"As long as I've known Mike, he's always been down for a good time. Mike always knows how to handle the good and bad situations. Easy! Let's go grab drink and plan a trip, is usually the motive. I've been enough to travel with Mike throughout the last couple of winters, this dude really loves his tapas and red wine. If Mike isn't found skating around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) during the lovely Canadian summers, you can find him enjoying a nice bottle of vino at Bellwood's park."--Jake Cormier
How old are you and where do you live currently and where are you from?
Recently turned 24 and living in Toronto, Canada. Grew up in a small town an hour out of the city, but made the move right after high school.
How long have you been shooting skating and what got you into it?
I guess I've been shooting for seven or so years now. Grew up skateboarding first as a little kid. But eventually started messing around with the family’s video camera. Just taking turns filming each other while skating around town. By the end of high school, I got my own camera and started taking things a little more seriously. Taking it upon myself to learn more about composition, lighting and everything else. Always just loved documenting what's happening around me and messing around with lighting, couldn't see myself doing anything else. Moving to the city after high school to continue shooting and skating just made sense to me.
Is there one photograph or photographer that inspired you to take up photography?
Wouldn't necessarily say there was one thing that inspired me to get into photography. Skateboarding and documenting my friends was just a natural thing for me. But the magazines themselves definitely inspired me to pursue photography more so. Having a physical copy and being able to look through all the images, advertisements and interviews seemed like another world to me. Pushed me to try to be a part of something and contribute to them.
What’s the best and worst advice you’ve been given on photography?
Best advice was to shoot as much as possible, with the gear you have. Not to worry about the next best piece of equipment. Just make due with what you currently have. Worst advice, to quit while I'm ahead. Since it’s to difficult to make a living with photography.
Do you have a favorite photo of your own?
It changes all the time. Always enjoy simple tricks that look stylish. Most of my favorite photos are shot with the same handful of skaters. Étienne Winner's, back tail is definitely a recent favorite.
What’s the most interesting story behind one of your photos?
Most photos while traveling usually have a good story behind them. But the Charles Deschamps, five-0 really was just one of those days I'll always remember. While on a trip to Gran Canaria to avoid the harsh winter back home, we heard about a waterpark on the other side of the island that's been abandon for years. No one had the exact address. So after spending a morning on Google maps satellite view, we found what seemed to be the water slides. We took the two-hour drive to the touristy, resort side of the islands and seamlessly walk through the front gates as if the park was still open. Exploring around the abandon park and skating down a tightly curved water slide on the side of a valley over looking the Atlantic Ocean was a pretty surreal moment.
What advice would you give to up and coming skate photogs?
Just keep shooting and getting yourself out there. Just like many things in life, photography and skating is about who you know. Being a genuine person, doing it for the right reasons and positioning yourself into the right situations to shoot as much as possible will go a long way.
Best thing about shooting in your hometown:
There's a big old University campus that takes up a good amount of the city. During the summers when the majority of the students are gone, you can spend hours pushing around from spot to spot without crossing paths with other people.
Do you prefer digital or film?
These days I generally only shoot digital for all of my work. But I still have a little 35mm camera I kick around to shoot with for fun. Been thinking about getting back into film for some more photography, we'll see what the future holds.
What’s in your camera bag?
Pocket Wizards x 4
Paul C Buff Einstein Flash/Vagabond Mini
Nikon SB flashes x 4