Frank was born and raised in Germany. After a normal “German-life” with school, Army, University and his own company he decided at the age of 38 that he wanted more than that. He sold his company and started traveling through the world.
One of his motorcycle trips led him to Alaska and he fell completely in love with the vast remoteness and pristine beauty of the wilderness far north.
Frank got his first camera at the age of 10 but got really into photography at the age of 14 when he could develop his own pictures in the unused darkroom of a small photo store in his home town. “After school I wanted to become a professional photographer but my father talked me out of it – He said “I should learn something serious, go to university and study Mathematics and Economy…”
So photography became only a hobby until later in life. When Frank started traveling through the world, photography became more and more important and a bigger part of his life: “When you run around with a camera in your hand every year for 4 to 5 months you get better and spending so much time somewhere in the wild, led of course to a lot of nice wildlife pictures…”
People became aware of his photography and were asking for prints, calendars and books and Frank’s photographs were published in magazines and he had several exhibitions in Germany. So when he moved to Alaska, and had to come up with a business idea, it was an easy one – and at the age of 49 Frank became the professional photographer he wanted to be as a boy!
Frank and his wife Miriam also run Aurora Bear Photography
just outside of Fairbanks, AK offering education on photographing the beautiful Aurora!
Brad Marendt is the owner of Backlight Photography in El Dorado Hills, CA. After growing up with a camera always in his face (thanks to his loving Mother) and starting in Jr. High, a camera in his hand, Brad started his photography and videography business in January 2019 after spending the last 17 years in the health insurance industry.
Brad’s first MPA experience was a Groupon he bought for his Mom for Mother’s day where, together, they learned to master their camera (exposure triangle here we come!). At that class, David connected Brad into the Airshow photo tour in Sacramento, and shortly after, Brad went on his first MPA tour through Old Sacramento. Since that time, Brad continued his photography education through Professional Photographers of America training, and with tours with MPA as well as attending the MPA Portrait Academy.
In 2020, Brad achieved his Certified Professional Photographer designation through the Professional Photographers Association of America. In his video business, Brad focuses on wedding video as well as promotional videos for businesses. Brad’s photography business is focused on uncovering the memories, telling the stories, and securing the legacies of individuals and families.
Prior to starting his photography business, his focus was strictly on landscapes, often replying to family and friends wanting pictures with, “I don’t do humans”. Brad believes it is landscape and streetscape photography that allows us to lift our heads up and truly see the beauty that surrounds us. From how the light hits the side of a building to a hidden waterfall oasis just a short hike from our homes.
“I believe in my heart that if not for David, Ally, and the MPA team, that I would still be a corporate dude with an expensive camera. Being part of this group, where photography is not just a passion but a way of life has inspired me to continue to grow as a photographer. I am grateful for the MPA team and excited to support and give back to a group that has given me so much.”