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

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 – 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

Featured Photographer – Debi Hollis

Debi Hollis spends her days as an interior designer, but when that is done, she also enjoys reading, cooking, World War II history, and has also volunteered for disaster relief in New Orleans. Debi can often be found enjoying her photography hobby with her Panasonic Lumix. Her favorite things to photograph are: doors, windows and interesting architecture. In the past year she has really begun refining her skills and hopes to take a class soon to boost her skills even more.

When asked to describe Michigan to an outsider, Debi responds, “A surprise gem! I would tell them about all the golf courses and lakes, the sand dunes and the whole “up north” experience: from Leeland, to Traverse City to Mackinaw. Many people don’t know that our agriculture industry is huge and Detroit is a city that now has many reasons to visit: great theaters, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues, some awesome cocktail bars and of course, Eastern Market!” Debi’s favorite things about Michigan are, “The changing seasons for sure! Summers in Michigan are hard to beat – the lake living is awesome! Fall, cider mills and fall produce are terrific also!”

Debi’s top 5 places to visit are:

1. Detroit – to help change the perception that people have.
2. Leeland – Fishtown
3. The Sand Dunes
4. Mackinac Island
5. Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven – that strip along Lake Michigan

Featured Photographer – Ann-Marie Roberts

Ann-Marie Roberts grew up with parents as professional photographers, but only recently began taking up the hobby of photography. In June of 2011, Ann-Marie took a picture of Brown Bridge in Chippewa Landing Park in Caro, MI.

This one photo sparked Ann-Marie’s life-long interest in photography and her love of nature. Now, a year later, Ann-Marie keeps busy with work, two children (Tom, 21 and Tina, 18) and photography several days a week. Even on her “off” days, her camera, a Canon SX40, is never out of reach.

Ann-Marie describes Michigan as, “…a state with many beautiful places to see, from the smallest of towns, to our amazing structures like the Mackinac Bridge and all of the lighthouses. [T]he beauty in nature that can be found pretty much everywhere you look, from the waterfalls in the U.P. to sinkholes in Alpena, and we cannot forget about the mysterious Paulding Lights in the U.P.!”

Ann-Marie’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:

1. Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
2. Bronner’s in Frankenmuth
3. Great Lakes shoreline
4. Tahquamenon Falls
5. Visit a lighthouse

Currently, Ann-Marie’s photography is a hobby, but she would love for it to turn into a profession. You can view more of Ann-Marie’s work at: www.missinde.com

Or check out her facebook page: www.facebook.com/MissindeIA

Featured Photographer – John Gessner

John Gessner first picked up a camera in 2006 to document college life. Intrigued by art, John took some art history classes, but found out that he was a “complete dullard with a paint brush.” In January of 2010, John purchased his current camera, the Canon 450d, and began taking photography seriously later that fall.

John is a self-taught photographer and enjoys learning from other photographers as well as taking inspiration from classic works of art. John is either out on a photo shoot or in his “digital darkroom” daily. When asked about photography, John says, “Photography is a way of life. It’s more than a hobby, but it’s not a profession – although I do sell an occasional print or set of note cards (which has its benefits as photography is very expensive!). For those that really want to make great images, it’s a lifestyle – you’re up early or out late, traveling and scouting locations, laying in the mud, getting eaten by bugs, getting frozen stiff, and a lot of other discomforts. But it’s worth it!” When John is not behind the lens, you typically can find him hiking, boating, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing or hanging out with friends and his wife, Hilary, in Traverse City. John works for the Grand Traverse Conservation District in marketing and outreach, and occasionally gets to use his love of photography for work – “which is great!”

John describes Michigan as a “Land of Abundant Beauty.” His favorite things about Michigan are the woods, beaches, lakes, people, farms, food, sunrises, sunsets, birds, bugs, and the night sky.

John’s top 5 places to visit in Michigan are:
1. Mission Point Lighthouse/Farmland tour on Old Mission Peninsula
2. Fishtown/Village Cheese Shanty/Lake Leelanau boat cruise
3. Leelanau State Park
4. Mackinac Bridge
5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

To see more of John Gessner’s photography or to purchase a print, you can visit his website at: www.johnagessner.com

Featured Photographer – John McCormick

John McCormick of Michigan Nut Photography received his first 35mm slr camera at age 17, and has been “hooked” on photography ever since. Today, over 30 years later, John goes on photo shoots around the state 2-3 times each month and has made a few upgrades to his equipment since the original 35mm that started it all. John’s equipment of choice is: “(Camera Nikon D-700) – Lenses / 16-35mm f/4G ED VR lens, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR. and a 50mm f/1.8. Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB.” John has a licensed business selling stock image licensing, and fine art prints. He is also a micro-stock contributor and a Getty Images artist.

John’s skills have all been self-taught with the help of library books (before the wonderful invention of the internet!). John has been married to his wife, Shelley for 31 years and they have 3 sons, Matt, Mike, and Mitch. John and his family enjoy camping and hiking in Michigan.

When asked to describe Michigan, John’s response is a great one: “Some Landscape photographers say the Midwest has a lack of scenery. What they’re missing is a wilderness that stretches along miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Nowhere in the United States will you find an area that more reflects the dramatic seasonal changes, beautiful winters, colorful Autumns and springs. It’s a landscape continually changing. Michigan is beautifully diversified with forests and rivers, wetlands of immense size, rocky ridge-lined and sand dune shorelines. And with over 100 lighthouses, historic buildings and an ancient mountain range, Michigan offers more than any photographer could ask for. A weekend gives you a glimpse and a week a good look, but it takes years to see the majority of what Michigan has to offer.”

John’s top five places to visit are:
1. Leelanau Peninsula / Traverse City
2. Sleeping Bear Dunes
3. Mackinac Island
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
5. Black River scenic byway/ Porcupine Mountains.

If you browse through John’s albums on his website, you will see John’s favorite things to photograph are Michigan Lighthouses, Great Lakes shorelines, and waterfalls. Visit John’s website and browse his many fantastic photographs from all around this great state.
To view more of John’s great pictures or to purchase a print, visit him at: Michigan Nut Photography

You can also see many wonderful photos on Michigan Nut Photography’s facebook fan page.