Meet the Writers of ImprovePhotography.com

Andy Perkins

The Matriarch

I am primarily a hobbyist photographer from Indiana, though I also am available for real estate and commercial photography at www.atlasphotoguy.com. Landscape and nature photography are great ways to be out in nature with a purpose. I really don’t see the point of taking a vacation—or even a long weekend–without a camera. I’d like to see every National Park in the U.S. at least once, which means I have a lot of work to do.

Flickr: www.flickr.com/atlasphotoguy. Instagram: www.instagram.com/atlasphotoguy (@atlasphotoguy)

Michael Allie

I bought my first SLR camera at an auction while I was in college and have enjoyed photography ever since.  My interest increased dramatically once digital cameras arrived.  Now I could do my own “digital darkroom” and also get results instantly.

I spent several years doing wedding photography, but mostly enjoy travel, landscape, and nature photography as a hobby.

Bastian Bodyl

Back in 2010 I saw an ad for an EOS 500D/Rebel T1i and was thinking with a good camera I could take good pictures. After a few weeks of frustration, I thought I can do this better. This was the start of my new passion. While searching tips to improve my photography I have found this website and podcast.

Photography is at the moment only a hobby for me. I love to be creative and trying different things like landscapes, wildlife, portraits or sports. I am also experimenting with different smaller cameras like my GoPro and making creative pictures.

On the weekends, I hike in the Swiss Alps near my home with my camera. English is not my first language and you may find some words which will not fit or mistakes in my articles.

Some of my pictures: www.bastianbodyl.com.  More of my pictures: www.instagram.com/b_bodyl

Alex Lawson

When I picked up my first DSLR camera I was being a cheapskate, I'll admit. At the time it was cheaper to buy a Canon Rebel T6 with a couple of kit lenses and watch some YouTube videos than it was to pay a professional photographer to get Christmas card photos. I thought, “How hard could it really be?” I learned two things that year: First, it's not as easy as it looks to create great images. Second, I love the way it feels to take a great photo.

Today I am a full-time photographer specializing in fine art, portrait, commercial, and real estate photography. While I do run a thriving portrait and fine art business a large portion of my commercial work is actually devoted to photographing horses. My lovely wife, Tessa, is a professional horse trainer and I find myself photographing horses more often than anything else. They are magnificent creatures and I absolutely love producing wall-worthy imagery of people's horses. It is such a joy to know that there are families gathering in their homes around pieces of art that I had the honor of creating for them.

As a small business owner married to another small business owner I know how scary photography can be when we depend on it to feed our families. That is why I have such a passion for sharing my experiences with the readers of Improve Photography. Nothing I write for this site is speculative or theoretical – it's all from personal experience and (more often than not) from learning things the hard way. When I first stepped out and took my photography business full-time Improve Photography was instrumental in my learning. My only hope is that someday I will put something out on the Improve Photography network that helps build somebody else's business up as much as mine has been built up by the other contributors at Improve Photography.

You can find my work at www.AlexLawsonPhotography.com, or you can follow me at www.facebook.com/AlexLawsonPhotography.

Brad Goetsch

I am a photographer based in Omaha, Nebraska. I have had a passion for photography since I was a child and I found my dad's Canon AE-1 in the garage. I wish I knew what happened to that camera. I recall never being able to go on a family trip without having a camera handy. Photography is a part time passion of mine and I really enjoy teaching and leading workshops. My photographic specialty is primarily in landscape and astrophotography, which has been the subject of my workshops. I also do a lot of sports photography, golf specifically. I was never big on portraits until the arrival of my children and now I love taking their portraits and documenting the changes!

My full-time career is also in teaching. I am the instruction coordinator for the PGA Golf Management Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I design and teach coursework focused on preparing people for successful careers within the golf industry. I am also a member of the PGA of America. I hold a firm belief that people should be able to pursue their passions as a way to make a living. I was able to really tie my photography passion to my golf passion this past summer when I had the chance to photograph the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.

I can be found on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/bradgoetschphotography/ or on Instagram: @bunkershotsphotography. My website is: www.bunkershotsphotography.com

Brenda Petrella

Swim ladder on Slang Pond, Adirondacks, NY (c) Brenda Petrella Photography

I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast my entire life. I am a much happier person when I’ve been able to spend time outside whether it’s to hike, bike, camp, paddle, walk my dogs, or take care of my pet cows (yes, cows! it’s a long story…). I live in the beautiful state of Vermont, where I enjoy being active in the small town community vibe and indulging in great Vermont microbrews and locally grown food. I’m on the board of directors of two local non-profit organizations that promote outdoor recreation, rural communities, and working landscapes. I use my photography as a way to inspire others to take the time to reconnect with our natural world. I believe that connection is vitally important to our sustainable future (that’s the conservationist in me talking…).

Before photography, I was a principle research investigator studying the molecular pathways of kidney cancer. Then, I was a biosafety professional and a lab sustainability manager. While I will always be a scientist at heart, these careers kept me from what I loved the most, which was to spend time in nature. Photography has always been a passion of mine, and I’m really excited to now be able to pursue it full time and also contribute to the awesome Improve Photography community.  Most of my photography is focused on landscape and nature, but I also enjoy the built environment, black & white, animal portraits, and natural abstracts.

View my portfolio at: brendapetrella.com. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Brent Huntley

I have been writing articles for Improve Photography for almost two years now, after I attended my first Improve Photography workshop in Zion National Park in 2015.  I have some kind of camera for as long as I can remember.  I got my first SLR camera for an eighth grade photography class, after which I spent two years developing film in a darkroom.  I remember an assignment where we made poster boards with magazine cutouts of what we wanted to photograph.  I was surprised when everyone else had fashion magazine cut outs and all my images came from National Geographic.  Photographing people never even crossed my mind.  I still predominantly shoot landscapes and travel photography.  Travel is a big part of my life and my wife and I have been to nearly 30 different countries.

Unfortunately, I don't have nearly the time for photography I would like as my real job keeps me extremely busy.  I am a partner at a Las Vegas full-service law firm, where I primarily practice labor law and litigation.  The most important things in my life are my wife of over 10 years and our two girls.  My four-year old steals my camera whenever she can and has actually created some pretty impressive images.  I am always up for working with others and appreciate the excuse to get out and shoot so get in touch if you are ever in the Las Vegas area and I will go shoot with you.

See my website, where I share my personal work, travel tips and location spotlights: Photography and Travel. Follow my Instragram here: Brent Huntley. Follow me on Facebook here: Brent Huntley.

Christopher Mowers

I am a hobbyist photographer from Howell, MI. I grew up shooting cheap film cameras, and got my first DSLR in 2012. I spend most of my photography time working with creative flash effects, shooting with various impressionistic techniques, or shooting travel photography.

Travel photography in particular is a big passion of mine. My wife, Ashleigh, and I spend most of our free time traveling to photograph new and favorite photo destinations. Being Michigan natives, we really love any opportunity we can get to shoot Michigan’s spectacular Great Lakes dunes, beaches, and cliffs.

As I mentioned, I dabble in impressionistic photography. I use both in camera techniques and post-processing techniques. The age of the impressionists is my favorite period of western visual art, and I would love to aid any photographer who may see that there are alternatives to the standard photography aesthetic.

My major photo project at the moment is called Guided Photography Tours; we are aiming to provide free and paid photo tours of sites in Michigan and beyond. Check us out at guidedphoto.com and our Facebook page.

Additionally, my wife and I write about our photo travels at goseedophotos.com and you can follow me on Instagram @goseedophoto_chris.

Deb Mitzel

Portrait by Deb Mitzel Photography

I am a portrait photographer based in the beautiful lakes area of Minnesota. My journey into photography started at a young age – I was always “the one with the camera”. I even took a photography class in college, but becoming a professional photographer never crossed my mind. My photography hobby took a back seat to life for a number of years, but was rekindled about ten years ago when I found myself working insane hours at my day job. I needed to find some balance in my life, so I enrolled in a weekend photography workshop.

That workshop reignited my photography passion and set me on a course to rediscover the manual settings on my camera and the joy of creating a beautiful image. I quickly realized I had a lot more to learn, though, and found all the resources at Improve Photography. I was  shooting flowers, wildlife, and sunsets at the time, but a “photo shoot” on a whim with my teenage nieces helped me discover my passion for portrait photography. There is just something about the one on one interaction with my subjects – it’s a feeling I can’t explain, but I absolutely love it, and can’t imagine going back to my life without portrait photography in it. By day, you’ll still find me at my day job, but nights and weekends are spent pursuing my photography passion.

See more about my business and portfolio at www.debmitzelphotography.com.
Follow me on Instagram at @dmitzphoto or Facebook at Deb Mitzel Photography.

Jim Harmer

I own the Improve Photography website, which I started back in 2009.  I went to law school and became a lawyer, but by that time Improve Photography had really taken off, and I made the career change to full-time photographer.  I've never looked back.  I'm really grateful for the awesome community we have here at Improve Photography.  Thank you to the millions of people who come to this site and enjoy the content that this team puts out for you.

Improve Photography has given me incredible opportunities to travel the world shooting photos with readers of the site, to be named one of the top 40 most popular photographers on the web, to have my photos on magazine covers, and to host the Improve Photography Podcast.  Thank you all for your support!

To dive into Improve Photography more, download the Improve Photography Podcast on your phone, and check out ImprovePhotographyPlus where you can get all the trainings that Improve Photography produces.

Julian Baird

I'm a UK based landscape photographer with a passion for the outdoors.  You'll find me wandering Dartmoor, exploring the Cornish coast, or even walking in the Highlands of Scotland.  As you might imagine I get to see some of the most dramatic landscapes in the UK and I am driven to photograph them.  That drive often means very early mornings, or late nights, but armed with camera, a flask of coffee and real sense of adventure there is no other place I would rather be.

My passion for photography doesn't end there though.  After it gets dark you'll find me photographing the local live music scene.  It's very different from my landscape work, but just as satisfying and challenging!

Check out my landscape photography YouTube channel at:  youtube.com/jbairdexp.  See my portfolios and all my social media links at:  julianbaird.me (landscape photography) and julianbaird.com (live music photography)

Kevin D. Jordan

I picked up my first DSLR back in 2011 when I began to travel.  It didn't take long before I realized that a main focus of those travels became capturing the places I was visiting through my viewfinder.  And once I learned that I could use my camera to capture the night sky in my photos, I was completely hooked.  Since that realization, I have traveled around the United States and the world chasing dark skies, seeing awe-inspiring landscapes, and planning my free time around moon phases, which is definitely a totally normal thing for a person to do.  Some of my fondest memories are one's that I never would have experienced if it were not for my love of photography.

See my portfolio at www.KevinDJordan.com, and follow my on Facebook and Instagram for my newest work and updates.

Kirk Bergman

I distinctly remember the first time I fell in love with photography.  My dad let me use his Minolta film camera to take a photo of a waterfall, or a rock, or some dirt, or something of the sort on a family vacation.  It was the sound of the shutter snapping as I took the photo that hooked me. I was probably only 10 years old at the time.  I took a few photography classes in high school and with the help of an amazing photography teacher, found my love for photography.  My hobby sat on the shelf for a few years after I had my first serious DSLR stolen.  It was when I got a Canon Rebel T2i as a Secret Santa present from a stranger that I decided I wasn't going to let it degrade into nothingness like so many other things I tried (aquascaping, for one).  A quick Google search of “photography podcasts” lead me to Improve Photography.  My photography journey helped me craft an eye for landscapes and architecture and start a real estate photography business in my hometown of Salt Lake City.

See my portfolio at: www.kirkbergmanphotography.com.  Follow me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/kirkbergmanphotography.  Check out my real estate photography business at: www.agyntstudio.com

Matt Gavin

I love photography.  My obsession started in 2013 when the imminent arrival of my first born child made me realise that I wanted to take ‘good pictures' of him.  Hence the need for a ‘good camera'.  That will do it!!  Little did I know the immersive journey of learning this craft would take me on.  it has been my passion ever since.

I am based in the UK and work as a Mechanical Engineer by day.  The rest of time is spent with my family or studying photography.  I am really a hobbyist but have done quite a lot of paid work.   I love all kinds of photography and spend a lot of time working on landscapes, portraits, family shoots and weddings.  I love interacting with people and find that working with people in photography is the most rewarding and interesting.

My link to Improve Photography started, like many of you, listening to podcasts, reading articles and watching videos.  It wasn't until I took the plunge and went on an Improve Photography meetup with Jim Harmer in Northern Ireland, that I started working on articles for the site.

You can view my work at the website for my photography business, 54 Photography or through my Facebook Page (please follow as I would really appreciate the support).

I love talking about anything photography and hearing other peoples views so feel free to comment on my articles and start the conversation.

Nathan St. Andre

I am Improve Photography's desert rat and photography booth seller. I grew up in the Southwest and have spent much of my existence in Utah. I currently work with wildlife for my day job and can be most often found knee deep in water or the nastiest pool of muck imaginable. Outside of my wet “cozy” day job I can be found exploring and photographing the southwest.

I began my journey into photograph through a hiking blog I founded in 2012 which eventually carried me into the world of landscape photography. Unlike many of the other hosts, my entire experience of photography has solely revolved around the deserts of the Colorado Plateau. My favorite region is Escalante National Monument which has almost everything one would ever want. My favorite subjects are slot canyons and box canyons as they provide fun challenging lighting, but exceptional beauty.

My work can be found at StandrePhotography.com. You can also check out my old hiking blog at southernutahhiking.wordpress.com

Michael Allen

Straight Skinny
Straight Skinny at House of Blues Chicago

 

I am a Chicago based photographer (well, suburbs really), who thrives on event photography – MAllenPhotos is my website. Concerts and weddings are my bread and butter, but I also work with schools and companies to help capture their fancy dos. I'm currently engaged with schooling – working to complete my bachelor's degree, with a hope of eventual master's and possibly doctoral work, in the field of fine art photography.

The camera is my brush, the light my paint.

I teach, but my hope is more that I would inspire and challenge. I play music. I write. If you were to inquire of me things medicinal or geographical, I'd undoubtedly leave you wanting; ask me about art or music and I will assault you with an aural avalanche of overwhelming proportions. I opine and debate – not to proselytize but to discourse. Education and discussion are my largest passions, and art (especially photography) is the vehicle with which I endeavor toward these goals.

I struggle with consistent social media use, but if you are an Instagram user, feel free to follow me on my journey of life! @mikeyallen87

Rick McEvoy

Bodeaux Cathedral interior by Rick McEvoy Photography
The spectacular interior of Bordeaux Cathedral. showing the incredible detailing and scale

I am an architectural photographer based in the lovely county of Dorset in England. I have been into photography since the age of about 13, when my parents bought me my first SLR (A Fuji ST of some sort I seem to remember) – film that is. I am old enough to remember film cameras and the days when we did not have the internet or mobile phones.

I used to have a darkroom in the utility room, placing my enlarger on the chest freezer. I had to turn the freezer off every time I made a print. I don’t think I told my Mum and Dad about this. I worked ever so hard on producing my own prints, spending hours and hours producing quite frankly a load of rubbish. So I smile when I hear all these people talking about the romance of film. That is not how I remembered it!

I have worked in construction all my life, so combining my knowledge of buildings with my photography naturally led me down the architectural photographer route. I use Canon DSLRs and lenses (no film cameras).

I specialise in architectural photography – well anything to do with buildings, and extend this to industrial and commercial photography which have similar requirements – stationery subjects, no people, no animals. I also enjoy landscape and travel photography.

My dream job is photographing buildings in nice places, which I am still working on.

My first article will be published on Improve Photography next week – it is titled “Want to be an architectural photographer? Read my guide here” and is the first in a series of articles I am writing about the thing I know best.

My website is Rick McEvoy Photography, and I have a daily photography blog which you can read here. You can also follow me on twitter where I am @rickphoto.

Rick Ohnsman

The camas blooms each spring on the Centennial Marsh near Fairfield, Idaho – Photo by Rick Ohnsman

It's not just a hobby… It's an Adventure!

That's how I feel about photography. My camera takes me to new places, shows me new sights and most of all, allows me to express my personal vision of the world. From high school in the 70's with my first camera, a  Hanimex Practica Nova 1B and a darkroom in the garage, college work with 4×5 view cameras and working as a photographer for my college newspaper, through Kodachrome slides and then on to the digital age I've pursued photography for over 45 years.  I was also the Public Information Officer for the Idaho State Police for 28 years and frequently used photography in my work.

I'm an enthusiastic member of the Boise Camera Club where I enjoy pursuing our common passion with fellow photographers and also teaching new members.  In fact, it was when Jim Harmer spoke at a club presentation I met first him and became acquainted with Improve Photography.

Check out some of my favorite shots on my 500px site!

Rusty Parkhurst

I am a hobbyist photographer based in the Midwestern United States, or what is sometimes affectionately referred to as ‘flyover country’.  Photography has always been a passion, but I didn’t actually realize that until about five years ago.  That's when I purchased my first ‘real' camera, thinking that I would be able to take some amazing pictures.  I soon realized there was much more to it than that.  I began to immerse myself in as much photo geekery as possible, learning all I could about the magical image-making boxes we call cameras and how to use them.  I enjoy shooting just about anything and welcome the creative challenges of all photography genres.  However, my primary interests are landscape and nature photography, with a side order of astrophotography.  Wandering dense forests, alpine meadows, desert canyons, or other paths less traveled, is where I prefer to spend my time.  

Read more about my photography and see my portfolio at: www.rustyparkhurst.com.  Follow me on Instagram at: www.instagram.com/rustyparkhurst

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