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Click here to read our interview with Mike Moats

 

Click here to read Mike Moats' Ten Tips For Macro Nature Photographers

 

It's the 21st century mantra of among professionals: It's easy than ever to take great pictures – and it's harder than ever to make a living as a photographer. But Grosse Point, Michigan, native Mike Moats has found a profitable niche that takes into account both the creative and the business side. He does what he loves – nature photography – and he's found a way to make it into a full-time business in just three years from when he first picked up a camera to shoot seriously.

 


© Mike Moats

 

"In 2001, I decided to do some major photography," the mid-fiftyish Moats relates from his home in Sterling Heights, near Detroit. His longtime business as a painting contractor was feeling the pain of the auto industry's troubles, so he had plenty of time for one of his passions, mountaineering – he's climbed Mount Rainier in Washington and Mount Shasta in California, among others. During training hikes at Stony Creek Metropark, near his home, he says, "I would see a lot of things in the woods as I was walking by that I thought that would make kind of a cool picture. So I started to think about some other activity to get into at Stony Creek. I decided to get a camera and lenses and play around. That's kind of what started it."

 


©Mike Moats

 

By late 2004, he'd published his first image, in an issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine. That same year, he won an honorable mention in the Flora category in a competition on Naturephotographers.net. Gradually he began to publish more, and win more, and by 2007, he'd become ensconced as one of the Midwest's most successful nature photographers. With fellow photog Jack Graham, he launched a blog in August 2008, "Macro & More", and two months later self-published his book Tiny Landscapes, a how-to for macro photography in nature. Rounding out his up-to-the-minute tech, he today offers online macro workshops and he's penned, if that word can still be used, four e-books he sells on his Web site.

 


© Mike Moats

 

But Moats' bread and butter are art festivals –  particularly the big outdoor ones where 100,000 people may attend over the course of a weekend. "I do about 25 art shows a year" where he sells 8x10 prints starting at twelve bucks, he says, "and though photography's not something that people have to buy in a bad economy, I surprisingly do extremely well at my shows. I make better money than I was making as a painting contractor!"

 


© Mike Moats

 

For Moats, that's water under the drawbridge – and he's happy to share his experiences and his tips for fledgling photographs and semi-pros, in a moneymaking arena that might not have been the first venue you thought of.

 

Click here to read our interview with Mike Moats

 

Click here to read Mike Moats' Ten Tips For Macro Nature Photographers



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SHarris

04-11-2010

Do you manipulate your photos with Photoshop? Or do you capture the color and intensity with natural and artificial light? My students would like to know. We are having an argument about the importance of learning to create a good photo with the camera as apposed to making a poor photo look like you took a great photo by manipulating it with Photoshop.Thanks
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