Welcome to Mike's Tangents...

Hello there! Welcome to my blog. This online journal covers both professional and personal notes, thoughts, aspirations, questions, and whatever else is going on inside my head and heart, and is intended for you to get to know me just a bit more. Please enjoy, & be sure to visit my website for more info. Thanks for swinging by, & enjoy the tangents...


MPCC Awards Dinner Tonight!

I'm proud to sponsor the 100th Annual Awards Dinner for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce held this evening at the Hyatt Regency. As a member of the chamber, it's been a blast meeting the community members that make up this beautiful region, and beginning great friendships. I've created a splash page link on my website for direct access to the images, and will post them online within a few days. Be sure to register with my photo lab "Pictage" to view them - it's painless! Looking forward to a fantastic evening...

Pictage, here you go!

Yes another iPhone photo...we decided to spend the afternoon together
walking the property and holding hands (when JK wasn't pushing the
tricycle around). As you know already, I am kind of obsessed with my
son. :) what a splendid day yesterday was- nice and warm. Then the
weather today reminds me that its not spring just yet! Either way I'll
take the sunshine, and the priceless walks. I think I have my son to
partially blame for my passion to capture real life moments.


WPPI Part 1

Here is the beginning... We live about 8 hours away from Vegas, and I love to drive, so my wife and I took off on Saturday Morning a week ago for the trip to WPPI. Along the way we got to spend time chatting and laughing about life, and really invest in our relationship. I am soooo blessed to have a loving and wonderful wife!

When we arrived at Paris Hotel, and settled in just a bit, we began our night out. I took Gina to Terribles Hotel & Casino for one of the best prime rib dinner deals in Vegas, and ate it all up! Good stuff.

We strolled back to Paris, and met up with a bunch of friends for a little while. Gina got tired so she took off back to the room, but I stayed out and ate again with David Escalante and Travis. A great Brie cheese burger! Pictures are lacking but trust me, it was good. :)

Later on I got some more great eats (2am!) at Le Cafe with some fantastic photographers and good friends: Harald & Aundrea from BluDomain, Mike Colon, David Escalante, Shane & Erin Melenbacker, Uncle Ray & Anna Santana, Michael Norwood, and Travis Hoehne,. I literally work in the best industry in the world! After finishing up with a creme brulee, a few of us went out to hit the poker tables at Caesars Palace. Of course, I didn't want to start my Vegas trip on the wrong foot, so I waited to take my chances later in the week.

You've seen my iPhone photos in the past blog entries to help carry you along, and I'm not sure how much details I'll include in a recap of the last week, but this is a good start. I'll begin to track down the images from friends and sync others with the computer to share with y'all. Until then, Enjoy! :)

Back Home!

Upon our return to the office this weekend I plan on posting an
update, with a synopsis of the WPPI conference this last week. It's
great to be back home and I'm excited about the upcoming weddings to
kick off my favorite time of the year -wedding season! What do YOU
have planned for this great Easter weekend??


M&Ms contined...

Really big candy!! Gina & I are finishing up our trip to Las Vegas
with something sweet. Yum!

Check this out

A four story M&M store? You better believe it! My wife is stoked!


I don't really know much about gambling and card games, but since I am
in Las Vegas and hanging with stellar friends such as David Escalante,
Mike Colon (whose great at poker), and Michael Norwood, I decided to
try my hand at poker at Caesars Palace. Needless to say I am not that
good at all -whatsoever- as I am actually blogging while sitting at
the poker table empty handed. Nontheless, I learned a lot about the
game and enjoy sitting here with my friends!



Another shot of Paris/Ballys...

Kenny Kim

Here is Kenny Kim, one of the coolest and genuinely nice guys out
there. If you've never heard if him, be sure to check out his website
at www.kennykim.com and visit his blog to appreciate his awesome
talent as a photographer, and killer blogger. He recently helped Bob
Davis & Mike Colon on their "Master Your Craft" tour (which by the
way, I still need to blog about!).

Our Hotel

Well, part of it. :)

The Bellagio!

WPPI images continued...

Well folks, here are a few more posts with images from the iPhone.
We're hanging with some of the most talented photographers in the
world and building on the best friendships! We are also stoked to
continue our learning and stretching our minds to think creatively
outside of the box!


A closer look

It's Real!

Ever wonder what a million bucks looks like?

WPPI in Las Vegas!

Mike Steelman Photographers is proud to be a member of WPPI - Wedding
& Portrait Photographers International - for the last couple of years,
and we're currently attending the huge conference here in Las Vegas.
This is such a great place to network with fellow photographers, meet
new friends, stay on top of the latest in photographic technologies,
and ensure that we are providing our clients with the ultimate
experience in our industry. I'll be posting some fun images from our
journey here, so check back soon. :)


Julie & Kriss

I am so blessed to work with great couples! Here's Julie & Kriss. They are getting married in South Maui later this year, and are an absolute joy to be around. We started shooting at Carmel Beach at the end of Ocean Avenue, and then strolled the beautiful streets and sideways in downtown Carmel-By-The-Sea. Yes, we even hijacked a ticket meter cart and a garbage truck...just to keep it lively! What good times. There are so many great places to photograph, that we kept shooting right into lunch...Thanks guys!

If yourself or someone you know is getting married and still need a photographer, give us a call soon as the year is booking up pretty quick. I don't limit our shooting to just local venues (although it is extremely gorgeous on the Monterey Peninsula!), and am willing to travel just about everywhere (Especially when warm weather and Mai Tais are involved!). Give the studio a call at 1-800-925-1639 or email me at mike@mikesteelman.com and we'll be sure to blow your mind with our passion and dedication.


George & JJ

Please allow me the pleasure to introduce to you George & JJ! They are getting married next month in southern California, and I am so excited to be their photographer. George and JJ have such a connection between them it's hard NOT to photograph it! We planned to shoot their engagement session here in Monterey, and it so happened that it was the one day of a storm. But, being the adventurous couple that they are, they braved the rain and made a sunny day out of it! Here are a few shots from Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Tech Note: It's always a challenge to shoot in an aquarium: you have very dark areas (lack of lighting) and the ever present GLASS. Being dark you have to pop a strobe, yet control the shutter speed to provide for adequate ambient light to fill the background. I dragged my shutter speed dangerously slow, but yet used the fill flash to freeze the beautiful couple (ISO 800, f/2.8 at 1/15th!). I could have bumped the shutter speed a bit higher, but it was crazy dark in there. Nonetheless, the experience was a great time together, and that's what matters the most aside from great shots. Create the experience, be yourself, and have fun. Man, I can't wait for their awesome day!


Beautifully Blue Lake Tahoe

Congratulations Eric and Valerie on your new lifelong adventure! What a simple and sweet and beautiful wedding ceremony in South Lake Tahoe. Stay warm you two :)

We had the opportunity to have a little family time on Sunday, so we rested up, walked around after breakfast, and took the gondola ride up to Heavenly. No snow boarding this round though :( We enjoyed a sunny and crisp day that helped refresh the soul. This was JK's first real experience with snow, which he calls "ndo". It's such a joy to have the freedom to share in his experiences, and to really invest in what matters most. Your loved ones are the most important investment you can make. Sure, work matters...but my challenge to you as either another photographer, business owner, employee, average joe or whatever, INVEST IN THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY. Step out of the box and recalibrate your life, so to speak. Put God first, and then pour your heart and soul into the lives you touch the most! Think about who would show up to visit you (God forbid) in the hospital, and be grateful for them. Our families are the ones who watch us dive in sometimes over our head, and are there no matter what, through thick and thin. It's a GREAT thing to come home to those special and dear to your heart, and catch a glimpse of encouragement, hope and love. The way my wife looks at me can help make me realize that I can conquer the world! And the way my son looks up to me is absolutely priceless - he does not care what I do, how well I do it, doesn't worry about bills, employees, and the perpetual to do list. All he cares about and knows is the fact that his "Daeee" is there for him to love on, protect, guide, and care for. The fact that my hand on his face when he goes to bed comforts him enough to quiet him in his crib and makes him to know that he is in a safe place is one incredible blessing and responsibility.

So back to my challenge. What would you think about today, in the place that you are in right now, that is taking your attention, thoughts, actions, energy and focus off of your family? Recognize it, call it out, and challenge yourself to re-prioritize asap! God has blessed you with the very air you breathe right now, so what are you going to do with it? Invest in the things that last and matter the most.

You'll see a lot of the personal side of my life on this blog, obviously, because it's just who I am, and that's why this is called "a glimpse into the life of...". I am passionate about what I do and love the job that I've been blessed with. To me it's not just a job - it's someone's life. I was asked once when I realized my passion for photography, and I got to thinking about it. Sure, I absolutely & fully enjoy photography! But what I'm truly passionate about is LIFE, and the people I work with and for. It comes back to the relationships we make. Life is too short to always be in the hussle-bussle of work, eat, pay bills, play, do taxes, work some more, etc. I guess that's why I so enjoy weddings - it's your special day of joy, full of real life moments, and blessed happiness. I hope this post encourages you to think outside of the box, and inspires you to look up at the beautiful sky, trees, or birds the next time you walk down the street among the stoplights, cars, horns, trash in the gutters, and businesses. I call it a "mini mind vacation". Have a wonderful day!


Tahoe trip

Hi everyone. We're on the way up to South Lake Tahoe for a beautiful
wedding tomorrow (and maybe some snowplay on Sunday:) and I wanted to
share another picture of you know who! Here's my son so cool & laid
out... Doesn't it look tempting (minus the carseat)?? Have a great