Meet Big Mike!

Discussion in 'Interview with Mod' started by TPF Staff, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. TPF Staff

    TPF Staff Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    By terri at Tue, 2006-11-07 21:54

    Big Mike is one of our newest Moderators at The Photo Forum. Since he joined TPF, he has always been a knowledgable and helpful member. When it was time to expand the Moderating team, he was a natural choice. We thought it was high time to catch up to him and get to the Mike behind the Big! <br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="" /> 1) Mike, you're one of us TPF old-timers, it seems. How did you stumble across TPF back in December of 2003?</strong><br /><br />Wow, has it really been almost three years since I joined the forum? I think I found it with a Google search for 'Photography Forum'. Usually I will read a forum for a while without joining…just to see what it's like. When I found this forum though, I joined up right away, although I didn't post much at first…I still spent my time over at Pop Photo or at Eventually the great personalities here got me hooked and the rest is history. <br /><br /><strong>2) Tell us what your gear lineup is. Do you find yourself reaching for one setup more than another - and if so, why?<br /><br /></strong>I shoot with Canon gear…My weapon of choice is the EOS 20D. I still have my EOS 650 (the first EOS camera) but I don't use it very much at all. My primary lens kit consists of an EF-S 18-55mm kit lens, a 50mm F1.8 and a 75-300 F4-5.6 USM III. I have a handful of other lenses…but they don't get much use anymore. I'm planning on some new glass, which I'm sure you will hear about, when I get it.<br /><br />I recently purchased an Alien Bee studio light and I plan to get a few more. I really like the creativity that studio lights allow…and I really want to improve my skills in this area.<br /><br />I also have a collection of classic cameras. Lots of different things from Brownie Box cameras to a bright pink Polaroid with matching pink bag. I don't use any of them…mostly because they all use film that isn't readily available anymore. <br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="left" src="" />3) What's your shooting style? Would you say you've developed a favorite subject matter at this stage?</strong><br /><br />I don't know that I have really developed a certain shooting style…I still like to try different things and learn new skills. I think that landscapes may be my favorite…Landscape photography can be relaxing…and it helps me to really look at the world around me…rather than just rushing by. I live in a great part of the world…I'm only a few hours away from the Rocky Mountains…with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.<br /><br />On the other hand, I love to shoot at weddings…there is so much happiness going around and capturing that really feels good. I plan to shoot weddings professionally. Also, I like to shoot kids…mostly because of the smiles and comments I get from the parents.<br /><br /><strong>4) What's your day job? Would you like to see photography help pay for the bills at some point?</strong><br /><br />I'm a Certified Engineering Technologist in the design and drafting field. I work for an industrial fabric and shelter company called Norseman. My job is to design custom tarps and shelters, mostly in the oil field (drilling rigs etc). I think that my drafting background does help with my photography…but I don't know if I can explain it. If anything…working with straight lines all day…makes it easy to tell when someone posts a photo that has a crooked horizon. <br /><br />I certainly plan to have my photography create some income. I've started asking around to shoot children's portraits…and I have a wedding booked for this spring. I don't know that I will ever have photography as my primary source of income…but if I can make enough money to pay for some great gear…I'll be happy with that.<br /><br /><strong>5) Now, I just have to ask you about your user name. I don't think it's widely known that your real name is Frank and you stand about 5 feet five inches tall. Why this Big Mike persona? Expand on that for us, please. </strong><br /><br />Big Mike just rolls off the tongue doesn't it? People will often greet me with a hearty &quot;Big Miiiike&quot;…in a low tone. Yes, my name is actually Mike…and I don't think that anyone would call me small. I'm just a shade less than 6 feet tall and I currently tip the scales at about 265 lbs. While I would consider myself fat…I do work out, play ball hockey and hit the weights…so I'm more of a husky 265. <br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="" /> 6) Who are your photographic influences? Are they what made you become interested in photography? </strong><br /><br />I really don't think that I have any particular photographic influences. I do look at a lot of other people's photos and use that to get ideas…but I don't think that I ever try to emulate a person's photos or style. I find that photography is my one artistic outlet…so my inspiration comes from within.<br /><br />My Grandfather on my Father's side is actually an award-winning photographer, among other things. Although I didn't meet him until I was 14 years old…and only three times since then…so I don't think that he was much of an influence…unless the photo gene is genetic. <br /><br />I received a 35mm point and shoot camera as a safety award when I was about 20…I started taking lots of photos but I wouldn't say that I was interested in photography, per say. I actually started to get interested in photography after I found my EOS 650 on the street.<br /><br /><strong>7) What other interests or hobbies do you have, outside of photography?</strong><br /><br />I really like sports…always have. I play ball hockey in a league and have season tickets to the Edmonton Oilers. I like to watch football (CFL and NFL) and any sort of Hockey. I used to golf quite a bit…but I wasn't any good so I diverted my attention (and money) away from golf to toward photography. Back in school I was quite the athlete…I won the most outstanding athlete in Jr. High…and in High School, I was captain of the football and rugby teams…I also ran track and competed in the pole vault. <br /><br />I like to build things out of wood, and I have a few tools…but I don't have the space to really peruse this very often. I would like to travel (and photography the world) but I can't afford too much traveling.<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="left" src="" />8) If you could pick a place on the globe to travel to, where would you go, and why?</strong><br /><br />New Zealand is on the top of my list…. Well maybe it's tied with many parts of Canada. On one hand, I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan…and fell in love with New Zealand while waiting for and watching the movies. On the other hand, Canada is so big…there is so much to see here that I don't really need to leave the country.<br /><br />I recently traveled to the other side of the world. Kazakhstan, to be exact. My photos and stories can be found here:<br /><br /><strong>9) Now that you're a moderator, it's your job to peruse the forum. As a member, where did you spend most of your time on TPF? Are there certain sections you never missed?</strong><br /><br />I have always been all over the forum. I don't post in all the areas…but I read a lot of threads…although I do hang out in some areas more than others. When I first get to the forum…I check a hand full of forums…Beginners, Beyond Basics, Business District, Equipment, Portrait/wedding and Off topic. Then I 'Mark Forum Read' and when I come back (which is quite often during the day) I just click on 'new posts' and read whatever catches my interest.<br /><br /><strong><img vspace="2" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="" /> 10) And finally, how are you enjoying your gig as moderator? Is the job what you expected it to be?</strong> <br /><br />I love it…I finally feel like I'm giving back to the forum that has helped me become who I am as a photographer. The job isn't all that hard…it's mostly getting rid of spammers…however, there are times when we, as moderators, have to be cautious and handle problems with a lot of diplomacy. We have a special sense of community here and if we don't maintain it…this forum could easily end up like most other forums…which wouldn't be a good thing. Fortunately, we have a great team moderators and administrators who work together very well to keep this place running smoothly.<br /><br /><br /><strong>We'd like to thank Big Mike for playing along with some silliness as well as being such a great interview. In addition, here's a big Thank You for being such a supportive member of TPF all these years, and for taking on the job as Moderator.</strong><br /><br /><br />


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