Mike Mezeul II
I’m Mike Mezeul II and I am addicted to photography and adventure. If you know me… then you know I always have a camera in my hand, if you don’t, just think of my camera as that weird sticky feeling you get on your hands after touching year old gum underneath a restaurant table…you just can’t shake it, that’s basically my relationship with my camera.
Through the years I’ve photographed in many situations including professional sporting events, live music venues, 5,000′ in the air hanging out of a plane, natural disasters, the tops of volcanoes, the bottom of the ocean floor and more. I’ve even been known to break it down on the dance floor while photographing at weddings. I’ve been shooting professionally now for eight years and have had the honor of working with so many fantastic clients and cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings!
What's in my Bag?
- Nikon D850 body
- Nikon 14-24mm F2.8 lens
- Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 lens
- Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens
- Nikon 200-500mm F5.6 lens
- Nikon SB900 w/gels
- Multiple SanDisk Extreme memory cards
- A crap ton of batteries
- Really Right Stuff TVC-34 Tripod w/ BH-55 ball head
- Dedication and sleep deprivation
A little more about me...
Although I currently live in north Texas, I was originally born in the small town of Rome, New York. I moved to Texas at a young age. I got my first camera at the age of 15, it was a 1975 Yashica MG-1. I had absolutely no interest in photography then, but something about the camera gained my interest. I am completely self-taught and have learned photography through a ton of trial and error. I took my camera out and shot with it, writing down the conditions and my settings for each frame I took. I then would save up my allowance to get my film (yeah, remember that stuff?) developed. When I got my images back, I compared them to what I wrote down and noted how I could improve my techniques. It was all pretty much downhill from there. Once I got my license I began exploring abandoned places, chasing the clouds, and of course taking photos along the way. When digital came out, I was too poor to afford it so I kept shooting film until I was too poor to afford film, then I made the switch to digital. I graduated from The University of North Texas in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and obtained my Master’s in Journalism back in December of 2012. When I’m not out with my camera, I enjoy playing hockey, hanging with the pup and girlfriend, rock climbing, a rewatching Stranger Things. I’ve been blessed with an awesome family and I don’t know where I would be without my mom, dad, and brother. Also, a huge thank you to all my friends who have supported me along the way with my photography…there were many days when I was eating Ramon Noodles wondering if this was the right career choice. It definitely was.
Okay, now you're just getting nosey.
- Peanut butter M&M's or Kit-Kat
Sushi, no doubt about it.
Favorite location you've shot at?
- Definitely the Lofoten Islands of Norway. The landscape there is absolutely stunning and having the northern lights dance above your head is truly something else.
Spiders. Simply enough, they are Satan's children.
Who's your inspiration?
- My mother. She’s the toughest woman I know. She’s been through a lot in her life that should have killed her, but she fought and fought and is truly an inspiration to what it means to be “tough.” She’s also the most passionate, kindest, unselfish person I’ve ever met.
Scariest moment you've had shooting?
- Nearly falling into a frozen lake in Alberta, Canada in -17F temperatures with no way to get help. It’s a long story, so ask me over a cup of coffee. Just happy to be here.
What is the most challenging aspect of your career?
- There are so many great photographers out there and so many new up and coming photographers, it’s tough to make your work stand out. But with that said, I enjoy a good challenge, so challenge accepted.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because the better composition was on the other side.