website attempt.  Still broke at this point (still broke now) I was working off free web hosting; which is a really inefficient way to run a business, no doubt.  We make do with what we can though and work for better day’s.

Look at me, you can tell something is missing from my life.

In 2008 I was returning home from living in Portland, OR for under a year.  I was without a job, without much savings in the bank and most my friends had moved away while I was gone.

This wasn’t the end of the world though.  I had enough to survive while I looked for new work, and you can always make new friends.


2008, canon powershot. Portland, OR.

By April I had created a new circle, new memories and somehow forgot to really look for work, but the matter couldn’t be ignored for much longer.  Then one of my new friends got a hold of me in a desperate situation. He needed dental surgery or face severe medical consequences.  He had six months previous purchased a new Canon EOS Rebel xti.  Still owing about a grand on it (apparently his dentist doesn’t take credit) he needed the cash and sold it to me for $300.00 which at this time was a steal as it was still one of the newest models for hobbyist photographers.  This was the rekindling of an old obsession.  I quickly set to work to learn everything I could about the new camera, having only dealt with SLR’s or digital point and shoots previously.


My first paid shoot in 2008, October.

It was like I was in high school again with my first Kodak dock digi point and shoot.  I was taking pictures of everyone, all the time, everywhere.  I was taking four hour drives around the state looking for new things to shoot, often finding nothing all that inspiring.  Looking back now I could have assigned all sorts of limitations to a day to create inspiring from nothing, but live and learn.  These habits could also be to blame for my being broke, it was a hard decision as to whether to invest in gas to find shots or invest in building branding.


One of my first landscape shots, hand held before I realized the importance of a tri-pod for even the fastest speeds.

I can admit I guiltily got swept up in all the crazy lightroom editing trends.  Over processing my way to embarrassment before I came closer to my artistic center and leveled out.  Although it didn’t take me long to level on my portrait work; I struggled with mastering my saturation / contrast with landscapes for a little while.


When I started to get a better feel for my lenses and landscapes.

There was also the issue of equipment, it took me awhile to build the things I needed for the variety of genre’s I had planned to attack.  I got plenty of bad advice along the way, a regular lewis carol adventure navigating the photography world.  I am still recovering from some of the bad advice as it linked directly into important gear like lenses.  I will bounce back one day and in the meantime people seem slightly impressed with what I have managed to do with what I have.  I find those to be some of the greatest compliments.


My second paid shoot. This family was one of my best clients until they moved.

My progress has been slow although my learning came quickly and continues.  Sometimes it surprises me how many styles I have been through, and some I wonder why I left behind. HDR might have been one of the hardest styles to perfect and I don’t think I’m there yet, though I am a lot closer than I was year’s ago.  I thought after already purchasing Photoshop that I would have to buy separate software good for HDR editing.  Thankfully I was wrong and found a good process with photoshop HDR editing.  A process previously shared in the blog.


Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.


Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.


Mid 2009 portrait / documentary style series for a musician.


Shot 2010 in Monette, AR. First HDR edit, blown out and over saturated. Previous my learning proper HDR editing in PS.

Shot from 2010 in Monette, AR.   Second edit in 2012 after learning new HDR process.

Shot from 2010 in Monette, AR.
Second edit in 2012 after learning new HDR process.

I know seven years isn’t a special milestone or anything but it seems unreal to me that this much time has already passed.  I guess when you look at my work though it’s easier to believe.


My first clone shot attempt in 2010. Howell, MI


A few months into my clone adventures, Oct. 2010 at Cass Tech High School – Detroit, MI


My clones got attention. Violin Monster wanted to be cloned / shot by me in 2012, Ann Arbor, MI


I wouldn’t have gotten a lot of my practice out of the way without these two. Clone shot 2012, Summer, Linden, MI


Night time clone shots in Ann Arbor, summer 2012.


2011 self portrait clone, Brighton, MI


Self portrait clone, 2012 Summer

Seems like 2013 was the first year since I started clones that I haven’t done any.  It was a busy office year on top of a ton of personal things happening, I am hoping to get back on my photography game in 2014.

At least in 2013 I still worked on general portrait work.

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Thinking about doing something special for MSP seven year anniversary, not sure yet.  Maybe I should just wait until I reach ten years, if we make it.  Here’s hoping.


First Attempt: Fail

Found via google search for Geminid Meteor shower 2012.

Unfortunately I was unable to capture the meteor shower that peaked between 2-4 am this morning.  I got to see it with my own eyes at least, but it seemed that each time one flew by my camera was processing it’s previous image vs. recording.

For me it wasn’t meant to be this time.  I had a feeling my timing would be off for my first go at capturing something like this.

Did any other first time shooters have any better luck?  Let me know, post your results!

Anyone have any results from this morning’s awesomeness?  Please share!

Don’t Miss the Geminid Meteor Shower


I have been looking forward to this for awhile now, about a month ago really when I saw this graphic pop up in one of my science feeds on FB.

“ reports viewers can begin to watch the Geminids starting at 9 or 10 p.m. on Thursday. The peak will likely be between 1 to 3 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. That’s when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world.” – from the Fenton Patch.

I have some office work to do tonight but plan on setting my camera up in my backyard.  We have clear skies here tonight and I live in the country so I have a nice night sky view without distracting lights.

Please feel free to leave your photo’s the shower in the comments!

Stay tuned hopefully for photo’s of the Geminid Meteor Shower from MSP.  I will try my best, it will be my first go at capturing something like this.

Monster Bash in A2


The Violin Monster is preparing to head off on his winter journey; this year this will also mark the release of his first CD.

He is throwing a CD Release party in Ann Arbor, MI.  For the FB event page click link.


Join him in celebration or stay tuned for MSP coverage of the event.

Facebook Fanpage 500 Fans Giveaway

  • Must be a fan of the MSP fanpage to qualify for entry in giveaway.
  • Suggested that you add MSP fan page to your interests lists.  This way you won’t miss the announcement of when the giveaway starts after the 500 fan mark is met.  You must comment on the status announcing the giveaway to enter yourself for the drawing.
  • Drawings are vlogged two weeks after status announcement and posted in blog.  Link to vlog entry will be posted on MSP fan page.  (Another reason to have it on your interest lists so it appears in your feed and you don’t miss it.  With those continuous updates from FB, fan pages no longer appear in your home feed unless you add them to your interest list, example depicted above).
  • Print comes w/ black matboard.
  • Shipped to your home or address of choice in boutique packaging with surprise freebies inside!

Stay tuned for more giveaway information, shooting & editing tips.  As always thank you for your time and attention.

MSP Holiday Portrait Mini Sessions.

The holiday season is a time for giving, and all that giving can leave your wallets pretty empty.  People love to send end of the year greeting cards to friends and family with photo’s and a small insert catching them up on the years events.  Sometimes they just want digital copies for an e-letter.

Whatever your reasons I have seasonal savings on quality portrait sessions.

Location still to be determined though I am aiming for space in the Linden / Argentine area.

I need at least six bookings to make this event spectacular for everyone, max 13 time slots available.  Sessions are twenty-five minutes long.  Book your time slot today before they fill up!

For more details, please read graphic below.  Click on image to see in it’s full size, isolated in a new window.

To claim your time slot call 530-633-7440 or email

If you’re going to participate in this event and are not a fan of the MSP FB fan page then you may want direct yourself towards this post and read the benefits available to fans of the MSP FB fan page.  You will find savings that can be applied to your session or print package order.

Stay tuned for more MSP updates as well as shooting & editing tips.  As always thank you for your time and attention.