MIKE originally discovered his passion for photography in 2008, when he and his friend RJ took to the streets of Elmhurst, Illinois, attempting to capture a unique perspective on suburban life. After purchasing his first digital SLR camera (a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi), Mike enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan University as a Photography major and began taking classes in film. Mike ventured into the world of concert photography in 2009, photographing bands such as Alexisonfire, Bad Religion, and Cute is What We Aim For, among others. Later that year, he served as the Teaching Assistant for a Portrait Photography course shot exclusively with Holga cameras and medium format (120mm) film.
Although his musical pursuits led him out of the darkroom and into another academic concentration, Mike's interest in photography did not come to an end. Throughout his time at Illinois Wesleyan University, he served as the School of Music resident Photographer, photographing major concerts, recitals, receptions, and other events. Because of his training as a musician, Mike was able to understand and preserve the delicate environment that exists in the concert setting while capturing live performances.
Since earning his undergraduate degree (with minors in Photography and Graphic Design), Mike freelanced in the Chicago area. He has enjoyed opportunities to photograph musicians in both concert and portrait settings, most recently shooting events for the Rush Hour Concerts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Mike appreciates artistic challenges and enjoys bringing a unique perspective to everyday objects and places, aiming to beautify things that are easily overlooked and considered ordinary or mundane. In February of 2016, Mike started a "365 Day Project" in which he aimed to take a quality, artistic photo every day for a year straight. He completed the project and continues to post a photo from each day on his Instagram, @cellistwithacamera.
His work has been published in The Sun magazine.