We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Reed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Passion. Photography is hard enough and is a labor of love when growing your business and honing your craft. Weddings on their own can be extremely difficult and challenging in many, many ways.
It’s my opinion to be a successful Professional Wedding Photographer, you have to be passionate about it. If you’re not? Two things will happen. You will hate your job and you will let your client down.
You need to LOVE wedding day. A new person coming in, on Thursday (for a Saturday wedding) you should be freaking out and excited about Saturday. Worst case, you should be excited. Seriously, as a new PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer, if you are not excited about the Saturday wedding you should look at other forms of photography. Kids and family? No? Look at shooting for magazines or local businesses. Maybe fine art is what makes your heart sing. There are so many ways to be a successful photographer. You are in control, LOVE your job. Don’t shoot weddings if don’t, you are doing a disservice to your creative talents and to the wonderful people that hire you.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets my work apart from others is my use of color. My color is bright, vibrant, happy and is true to life color… sometimes with a little punch. But what I’m most proud of are all the relationships that have been built. It’s a lot of trust, to invite someone to shoot your wedding. I’ve loved every one and am so grateful for all those opportunities.
I would not have had the this success professionally if it weren’t for all those great couples. Granted they were challenges along the way. The key to overcoming those challenges? Setting expectations. Make sure you are on the same page with your couple of what to expect on the wedding day from every aspect. [Too many to list here]. Be realistic with your couple and never, ever over promise. Be realistic on what you can deliver, and not just from a photography standpoint. No one wants to be disappointed.
Lastly, outside of the use of my color, I’m probably best known for being happy. I want you to LOVE your wedding pictures, I want to beat all your expectations. A big part of this? When you look back at your wedding pictures, you will be transported back in time, to the moment when the shutter was clicked. How were you feeling? Where you having a good time or where you super stressed out? I am nothing if not a good time!!! My goal is for you to throughly enjoy getting your picture taken by me!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That’s easy being a foodie, it starts with local food & beer! We have some of THE BEST local restaurants and breweries in the world here in NOCO. Did I mention world class hiking and skiing??? Of course the itinerary all depends on the time of year, and possibly more realistically what the weather is that week! The short version is living in Loveland, we stop on our way back from the airport to a restaurant in Longmont for lunch. Main street Longmont has a TON to offer in food and a little bit of window shopping if the mood strikes you. Next stop would be 4th street in Loveland for drinks and walk around downtown. What I love about downtown Loveland is that it has all the charm, shopping and eating (and drinking!) that Ft. Collins has but on a more manageable scale. You don’t have to worry about parking, everything you need is right there, everyone is incredibly friendly, it has everything you need and you can never get lost. Five out five! The next morning we do a warm up hike at Lory state park, Horsetooth or Devil’s Backbone, depending on the mood and the company. Next it’s off to Estes Park for a breath taking hike at the tundra (literal breath taking for those that are coming from sea level). A long meandering ride down to Bear Lake for sunset and my favorite part… the look in your guests eyes as they see Bear Lake in all it’s glory for the first time. Also breath taking. Side note, walking across a FROZEN Bear Lake in the middle April is killer. Last stop before heading home is the whisk(e)y bar at the Stanley. Can’t miss it! Oh, and the late evening ghost tour is always a hit.
The next day is completely devoted to Ft. Collins; bike riding, eating, drinking, more bike riding, shopping, even more riding, more drinking, and perhaps more eating. May I suggest an e-bike? Especially for the those coming from sea-level and even for those folks that are local. I LOVE MY E-BIKE. Quick shout out the guys at Pedego in Ft. Collins.
After that? It’s either skiing, white water rafter, camping, more hiking… Seriously, after moving to NOCO, I feel like I live on vacation!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout has to go to my wife and my kids. You’ve heard of “golf widows”, that is nothing compared to being married to a wedding photographer, that is gone all weekend with three young kids and her working a regular 9-5. There is no way I would half the success that I’ve had without Elyse’s unwavering support. And to my kids, all the mid-Saturday afternoon games I couldn’t go to or the cub scout camp outs I had to bail on early because “daddy has to work”. Shoutout to you for being so understanding. Lastly is the photography community in Austin (where I got my start). This in an incredible artist community that is amazingly supportive of each other, many times in extraordinary ways. If I my miss your name, I apologize now, just know I’m am really grateful for you knowing and working with you. My Austin shoutout photographers are: Whitney Lee, Barbara LeGere, Cory Ryan, Jenny Demarco, Steve Dement, Rachael Hall and Jeff Cherry. Thank you all!