We wanted to kick-off a new series of features here on carshowz and feature the guys and gals that continue to keep our little website going. The new feature series is titled Photographer Spotlight and we want to take this time to highlight our Veteran Photographers who make it happen. Within the next couple of months, you will see more features hitting the streets. So stay tuned, lots of good stuff coming your way.
To kick off our July Photographer Spotlight we are going to feature Mike Mieczkowski, a Veteran Photographer whose been with carshowz since 2012. CarShowz kicked off in 2009 by Founder Jeff Cantagallo with a goal to list car show listings throughout the United States. Searching automotive forums and picking up fliers from shows gets to be a pain. It was hard to keep track of events in the area and also look for events in other states; atleast easily. After putting together a database that will host and cleanly display car shows we were missing something.
In 2011 Jeff started to take photos at a few of the events he attended and we really enjoyed the photography side of car shows. Walking around capturing the moment with no one really bothering you, it was kinda peaceful. But Jeff is by far not a Photographer and we needed someone with more skill.
Mike posted on Facebook and asked if anyone was looking for a Photographer. After a quick message exchange and a conversation it was all downhill from there. Mike’s been on board since and as we continue to cover local events, we have since branched out to more recognizable events throughout the U.S.
We wanted to take the time to feature our Photographers, the guys who literally keep things going and above all, they truly enjoy what they are doing and are great at what they do.
In 2013, as we continued to build the carshowz brand and spread the name Performance Auto and Sound Magazine featured Mike in their version of the Photographer Spotlight, you can check it out here: http://www.pasmag.com/features/photographers/2923-mike-mieczkowski
Mike has covered hundreds of events for us and continues to do so. You can check out Mike’s coverage articles here: https://carshowz.com/author/mikecarshowz/ of course this is just a tip of the ice berg. We have since archived several hundred events in addition to posting coverage via our Facebook fan page in the earlier days to help boost traffic. The most notable events Mike has covered include but are not limited, SEMA, The Race of Gentlemen, Carlisle Events, WannaGoFast Events, Motor Trend International Auto Shows and a ton more.
Check out Mike’s question and answer session for his Photographer Spotlight below:
Photographer Spotlight Q&A with Mike Mieczkowski
CarShowz: What inspired you to get into Photography?
Mike Mieczkowski: When I was young, like back in grade school young, I found the idea of capturing the world, the way my mind saw it fascinating. My parents would help me get what I needed as far as film and developing my shots and encouraged me to express myself the way I wanted to. As I got older I got better equipment and honed my craft to where I am today. Still learning and still upgrading gear and skills along the way.
CZ: When did you first pick up a camera and start taking Photography seriously?
MM: I first picked up a camera in grade school but didn’t actually get somewhat serious until high school. I mainly would just capture life as it happened around me. It wasn’t until 2008 that I got my first DSLR and really started to get somewhat serious. I was going to car shows and wanted to get ideas for my own truck so I started photographing them. That led to sharing them online and people seemed to enjoy what I was doing. In 2012 I was going to take it to the next level and start my own website but, I wasn’t into the idea of building the site. That is when Jeff from Carshowz saw me posting on Facebook to see if anyone was looking for a photographer. I’ve been a proud member of the Carshowz family since.
CZ: What gear do you shoot with? Preferred lenses, equipment to shoot with, etc.?
MM: I have a pretty decent set of gear including the Canon 6D and 7D bodies. I do have around a 10 lenses but, my go to ones are my Canon 24-105L F4 and my Tamron 70-200 F2.8. The canon is reliable and fast and the 70-200 has a nice depth of field that the Canon cannot reproduce. On top of that I have all the accessories a photographer needs to get the job done.
CZ: How would you describe your style?
MM: I know everyone has a “style” but I don’t know how describe mine since it can actually vary. That being said I can pick out my photos online pretty quickly even if the watermark is removed.
CZ: What is your most memorable photo and why?
MM: My most memorable photo isn’t even all that great quality wise and it’s not a car. I landed at LAX for a family wedding and was greeted by the Space Shuttle Endeavor being transported through the streets of LA from the airport to the museum. I had no idea it was going to be there and definitely was a once in a lifetime experience.
CZ: What is your most favorite car or truck you photographed and why (please provide photo)?
MM: Ken Block’s Hoonicorn at SEMA 2014. Why? There is nothing else like it out there and I love over the top builds.
CZ: What is your most memorable photo shoot session and why?
MM: Shooting Tommy Pearson’s truck at Low Rollers EoSB. Tommy is a great guy with an awesome minitruck and it was a beautiful day at an amazing event.
CZ: What places (to include car events and others) are on your bucket list to visit for photos?
MM: The list is way too big to put here but includes Talladega for a NASCAR race, Alaska, California and Hawaii to experience their car culture and many other places.
CZ: What tips would you give up and coming Photographers?
MM: Stay humble, you are not going to gain any friends or followers if you think your work is better that everyone else’s. Chances are it won’t be until you’ve been at it for a while. Make friends, build relationships and remember to have fun.
CZ: Is there anything additional you would like to add that we did not cover?
MM: If you love something like I love photography stick with it. Everyone has some type of hobby and if it’s one that can make people smile and where you can build friendships stick with it.
CZ: Are there any shout-outs you would like to give?
MM: Big Shout-out to Jeff Cantagallo and the Carshowz family. Without them I may have given up on sharing my photography with the world.
It’s a dog eat dog world and the path we have chosen to get to where we are today has not been an easy path. it is hard to find loyal people not to mention people you trust and consider them a good friend and a part of your family. The least we can do it feature Mike for the very first Photographer Spotlight for CarShowz and hope we can continue into many more years of growth and having fun doing what we all love.