photo: Nate Hoffman

photo: Nate Hoffman

Mike grew up in a creative family, born to a ceramicist and a meteorologist.  His artistic interests were clear from a very young age, excelling at drawing, painting, and sculpting.  Eventually his love of art fused with his parallel love for computers, and Mike began working in visual effects when he was 17, first for Warner Brothers Digital, then Landmark Entertainment Group.  At 19 he began studying cinematography as well, taking classes at the American Film Institute and USC, and working as a camera PA on indie features.

After getting accepted to Art Center for Film, Mike postponed enrollment because of an apprenticeship opportunity.  He was introduced to the Academy Award-winning cinematographer, Russell Carpenter ASC, and Russell mentored him in filmmaking while Mike taught Russell Adobe Photoshop.

For 3 years Mike worked with Russell on features, commercials and still shoots, while on the side shot indie films, commercials and music videos.

Mike’s last project with Russell was Charlie’s Angels, on which Mike coordinated the setups between 1st and 2nd units, shot pre-vis footage with the fight/stunt teams, and did location scouts and light mapping.

After Charlie’s wrapped, Mike started getting work as a still photographer, and over the following 14 years he shot many of Hollywood’s biggest actors and actresses for magazine covers, movie posters, and advertisements.  He continues to shoot still photography, as well as direct/DP commercials and music videos.  He enjoys being a part of the creative process, and is often hired early to help conceive and distill the creative concept and direction.

Mike has also been featured on 11 seasons of America’s Next Top Model as a guest photographer and judge, and is the resident photographer/judge on Asia’s Next Top Model season 2.

He still draws and paints, and his love for photography and film is matched only by his love of travel - from floating in the Dead Sea to running with the bulls in Pamplona to climbing Machu Picchu.