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