About:  I started taking photos when I was a teenager, although I never envisioned it ever becoming a career.  I honestly thought (like most people) that photographers go take pictures, frame them and try to sell them as "art".

It wasn't until the late 80's that I started taking photography more seriously and realized that if it ever became a job, I didn't want to be a poor starving artist.

While living in Phoenix Arizona, some of my travel photography caught the eye of the Arizona Tourism Department.  I had made frequent trips to Sedona with my oldest sister & those images sparked my interest more.

I continued to work a regular "day" job, but would spend my off time, learning more about the business side of things.

A conversation with Jim Sugar (National Geographic contributing photographer) was invaluable in terms of educating me on the pitfalls of stock photography and his advice about assignment photography.  Jim has known my family since the early 70's, when he photographed us as part of an article for National Geographic ("North with the wheat cutters").

When a company layoff claimed my day job in 2000, I made the decision to give the photography industry a try.  I knew I wasn't interested in shooting weddings or portraits, due to the need for a staff of people to do the printing while I was out doing the shoots. So, I decided to focus my efforts in the commercial business side of photography.  Providing photos for companies to use in their advertising, marketing & promotions.

I had just finished shooting the Miss Washington Pageant (Prelude to Miss America) and was befriended by the director for the International Cover Model Search.

Paul had originally discovered model turned actress Jaime Pressly (Joy Turner from "My name is Earl" t.v. show and "Mom" t.v. show as Jill) and invited me to attend her birthday party while we were in Los Angeles.

His events doubled as a photographer workshop & allowed me to build a fashion photography portfolio, while still making money.  The events were beneficial to my education and I credit Paul for his help.  I also met some wonderful people, whom I'm still in touch with to this day! 8-).

I am a regular contributor to several swimwear, lingerie and tattoo magazines. The list of magazines varies from month to month, as not all of them publish monthly. My schedule and resume' (available by request) will give you an idea of what I have upcoming and what magazines or clients are involved.

I continue to do photoshoots in events, travel, & floral photography.

I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do something I enjoy and make a living at the same time. Not many people get that chance, so I feel very fortunate and appreciative that it has worked out this way.  "It's been one heckuva ride, I can't wait to see what happens next.....stay tuned"!  Mikel M. Louder