Kevin Wach

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

KW: When I see through the lens, it’s a different world. I like creating art and capturing memories. Photography has helped me come out of
my shell. School was difficult for me so when I found that learning photography was easy for me, it helped build my confidence in many
ways.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

KW: I started out with the MPA team when I was 15 years old. I went to a beginning photography class and then I went on my first photo tour in Santa Cruz. My favorite thing about MPA team is that they welcomed
me and they didn’t treat me like a kid because I was much younger than the other students. Being with the McKay’s allowed me to travel places and meet new people. They helped me get out of my comfort
zone.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about Photo Enthusiast Network?

KW: I like every thing about PEN. The community is helping me grow and the friendships are great. I like the Tuesday tips and the image reviews.

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

KW: The Animals of Montana trip was great and was my favorite. It got my feet wet in wildlife photography. Yellowstone was amazing. I liked the snowmobile adventure with David the best!

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

KW: I would like to master Photoshop and get my images to the next level. I’d like to find a way to make photography my career path.

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

KW: I would like to go on the next Albuquerque Balloon festival trip.

 

MPA: As a personal note from us.  Kevin holds a very special place in our hearts and all of the team here at MPA both past and present. We have watched him grow from a really shy kid, to a young adult  that is getting to experience the world and develop friendships all because of photography!  Kevin is spotlighted for a number of reasons. But his work has come so far and we are sure you will enjoy it as much as we all do! 

 

Follow Kevin here! 

https://www.facebook.com/WachPhotography/

Kari Dahlstrom

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

KD: I love everything about photography. Photography combines both technical skill and artistry, and every photographer combines these things in a different way. Photography compels me to explore, to get out of my comfort zone and to create. It challenges me to master the technical aspects while also tapping into my creative side.

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

KD: I knew right away on my first photo tour that I was hooked. I thrive on learning from the instructors and love being surrounded by other talented photographers. Each person sees different things and captures unique images based on their own creativity. We can all visit the same location and walk away with different images. That inspires me!

And, my favorite thing about MPA is the true community the McKay’s have created. The motto, “Photography, Travel, Friendship and Adventure” is a way of life for the whole MPA team and for their clients.

MPA and PEN have provided me with an invaluable support system that encourages me, challenges me and fulfills me. I love being around people who appreciate nature and travel and other cultures, the same as I do. Not only have I advanced my photography skills, I’ve made true friends.

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

KD: Every trip is different and amazing and carefully planned by MPA. I loved my first trip which was to Alaska where we hiked a glacier, rode the dogsled and photographed the aurora. But, my favorite trip has to be the Arctic where we had incredible encounters with polar bears. Being in a zodiac with a polar bear swimming just yards away was incredible!

 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

KD: My goal is to gain as much technical and artistic skill as I can and to always keep growing. Photography helps me tell the stories of my travel experiences which I’m working to publish through freelance travel writing. (Read my article about photo tours, with a quote from Ally McKay HERE!

I am also really motivated by the image review offered through PEN and I hope to enter images into the PPA competition in the near future.

 

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

KD: As I read this, I’m packing for McKay’s Yellowstone in winter tour, including Animals of Montana, which everyone says is fantastic. I’m also really looking forward to Mongolia where we’ll be photographing the eagle hunters.

 

MPA: Any other info you want to share about yourself or your work?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kari_dahlstrom_photography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KariDahlstromPhoto/

Portfolio: https://karidahlstrom.zenfolio.com/f510796787

Laura McCue

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

LM: At first, photography appealed to me as a way to capture a moment and preserve it. As I pursue this passion, I find that I seek out and appreciate the beauty in, well, everything.  Photography encourages me to interact more frequently and more closely with other passions: nature, animals, and children.  I love sharing these captured moments with others.

 

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

LM: I came to MPA to learn more about photography from the experienced, professional McKay team. I’ve progressed in my photography thanks to MPA—but I also return to MPA for the fun & friendship. I consider each of the McKay team a friend, and the type of clients MPA attracts are kindred spirits.  There is a lack of egos and a genuine interest in learning and in supporting each other.  I’ve developed several close friendships with fellow McKay travelers.  The PEN community continues this tone—friendship, support & learning—throughout the year. 

 

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

LM: It’s hard to choose just one! A recent favorite is Vietnam.  It’s a beautiful country with diverse scenery; I enjoyed interacting with the Vietnamese people whom I generally found to be optimistic, happy, kind and generous.  I had a lot of fun in my efforts to capture their spirit and culture.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer/artist?

LM: To continue to develop in my ability to use light, composition, and storytelling in my photography and to bring joy to those with whom I share my images.   

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

LM: Mongolia!  If you told me twenty years ago that I’d be looking forward to going to Mongolia I would have had a good laugh and said, “you’re crazy”. Now, I know that I’ll love visiting with the locals, seeing the beauty of the country and capturing the moments… 

Joe Orban

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

JO: Two reasons I love photography, first I like to make people think and feel emotion, and my photos can sometimes do that which in turn makes me feel connected to them in some way.  Second, my professional career was all left brain, math and computers, photography exercises my creative right side of the brain, the Yin and Yang of my life!

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

JO: I feel lucky to have met and traveled with the MPA team.  My favorite are the people, travel leaders and other photographers with whom I count as friends whether near or far.  As for travel, I really like that MPA takes care of just about everything leaving me to only think of photography and the experiences and surprises of new places.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

JO: All my 3 international MPA trips have been fantastic and could be favorites, but I must put New Zealand as the most favorite maybe because it was the first with MPA and the locations and variety of photography stretched my skills to new levels I never dreamed of before.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

JO:  I would like to crystallize my photographic style and show or publish more of my images.  My style has been all over the place, but I seem to most enjoy photographing Street and Environmental Portraiture.  However, I am always trying something new and enjoy the photo events with local cosplay and model groups.  It is a serious hobby and my main goal is to enjoy life and photography help me do that.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

JO: Maybe India, but I most look forward to travelling, period.  Short term, I would like to travel the USA to many of the beautiful national parks.  I am more likely to travel where and when the opportunity strikes!

MPA: What’s a little extra info about yourself?

JO: When I first seriously started photography with a real DSLR in 2008, I answered a questionnaire about what I would like to do in the future by writing that I wanted to travel the world with my camera.  Retired now I am happy to have fulfilled a life’s goal and MPA helped make that possible. 

Lori Myers

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

LM: I remember being in awe of landscape and animal photographs in magazines and galleries when I was young and wanted to learn to take photos “like those”. I promised myself I’d take up photography, “someday”. I love to challenge myself – and while sometimes frustrating, I keep learning

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

LM: Just about everything and everyone. From the first “Mastering your camera: Part 1” class – David and Ally’s style and content teaching the classes “turned the light-bulb on” for me and I was hooked! My first tour with them was a body-numbing cold trip to Yellowstone – I learned so much from all of the instructors – composition, lighting, exploring – including how to really have fun making new friends – and challenging myself each time I pick up my camera.

The attention doesn’t end in trips. The PEN community is terrific, and image reviews (in depth and even casual) are so valuable because you get feedback from David, Ally, Steve and Toby – as well as the community. It’s a terrific place – almost like a digital neighborhood where everyone is looking out for each other with some amazing photographers to learn from. You get support, but also the serious critique (if you want it) that pushes you. At least three times in one year I’ve asked for Tuesday tip or tutorial on something, and wham! it appears. That’s pretty amazing.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

LM: Can I say I they have all been my favorites? I have three: Alaska in December (Alaskan RR, meeting Dallas Seavey and his dogs, amazing Aurora show, hosts Frank and Miriam, Nu’kah! and Dippy)…Artic trip on a ship for a week: polar bears, midnight sun, amazing history, amazing crew, Polar Plunge…and Iceland: waterfalls, landscape, Aurora, horses, sheep, waterfalls…The photo ops are all wonderful; but the relationships Dave and Ally have made along their journeys which they share on their tours provide personal
and unique experiences each trip

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

LM:  To be able to create art which I am proud of – which moves and inspires me – and others – and to share with my family and friends. To get comfortable with more environments (like city and portrait photography) in addition to landscape and animals which I currently LOVE to shoot.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

LM:New Zealand next spring (well, fall there). I’ve been so comfortable traveling with MPA – and joining friends from previous tours – that I know regardless of how the trips unfold, I will have an amazing experience!

One last comment; yes, these tours are offered to inspire learning and understanding the art of photography – they end up being so much more about the special friendships I’ve made over the last 1 1/2 years with people who share a passion for photography – through MPA Academy! Thank you Dave, Ally, Toby, Steve and Nick

Bryan Scanlon

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

BS: I’ve always been a sucker for a good story. I’ve got two writing degrees, a ridiculous comic book collection, 20+ years in professional public relations, am addicted to audiobooks – and I am married to a librarian. Photography is storytelling. There’s also the whole adventure component. Going places, meeting people, turning the corner and there’s picture/story staring you straight in the face, an amazing change in the weather (for good or bad), etc

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

BS: By far it’s the quality, attention, and enthusiasm of the instructors – and now the community. The trips have a large ratio of instructors, so you are getting a lot of attention at your level. I remember this one trip where David was all over me about watching my shutter speed on aperture priority mode, which was also telling me that I was ready to shoot on manual by showing me the limitation on my work (vs. some platitude like “shoot in manual”). The whole day pushing that in my head. It got me into manual mode and thinking far more about subtle changes in my photos.  

The attention doesn’t end in trips. The PEN community is terrific, and image reviews (in depth and even casual) are so valuable because you get feedback from David, Ally, Steve and Toby – as well as the community. It’s a terrific place – almost like a digital neighborhood where everyone is looking out for each other with some amazing photographers to learn from. You get support, but also the serious critique (if you want it) that pushes you. At least three times in one year I’ve asked for Tuesday tip or tutorial on something, and wham! it appears. That’s pretty amazing.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

BS: Yellowstone. And the extension with Animals of Montana was terrific. It’s a great way to get into wildlife photography and just have a lot of fun with a great group of people. (The photos are terrific, too.) The countryside and park are beautiful – even when it’s ridiculously cold and snowing sideways. 

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

BS:  Now that I have the fundamentals down and shooting in manual mode, fluent in Lightroom, etc., my goal is to define my style and create art and emotion vs. simply documenting a moment and getting exposure, etc. right. I’ve learned a lot quickly, but now I need to focus and hone the craft, with smaller, harder gains over time to get even better. Instead of taking a bunch of photos and “sorting it out later in Lightroom,”

I want to very purposeful and think about a thread of the story to build upon before I press the shutter. “What do I want from this? What is the story I am going to tell? Who’s the protagonist? What do I want to viewer to feel? How do these series of photographs when presented together create a powerful narrative?” I’m less harsh on myself about technology, and very serious about the story and focus and craft and taking far more risks.

I’ve started printing and that opens up a lot of learning. I want to spend more time working a scene before pressing the shutter. Shoot with more purpose. Craft with more precision. Edit more delicately. And then, maybe, create more memorable art.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

BS: I am headed back to Mexico next year and just returned from shooting the Day of the Dead celebrations. I’ve been to Cuba twice, and can’t wait to go back. Cuba is a street photography dream location with amazing people whose faces seem to tell a hundred stories in a single frame—and it’s at a critical point of change. There’s something terrific when you’re taking human photos that are also rooted in deep history, tradition or ritual. 

You can find Bryan’s work HERE or on Facebook or Instagram (@bkscanlon).

Paul Anderson

 

MPA: Why do you love photography?

PA: I love the outdoors! Photography gets me out and allows me to create.  Behind the lens, it is a different world!  When I download and open my images, it is Christmas all over!

MPA: Your favorite thing about MPA?

PA:  I was able to move off of “auto” very quickly after reading the book and attending my first class at MPA.  Having the basics is so important.  Now I am applying advanced techniques that I’m learning on the PEN website.

MPA: Your favorite trip or course with MPA?

PA: Being a landscape and wildlife photographer, the Winter Yellowstone trip was amazing and the addition of Animals of Montana made this trip the best photography experience I have had so far.

MPA: Your aspirations as a photographer / artist?

PA:  he McKay team has given me the confidence in my work to enter into the professional arena. I will definitely will be joining the Professional Photography of America soon.

MPA: Where do you look forward to traveling next?

PA: Of course…An Africa Safari would be my dream trip!