Category Archives: portland photographer

PDXtra Magazine Jan/Feb Issue

A few images from a recent shoot for PDXtra magazine. I was asked if I could find the models myself for this one and felt really lucky that I met Johna and Steve. They both fit the demographic and exude the lifestyle the article was exploring. We traveled around the downtown area one afternoon to check out some neat businesses that cater to a healthier lifestyle. Talk about a tight schedule! Luckily my team was wonderful as well as enthusiastic. We got the job done on schedule!

Locations include Firebrand Sports, The Float Shoppe, The Yoga Space, & Prasad Cuisine.

The article touches on resolutions and features some wonderful local Portland services that may help you pick up a few new skills that keep you happy and healthy this year.

Read the article here:

Michelle F Mitchell Photography

Michelle F Mitchell Photography for PDXtra

I hope the new year is treating you all well!


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A little bit about myself.

Reeeeal quick…
I love what I do and I believe that shows in my photographs. Creative people have a gift that allows us to continue learning and expanding our skills via collaboration. The possibilities are infinite. I’ve always had a fascination with people and their personalities. By engaging my subjects and making them a participant in the process I allow a spontaneous chemistry to develop. Watching an idea take shape is an exciting process. It’s kind of magical witnessing all the pieces coming together, from inspiration all the way through execution.

Self Portrait

P.S. Let’s have FUN!


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Jessie, a woman with an amazing personality and a very talented Portland musician. We had fun running around PDX to shoot these images for her website.
Jessie 1 ForWeb2 ForWeb3 ForWeb4 ForWeb5 ForWeb6

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The “Survivalist Guide To SE Portland” Assignment

The opportunity to photograph images of your friend yielding axes and carrying knives in public doesn’t always happen, but when that opportunity comes YOU SAY YES. Hitting the stands today is the special SE Portland Survival Guide addition of the Portland Mercury. My pals Keely (model), and Justin (Art director) collaborated with me on this photo project and I have to say it was a lot of fun to shoot.

Most images were shot on the quick with an SB-600 flash and a cheapo umbrella on a flimsy light stand. For me, the most interesting part had to be holding the stand down without a sandbag in the wind… While tethered to the flash by a short cord. YIKES!

Here are tear sheets from the project, it can be digitally downloaded via the Mercury website :

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The Imagery can be viewed full screen on my Behance account:

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Using Color Gels

Boredom with my usual set up has led me to explore new lighting options. I do not have my own dedicated studio space at this time and am usually working with one or two lights and little diffusion options. I have a “bare bones” operation in my garage right now. It is by no means glamorous but I’m glad I have some space to practice photography.

In lieu of purchasing more lighting I recently snagged some lighting gels from LEE Filters and have been playing around with them a little. Though I only have two lights and little experience with gels I’m still pretty happy with the results. You can expect more color gel shoots in the future, and maybe next time I’ll be more subtle with the color. 😉


The last three are my favorite, its interesting to see the exposure and color difference when a model is jumping all around.

Enjoy the low-res silly goodness!:


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To see more of my work visit my website 

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TILT NW assignment

Most Portland foodies already know of the amazing force that is TILT. The Portland Mercury recently sent me out to photograph some favorites from their newer NW location at 1355 NW Everett Street. Tilt is known for having quality colossal burgers and delicious pies at an affordable price, the NW location even has a full bar! (I hear their bartenders aren’t too shabby either). I was lucky enough to come in early on a Saturday morning to shoot the images before it got crowded. I snagged a table in a corner of windows for nice light and began to drool as the food came out.

Here is Tilt’s website with their locations and menu:

This is a link to the Food Review that the Mercury published:





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Images of RADAR PDX

Going through my archives I found a fun series of images I shot for the Portland Mercury last year. Radarpdx  is an AMAZING little restaurant in North Portland on Mississippi avenue. The owners, Jonathan & lily were a pleasure to work with, from the moment I stepped in the door they welcomed me and made me feel at home. That’s exactly what I did, in fact I didn’t want to leave!

The shoot itself was simple, a food review. I brought a small reflector and a flash to even out some of the shadows. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) inadvertently became my motto on that shoot. I typically like to light my images using a few strobes but I found it unnecessary to dress up their already beautiful dishes. The same goes for the owners, they are clearly very happy to be in their position, for their portraits I used a flash to soften the shadows and stick with the overall simplicity of the other images

If you’d like to read the food review from the mercury go here :

Here are a few of the images (in super low res.):



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Instagram: Photographer’s friend or foe?

Instagram is a smart phone based app and social media network. Now, if you’re a photographer you probably already know this, if you don’t, then perhaps you should consider getting one. Eh?! I personally enjoy using Instagram, not only do I get to show some of my work and behind-the-scenes action, but I also get to see bts from other photographers whose work I admire. I’ve even gotten inspired by looking through my old posts.

The weekend hashtag projects are a genius concept, a great way to include users all while building content for the Instagram blog. Here’s the down-low on the Weekend Hashtag Project:

“Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a photo announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.”  

I always try to check it out even though I don’t usually participate.

Why photographers should use Instagram:

1.) Accept it for what it is; stop hating on it because it’s “hip.” It is a great social media tool.

2.) Visual variety: typically, an Instagram featuring a variety of subjects is better than just one. Come on, even I take a break from photographing cats! (Though you can add a #catsofinstagram hashtag, if you do post a pic of your furry pal.)

3.) Surprisingly, it can be a great way to get recognized by fellow photographers. Instagrammers have the opportunity to build a larger photo community. It feels good to hear that people know your work from somewhere, even if it is just Instagram. :)

Some photo’s from my Instagram:

Here is a link to a great story with legal info on the instagram/photographer debate:

As you can tell, i’m all for the use of this app, I may as well take advantage of something that is so popular. What do YOU think about Instagram?

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April 1st, 2012 marks the start of the 2nd annual Portland Photo Month. A time when the city is buzzing with all genres of photography in many of Portland’s finest gallery spaces. I conducted a question/answer interview with Laura Moya, Director of Photolucida who in large part helps organize this extravaganza! Please read on to learn more about this important celebration of Portlands photography.

Who came up with the idea for P.P.M?

“Portland Photo Month” came up as the moniker last spring for the celebration of photography that surrounds Photolucida Portfolio Reviews Festival, which happens every other April.  The festival is four days long, and we have 160 photographers and 60 Reviewers (curators, festival directors, publishers, gallerists) that fly in from all over the world. It seemed logical to give the events and exhibits a formalized name and a foundational beginning, the object being to make it an event that more of the general public can participate in.  Even though Photolucida’s Reviews happen every other year, our intent is to have every April known as “Portland Photo Month”.  I believe Laura Russell of 23 Sandy suggested the actual name.

How did you go about organizing it, how much help do you get from others?

Folks associated with various photo organizations around town (Photolucida, Newspace Center for Photography, Blue Sky, Portland Art Museum and the Photo Council, Portland Art Dealers Association) had a few get-togethers and did some brainstorming. “Portland Photo Month” is intended to be a collaborative effort between organizations whose mission it is to celebrate the culture of photography. Photolucida oversees the “Portland Photo Month” website, but our intent is not to be the sole organizers. Hopefully, as things progress, many organizations will jump firmly on the bandwagon and carry the idea forward.

Ideally, who do you want to participate in P.P.M?

Any organization or business that would like to promote the culture of photography through an event or exhibition is welcome to participate! People can absorb photography equally well in a coffee shop or in a wing of a museum – as well as anywhere in between.  A primary goal of Portland Photo Month is to get more of the “general public” involved in thinking about photography. Portland is a hotbed of great festivals, from Wordstock to MusicFest NW – and we would like to see the public explore the idea of photography as an art form by just getting out and about.

There are a lot of events on the roster for this P.P.M, are there any in particular you think everyone should know about?

People should just go check out what looks interesting to them – aesthetically, the work runs the gamut, there is something for everyone!

I can talk about a few things that are interesting on a personal level – first, I am truly excited to have Chris McCaw hop up to Portland from San Francisco to give a talk and demonstration on Sunday, April 22nd. I first met Chris and saw his work in 2007 and was fascinated by his SUNBURN series – he works with handmade giant-format cameras using super long exposures to produce images where the actual light emanating from the sun burns a trail in the photographic paper. One of his pieces is a recent acquisition for the Portland Art Museum. It is a treat to have him here.

You can see Chris’ work at his website:

A interesting show to check out might be Contents: Love, Anxiety, Happiness & Everything Else, which is curated by Darius Himes and will be up at Newspace. Interesting because it will be a prime example of what “emerging” means in the world of contemporary photography. There is always a debate on what “emerging” means exactly in this context, and some answers might be found here! The fifty pieces in this show were chosen out of over 700 entries in Critical Mass 2011 (one of Photolucida’s programs) and voted to the top by 200 photo curators, editors, publishers, gallerists, etc. from around the world.

Check out the show in the gallery at Newspace Center for Photography, located at 1632 SE 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97214.

I think Jim Lommasson’s What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization project is an important one, and encourage people to see it. Lommasson has photographed and interviewed Iraqi refugees and immigrants who have fled to the U.S. since 2000, and documented their personal items that have survived the journey. He then asked the participants to write about their objects directly on the finished photographs.  I have been curious about this series, and know it will break my heart, as it should everyone’s. In the same vein, Nigel Dickinson’s show Smoky Mountain Rubbish Dump, Phnom Penh, which will be up at Blue Sky, is sure to be powerful. Both Lommasson and Dickinson somehow make beautiful imagery out of  more-than-horrific societal situations, which does not come easily or happen often.

Lommasson’s show; Mar 15 – Apr 14, 2012. Mon – Sat, 10am-4pm (Closed Sundays) 17677 NW Springville Road – PCC/Rock Creek Campus. Or at

Dickenson’s show will be on display at Blue Sky Gallery, located at 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209

LightBox Photographic Gallery in Astoria is hosting their PDX Photo Month Exhibit in appreciation of/showcasing work from the Portland Photographic Community, I think it will be a great representational show of all the stellar talent that Portland houses. The reception for the exhibiting artists is Saturday, April 14th.

Photolucida is doing a project for Portland Photo Month – THEN.HERE.NOW. – can you describe what it is?

Photolucida wanted to take the photography viewing experience outside of a gallery or book environment. We wanted to involve the Portland “public”, both in the submission process and in the viewing process. We opened submissions to anyone – pro, amateur – the only rule being that one had to have made the images in or around Portland. These contemporary images will be juxtaposed with historical imagery (of Portland and it’s people) from individuals and organizations. We wanted to use photography as a medium/tool to help us explore who and where we are, right now, in Portland, Oregon. Photographer/publisher Raymond Meeks agreed to curate a slideshow from the submissions.

The slideshow will be projected live in four outside locations around Portland during April, in the viewing window at Blue Sky gallery, and on the website itself. Check the THN website for locations shortly and join us on a sidewalk near you in April!

If i’ve left out any important info let me know, or go visit the PPM and assoc. websites:


Just about everything you need to know about Portland Photo Month 2012.

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Blog Revamp!

My good ol’ blog has gotten a makeover in the last few hours, because I need it to do this:

The purpose of this blog is to inform. It will include rants about personal work, and more interestingly, other photographers work. You’ll also find info about noteworthy photo events in PDX, helpful tips, and myself begging for your advice on relevant topics. Expect a lot of links to other awesome places on the inter-webs, & maybe a collaboration or two.

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