Test shoots

To advance in any field one must learn the lingo. In fashion photography, a term to learn is “test shoot” where one works with a model from an agency to create work. The second thing one must learn, this is not official order of things just what’s coming to me as I write…is directing. As the photographer you are working with the model to create a feeling with a picture. When creating a comp card, short for compilation, a model will need various looks (outfit changes). From what I have seen sessions start at around $300 and come with a professional HMUA (not gonna do all your homework for you:). Hair and make-up artists…will help your images legitimacy, and get you that glam look much faster than photoshop alone. There is so much more but I am done writing for now. So enjoy these images from model Taylor Anderson.Taylor_Shoot_2-462.jpg




Projects I am a part of: Yachtoberfest


This Saturday coming up is, the inaugural Yachtoberfest, though not a beer guy I do enjoy a good bratwurst. Funnily enough I am a part of this because I wanted a barbecue grill. You never know what circumstances will lead to participation in events you could not have created yourself. I met a lady, who was at the time the president of the Tacoma Waterfront Association, through a Craigslist article. I bought the grill and went to a meeting, and networked. Two years or so later and I am an official photographer for the event. I also help them create marketing materials. My dad always said “Opportunity looks like work.” Sometimes opportunity is just relating with people and being genuine as much as possible. Also always carry your business card. I also got published in the Tacoma Volcano, front page

If you enjoy all things October and need something to do on a crisp October Saturday Morn. Head own to the Thea Foss Esplanade. And sample some local brews, and bratwurst. And come away with great memories and a commemorative beer stein.



Get your tickets here. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/807822


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Where have I been?



This summer has been a recuperation of sorts. I just completed my degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics. “What, why? You’re a photographer. Why not get a photography degree?”  I am continually learning, and a degree in photography will not help me any more than amazing pictures will. I love photography, almost as much as I love music. What I needed was business sense and the why’s behind smart business. Anyways I have done a lot since my last post…however long ago that was. I will try to make this Monday thing normal.

Check out my web page, become a fan, send me work:)

I travel near and far, passport in hand.20140816_Formal_Session-096 20140712_Chance_July-2105 20140816_Formal_Session-080

What are you planting?


I travel Place to place, passport in hand.

I’ve been reading a book called “A million miles in a thousand years” by Donald Miller author of “Blue Like Jazz”. The main idea is that each of our lives is a story, and is your story just about working to get things i.e. “Michael worked a bunch of overtime and sacrificed and eventually bought himself a big house and then retired and died”, or are you writing something epic. In every day there are seeds of adventure…What are we planting?


Business and Fun

I travel near and far, passport in hand.                                                                                    -Michael Jordan


C and M


Often people of the world (myself included) feel that business and fun cannot/do not go together. By some twist of ethos and pathos society as a whole tells us that smiles and laughter should be separate from earning money or making a profit. I say, those who have found a way to combine both have found something special. That being said I have found something special.

I read a book a while back called “Strengths Finder” by Tom Rath, which helps individuals identify their top five strengths/attributes, which they can employ to work towards success. I found that my five, apply very specifically to an entrepreneurial track, which was neat (lol) because I had always wanted to have a business, I just didn’t know what to pursue. (Warning: Origin-type story to commence.) I was working 36 hours a week a.k.a. three twelves, as an early twenty-something and had lots of free time due to my hourly wage, and single status. I thought to myself “What do I want to do with all this free time?” I realized I enjoyed doing fun stuff, hiking, paint balling, going to Denny’s etc. As much as I enjoyed the memories I had made, I was not much of a “journaler” but I did enjoy taking pictures. I had my little Vivitar something-or-other and would take it everywhere. One of my strengths is maximizer, I like to improve at any task or hobby I undertake, which explains a lot about my love for playing music and cooking. So as time progressed I improved by stutters and squiggles (unbeknownst to many, stutters and squiggles are mandatory prerequisites for leaps and bounds). After being in the right place at the right time with my camera (their proposal), some friends of mine asked me to do their wedding. Now, looking back, they should never have hired me based on my work, but they saw some smidgeon of potential…I guess, and I accepted. I went out almost immediately and bought a better camera with my bonus from work (when you are single many things can be immediate) and started trying to learn more (another one of my strengths) so I wouldn’t mess it up. Anyways, here I am 4 years later extremely happy, doing sessions, and making more memories and friends, while exploring varying aspects of photography, with my clients I get to share special moments and help them tell a story with images by bringing out their unique personalities. My “job” is to get people smile at me, I am not a comedian, though Dave Chappelle said, “all musicians think they are comedians”.  I elicit smiles and laughter mostly because of my crazy and or off the wall ideas. I get to work with people (relate) and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Takeaway: Never fear walking down a road untraveled, because only with the unknown, is adventure guaranteed.

P.S. The top picture is from my first wedding as a photographer.


Find more info about your strengths at http://www.strengthsfinder.com

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What to say

Cool Night

Some times you go in with a plan sometimes no. When your plan seems unfeasible and then you realize it’s possible joy is restored. That was the case with this shoot. I wanted to try something I saw on youtube.  Making people look invisible without using photoshop. I thought I had forgotten a vital piece of equipment…I had forgotten a vital piece of equipment in order to accomplish the task, but after a few shots I realized all was not lost.

Lesson from this session: Never give up. Just keep clicking.

Arms first


Wedding Drama:)


Hey everyone, it was not dramatic in the least, it was lots of fun, with great food. I wrote drama, because as you can see below I was able to get a look that is almost like a “novela” which is a spanish language soap opera. Aracely and Raul made their vows and then danced the night away. Now you may ask why has it been so long since I posted, the truth is a lot ha been going on new work and also now I am a Husky. 3 classes, going towards my business degree. Wish me luck and if you know pre-calc send me a message, I need help struggling against the evils of rational expressions…anyways. I have another event to update you on so stay tuned. And don’t forget, just because its getting colder doesn’t mean great memories cannot be made. Look at my Facebook page to find how to contact me, http://www.facebook.com/michaeljordanphoto

P.S. Remember, knowing clients go to the savvy photographer-ahem that’s me:)

Till next time


I recently joined a photo meet up group in my area, and they have different outings planned a couple of times a month. I joined because I wanted to meet more photographers and challenge myself by working on assignments. So last Saturday I went to K Connell Dhalias on Waller Rd. in Tacoma. I thought to myself hmm this might be fun, Imagining boring rows of flowers and pushy unwelcoming staff who care more about plants than people. It was just the opposite, when I arrived there were rows and rows of flowers, but what flowers they were. I looked for someone on staff to let them know I was from the meet up group, and ask where could I walk around, he said warmly “everywhere, but your shoes might get dirty” I thought to myself “Wonderful”. They care a lot about flowers but have not lost any love for humans. I cannot say how amazing Dhalias are. Each type has a personality, demure, bold, coy. Dhalias are the supermodels of flowers. I had to force myself to leave because I just could not stop taking pictures and buzzing around like oooh ahhhh wowww gasp ermehgherd!!! If you haven’t been to K Connell Dhalias please go check it out and tell them Michael Jordan Sent you. The website is http://www.connells-dahlias.com/

P.S. Share this with your friends if you find Dhalias captivating as well

P.P.S. Hire Me!! michaeljordanphoto@gmail.com




Weddings and the people that love them


Hi Everybody…I have had a busy couple of weeks. My latest wedding was less than two weeks ago and I’m still editing and sorting. Working on my workflow, finding time around all the other things calling for my attention to sit down and get it done.  BTW the wedding was great, lots of fun, tons of pictures and interesting people. The couple looked amazing, everyone was happy and excited. A picture’s worth a thousand words so take a look. Also what I learned from this adventure.

What did I learn?

A number 1.) I learned always have your external flash, and a white bounce screen for sunset pics instead of trying the gold (smh): tinted reflector.

B number 2.) You can’t let frustrations get you off track because then you’ll make decisions like using a gold tinted reflector instead of letting the situation work for you.

3. If you are put in a new situation with failing light and you have a perfectly lit backdrop, stop take 5 minutes to go through the possibilities, what will work what won’t and what should never be tried. This will cause you to utilize best what you have at your disposal. Hindsight is 20/20.

P.S.  Don’t forget to comment and share these images on your pages, pinterest, Facebook etc. Thanks for the support.  MJP



Hi everybody,

Every once in a while… I have a hard time capturing a photo or thought. I was at the beach with my wife and kids some friends of the family. The ocean looked terrible, there were brown bubbles floating on the water, and washing up on the beach. Gross right, it’s not always that way but this day was just weird. Anyway I came upon something on the ground and liked the idea that came to my head to try to capture it and have the waves and the sand all making it look interesting, I took 12 or so shots but never could get the focus where I wanted it, but in the end it still was interesting to look at. What I learned was even when you don’t achieve what you started out to do, it’s not a failure it’s a learning experience. I know now, how to get the shot I was going for then.