Featured Photographer – Tony Baiardi

Tony Baiardi has been enjoying photography for 47 years. He started with his first camera as an eight years old. For the past 25 years, he has been using Canon cameras – first film then digital. Tony self-taught and then began taking digital photography classes to master the art of digital photography and photoshop. Tony says, “I use mac, photoshop CS6, and am able to do about anything. I try to keep my work as is out of the camera, but sometimes on site that one shot you want needs a bit of tweaking, with a full size sensor unit, clear crisp shot, well lit, you can do about anything you need.”

Photography is both a hobby and a profession for Tony. “What started as a hobby many years ago has been a job for some time now. Hard to call it work, though weddings and up-front paid shoots definitely are work. Very stressful if you’re a perfectionist as I tend to think I am. Landscapes are often wet, freezing, windy, countless hours in the field, but I truly love the result. Very seldom do I go to a location and come home without one wall hanger.” Tony always has a camera with him while on the road, but must be moved to take the shot. Tony’s favorite things to photograph are, nature, kids and babies, glamour, and sporting events. Tony also photographs weddings, high school seniors and commercial work. Tony also does photo touch-ups and complete photo restorations.

LAKE TOPAZ self portrait

Cottage color 22x15

Mackinac winter street 2009

Tahquamenon Falls poster winner

Petoskey Pier fall18x12

Tony has been a home designer/builder for 37 years – all in Michigan. He has done projects from Mackinac Island to Northville (custom homes mostly with some commercial). Tony is married to a great gal, Denise, and they have two kids, Nicole and Richard. Tony also has two awesome grandkids, Sidney and Joe. Tony and Denise have a cottage up north off Burt Lake, which at times is Tony’s base for photography. Located 28 miles below the Mackinac Bridge – he has a great location. They have traveled on the great lakes at roughly the center of the state from east to west, all the area north on the water. Tony says, “We love the water and I will never leave this state just for that. The great lakes are priceless. We have traveled many areas around the world and I always love coming home.”

Tony’s favorite things about Michigan are, “The four seasons and water, the Great Lakes are priceless, and the fall colors are second to no other state. The Upper Peninsula has such great vast areas of nothing or nobody – total nature.” Tony also loves the sand dunes, mini mountains, rivers, golf, culture, restaurants, museums, copper mines, and the history on how our white pines were stripped from our soils to build USA.

Tony’s top 5 places to visit are:
1. The Great Lakes
2. Grand Marais Dunes
3. Two-tracking through the Huron mountains in the fall
4. Mackinac Island in the off-season
5. Isle Royale

To see more of Tony’s work, you can visit his website: http://imagesbyanthonynet.zenfolio.com/f537744488

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Featured Photographer – Lj Long

Lj Long has always enjoyed photography and had a dark room in his parents’ basement as a teenager. Years later, with the coming of digital photography, he has renewed his passion for photography. Lj uses Nikon equipment exclusively and is currently enrolled in The New York Institute of Photography. Although photography is currently a hobby that sells the occasional print, Lj aspires to grow into a business later in life. Lj’s favorite things to photograph are nature, anything around the lake (Gun Lake) is good, Lake Michigan, lighthouses, beaches, motorsports, cars, and bikes. Lj had a blast with fall foliage last year and also enjoys photographing bikes racing on the frozen lake.

Gun Lake Studio - Lj Long

Gun Lake Studio - Lj Long 2

Currently, Lj’s full time job is working as a Field Service Representative for Square D Services, a nationwide service company in the Electrical Industry. Lj specializes in power distribution equipment, “things like transformers, switchgear, circuit breakers and other fun stuff like that. My job affords me a great deal of travel around the state which is good for my hobby. Other hobbies include British sports cars. I restored an old Triumph which is a lot of fun. Naturally, living on the lake pretty much demands that you enjoy everything about it all summer long [including] boats, swimming, and time with friends.”

Lj’s favorite thing about Michigan is the abundance that Michigan offers. It has everything anyone could ever want, four wonderful seasons, beautiful scenery, the lakes, and wonderful cities. “Lake Michigan is like going to the ocean, only better. The list goes on and on.” Lj describes Michigan, “Imagine a place with fresh water oceans, the most incredible dunes. Endless forests. Incredible inland lakes. Now picture a city that looks like it was ravaged by war, broken down abandoned buildings, burned out corpses of cars, urban blight and decay. All of these things offer incredible photo opportunities.”

Lj’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Detroit
2. Mackinac Island
3. Pictured Rocks Lakeshore
4. Silver lake
5. Grand Haven

You can view more of Lj’s beautiful work on his facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gun-Lake-Studio/165970600193597

Featured Photographer – Dee Maggio

Dee Maggio is no stranger to today’s economic struggles. After losing her job and her home in 2011, Dee has found renewed hope and strength in her photography. On December 25, 2011, Dee began photographing the animals that were in need of homes for non-profit animal rescues. Dee’s photos are used to help showcase the animals on PetFinder, Facebook, and other adoption websites. The area organizations have begun using these beautiful portraits on their marketing and promotional campaigns as well as calendars, note cards, t-shirts, and logos.

Dee says, “The response has been amazing, almost 500 of the pups I’ve photographed have been adopted (and many more are pending) in less than ten months! I share credit of these adoptions with the fosters and volunteers, the shelter staff, the cross-posters, it truly takes a village. Working with these pups is amazing. Finding a place to set up for a photo shoot in an overcrowded shelter is almost impossible. Other rescues that I’m working with are foster-based, which means rounding them all up for a photo shoot is difficult and finding a place to shoot, even more challenging. The stuff I haul to and from photo shoots is overwhelming. The work is really challenging, but I love it.”

Dee uses her Nikon for the animal photography, but also for photographing people, nature, the fall season, and she adores “rusty things.” Dee’s love of photography began as a child and many of her family photos do not include her since she was behind the camera. As a young girl, most of her babysitting money was spent on developing film.

Dee’s favorite thing about Michigan is Lake Michigan. Her top 5 places to visit are:
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and all of Leelanau Peninsula
2. Lighthouse hunting all along the coast of Lake Michigan (Little Sable Point is my favorite)
3. The little towns along the way for fabulous restaurants, art galleries and boutiques (oh, how I LOVE Leland and Pentwater!)
4. Central Michigan for the covered bridges
5. Detroit area is rich with history (the architecture alone!), Belle Isle, Henry Ford Museum, Fox Theatre, the Detroit Zoo, etc.

You can view Dee’s work or inquire about photography services at:
http://deemaggiophotography.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dee-Maggio-Photography/136248176432563

Featured Photographer – Neil Weaver

Twelve years ago, Neil Weaver ventured out to the lake with his 35mm camera. A few months later he purchased a Canon Rebel X and some Fujichrome Velvia 35mm slide film and fell in love with photography. In 2006, Neil reluctantly went to a digital SLR and became a believer almost immediately. Today, Neil uses a Nikon D300, go-to lenses include the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and Sigma 10-20mm and 70-200mm Lenses, and an Induro Tripod.

Neil is just as passionate about Michigan as he is about photography and he wants his photos to demonstrate that. Neil loves shooting wide sweeping landscape photos of our Great Lakes shorelines. “I am 100% self-taught, learning through trial and error and a lot of reading. One important thing I have learned is that you often have to experience some discomfort to get the best photos. What I mean by that is that I often get my best photos by getting out of bed early or staying out late past the sunset, shooting in freezing temperatures, standing in frigid water to get up close to a waterfall, or laying on my stomach in the wet grass to get the best angle.”

Regarding the choice to begin selling his prints, Neil said, “photography began as a hobby, but a few years ago I decided to start up a website and sell my prints and things went well. This year has been the best yet, even with the economy the way it is, more people are hanging my prints in their homes and offices. I love the business side of photography almost as much as taking the photos, I really enjoy working with customers.”

Neil was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie where he lived until 2005. Neil now lives in the capital area with his wife Kristina, two-year-old, Brady, and nine-month-old, Paige. Neil and his family love to travel all over our beautiful state and enjoy all it has to offer. Neil loves the diverse natural features in Michigan, its great lakes, thousands of inland lakes, beautiful rivers, dunes, sandy beaches, rocky shores, and waterfalls.

Neil’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Pictured Rocks
2. Porcupine Mountains
3. Sleeping Bear Dunes
4. Au Sable River
5. Ludington State Park

You can visit Neil’s website or facebook page to see many more of his beautiful images.

www.NeilWeaverPhotography.com
www.facebook.com/neilweaverphotography

Featured Photographer – Tim Thurman

Tim Thurman has been “playing” with cameras since he received his first camera at age 12. About ten years ago, the “playing” got more serious and about two and a half years ago he got the camera that he really wanted. Tim rarely leaves home without his camera, a Canon, and Canon and Sigma lenses. Tim’s favorite things to photograph are, “my kids, old buildings, cars, landscapes, and everyday objects most people are in too much of a hurry and pass up.”

Tim is often asked if he is a professional photographer. “I often ask back, ‘What makes one a professional?’ Most all say, ‘Have you ever sold any pictures?’ Yes, I have but I don’t think that makes me a professional.” Tim’s photography is both a hobby and a profession, but mainly a hobby.

When asked a bit more about himself, Tim answered, “I am 40 years old [with] two lovely daughters ages 10 and 17. [I’ve] lived in Michigan all my life. Hobbies are abundant – but to name a few, anything outdoors from fishing to off-roading, hiking to biking. Volunteering when I can with Offroad Clean-up and Trail Maintenance. I have worked with Conveyor Belting and Conveyors for more years than I can count.”

Tim’s favorite things about Michigan are, “Everything, from the woods to the water. From Lower Peninsula to the far North Upper Peninsula. The landscapes, the rich history of small towns to the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities. The people, Michiganders are one of a kind. Stubborn and yet always willing to give a hand. To tell stories of yesteryear.”

Tim’s top 5 places to visit are:
1. Henry Ford
2. The Great Lakes Circle Tour
3. Deep Woods
4. Two-Tracking in our Forests
5. Drummond Island

One last bit of advice from Tim:
“Go out, Bring the Camera, the Kids or Loved ones and have fun. To me, no such thing as a bad picture. :)”

To see more of Tim’s work, you can visit:
www.javatography.com
http://www.facebook.com/Javatography?fref=ts

Featured Photographer – Guy Strong

Guy Strong is a timelapse videographer and a soccer coach and has been taking pictures for 16 years. On a typical shoot, he takes 25,000 photos. In his free time, he takes photos as often as he can – depending on light and weather. In a perfect world he gets 3 images a day that he likes. Guy’s equipment of choice are: Nikon D4, Nikon D800E, Gitzo Tripod, Kessler pocket dolly, Favorite Lens Nikon 14-24 mm, 24-70, and 70-200. Zeiss 35 mm 1.4 f.

Guy’s favorite things to photograph are: “high action cowboys and performance cars, landscapes, wildlife, northern lights when weather permits and landscapes using moonlight to light the landscape.”

Guy’s favorite thing about Michigan is the diversity of the landscape. His top 5 places to visit are:
1. Traverse City
2. Leland
3. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake shore
4. Marquette
5. Porcupine Mountains

To view more of Guy’s work, you can visit his websites:
http://www.guystrongphotography.com/
https://www.facebook.com/guystrongphotography
https://vimeo.com/guystrongphotography

Featured Photographer – Mark S. Carlson

Mark Carlson began photographing with Minolta (35mm SLR) equipment in the late ’70’s, but switched over to Nikon in the early 1980’s. Now Mark uses an assortment of Nikon lenses from wide to telephoto with a Fujifilm S5 DSLR body. Mark has honed his skills through photography courses at Lansing Community Collage, Larry West and John Shaw Nature Photography Workshops and “a lot of trial and error.” Mark has been practicing the art of photography for 40 years, 33 professionally – Great Lakes subject matter is his passion.

When asked about his favorite things about Michigan, Mark answers, “Michigan and the Great Lakes are such a unique eco-system in the world. I love everything about it!” Mark’s favorite places to visit are, “the natural beauty of U.P. waterfalls, native orchid habitats, and many, many scenic locations along the shores of every one of our Great Lakes!”

Mark resides with his wife, Debra, at “Looking Glass Overlook” their 30 acre private nature sanctuary along the Looking Glass River in Shiawassee County. Mark recently started Great Lakes Photo Tours and with his partner, Bob Grzesiak, they conduct tours throughout the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit Great Lakes Photo Tours website. To view more of Mark’s photography, you can visit his website: www.markscarlson.com or his facebook page: www.facebook.com/MarkS.CarlsonNaturalistPhotographer