Green Bay Photographer Mike Roemer » Wisconsin Commercial Photographer | Wisconsin Advertising Photographer | Mike Roemer Photography Inc.

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  • Wisconsin Editorial Photographer and Wisconsin Commercial Photographer Mike Roemer’s blog.

    Hi, I'm Mike Roemer, a commercial, corporate, industrial, agriculture and editorial photographer based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    I've lived the photography business since childhood, first tagging along during my father's long newspaper photography career before ever carrying my own camera gear. My interest grew as I watched the fascinating process of my dad making black and white images appear while shaking trays of chemicals under the red lights of a developing room.

    My professional career started with a ten-year stint as a newspaper photographer meeting tight deadlines, adapting to curve balls and making the famous and not-so-famous comfortable in front of my lens.

    I returned to Green Bay in the mid-1990s to start my own business, and now regularly travel around the U.S. and internationally for my clients. I enjoy the creative challenge of combining unusual angles, lighting and lens options to produce the perfect commercial image.

    I've won first place awards in Pictures of the Year International, National Press Photographers Best of Photojournalism and National Headliners, along with being a three-time winner in the Pro Football Hall of Fame photo contest.

    I love the variety of projects I get to work on, from healthcare organization and foundation annual reports, high-energy casino and gaming shoots, industrial projects at locations as diverse as cheese manufacturers and steel plants, to corporate culture assignments and documenting the Green Bay Packers.

    Thanks for looking!

    Mike

I love working as a casino and gaming photographer.  For me to be a happy commercial photographer and corporate photographer, I need to shoot a variety of subjects; being able to pull out my casino photographer and gaming photographer skills makes me very happy.  One of my favorite commercial photography projects is casino photography. Here are some of my favorite gaming photography photos from a recent shoot with one of my favorite gaming ad agencies / casino ad agencies, Gaga Marketing and one of my favorite creatives, Mark Elmore.  This shoot was for Ocean Downs Casino near Ocean City, Maryland.  Shooting photos on an active casino floor always has it challenges and requires some planning to make sure you don’t run into problems. Luckily, my assistant for this shoot, Matt Ludtke, and I have done a number of these type of projects over the years, so we knew what to expect and prepared accordingly.  We had a great group of models that gave us the high energy feel the agency and the casino wanted, so in the end we got photos we’re proud of and ones that made the client happy.

Thanks for looking!

Mike

 

 

As I look back on 2017, I realize I got to see a lot of cool things and traveled to many different places.  As a midwest industrial photographer and a midwest manufacturing photographer, I traveled to Mexico, Germany and number of places around Wisconsin and the US.  My wife, Judy, was with me when I went to Mexico, which was fun and very helpful with her being fluent in Spanish.  Judy was also with me, as were my parents, on the Germany trip since that was part work and part play.  Take a look at my previous blog post about that trip.  

In years past, my year end blog post was sports heavy, but I want people to know that I’m not just a Wisconsin sports photographer.  This past year, I also added a travel category and I’d love to have people think of me also as a midwest travel photographer.  Every year, my editorial photography becomes less and less as I push more in to being a Wisconsin corporate photographer and a Wisconsin commercial photographer.

For 2017, my ‘best of’ blog post is a little different in that I expanded the captions for the photos and told a little about the back story on the shots.  With the extended captions, I’m going to keep this text short and let the images speak for themselves.

This past year, RoemerPhoto started doing more video work, which was mostly quick interviews and b-roll while shooting at manufacturing facilities.  My main assistant, Matt Ludtke, was incredibly helpful with that and took the lead on the videos.

So, here are my favorite shots from 2017.

Thanks for looking!

Mike

This is for sure one of my favorite shots of the year. I just love the smiles, the casual happiness, and the camaraderie of these workers. I shot this while on an industrial photography photoshoot in Mexico. I was looking for some non-production photos and it was lunch time, so I went in to the cafeteria area. This group of workers had just come off the floor and had probably seen me shooting in the production area earlier. A couple of them spotted me and struck humorous glamour poses, much to the amusement of the others. I grabbed a few frames of that and then hand gestured for them to group together. They came together in this awesome, casual gathering with those happy smiles; I had my shot and a happy client when they saw the image.

While scouting the campus of Fox Valley Technical College for a campus lifestyle shoot, I spotted this wall. I knew if I could get a couple students on that bench, I’d have a nice shot. On the day of the shoot, I found two willing subjects for that bench and got this shot.

I had seen a few posts on social media of a spectacular sunflower field about 20 minutes north of my home. I needed an excuse to get out of the office that day so I took a late day drive up to Bergsbaken Farms near Cecil, Wisconsin. I got some okay shots that afternoon, but I knew if I got a person in the right spot and I had some nice early morning light, I’d have a better image. My wife Judy is a lover of sunflowers, so it wasn’t tough to convince her to go out there with me the next morning at sunrise. We took our dog Chica and the biggest ladder I could get on the truck. I had my shot as Judy walked Chica down a road that cut through the fields.

While on a business and family trip to Germany this summer, I spotted this food truck at a couple of open air markets. The day before I shot this photo, I had tried to get something interesting of the vehicle because I thought it was a unique looking rig. Walking back from the train station in Frankfurt on the last full day of the trip, I came across the truck again and loved how the businessman was sitting so prim and proper with great posture against that funky looking truck. I grabbed a quick frame and love the result.

After a long day of covering a Packers game in Green Bay, I went out for a burger with the other photographers and editors I work with. Just as I was paying my bill, I saw this family come in and sit down under the flag of colored baseballs wearing their Packers garb. As I was leaving, I grabbed a quick candid shot with my iPhone. The family saw what I had done and gave me an approving smile. To all you non Green Bay folk, this isn’t normally how a Green Bay family looks when they go out for dinner.

I shot this photo of the Green Bay Phoenix mens basketball freshman class. Earlier, I had shot all the players individually with the goal of getting basic head shots and serious portraits. But we also like to have them to loosen up in order to capture a little personality. For this shot, I told them to get on the white background as a group; they came together in this formation without any direction and just started having fun. I love the smiles, the laughter and the genuineness of the shot.

This is a shot from a story I shot of a young rodeo rider near Stephenville, Texas. The rider is an employee of a corporate client who likes me to capture images that tell stories of their employees away from work.

I took this image for St Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. I shoot for them a few times a year at big events like convocation, commencement and homecoming, but I also shoot some scenic lifestyle photos like this. I’d like to say I just came across this, but it’s completely set up. The college gives me a great bunch of students to work with that I can pop into shots as needed. I placed the two on the bench as well as the three walking in the background and I choreographed it all. That wouldn’t fly in the editorial world, but in this situation, I see no issue with it and the client loves the shot. The key is to make it look natural and not the result of a set up.

I shot this photo in Lindau, Germany while shooting some scenics for a commercial client, who has production facilities in that area of Germany and Austria.

This shot is also from Lindau, Germany. That’s my wife Judy, looking out over the water. While I was shooting something else, Judy struck this pose to take in the scene and as I glanced over, I saw how the shot had come together with the old couple walking past.

While headed to the market in downtown Leon, Mexico I spotted this man sitting with his dog. It was a quick shot without even raising the camera to my eye. I love lots of things about this shot – the colors; the tilt of the street, the Chicago Cubs cap, the position of the dog – but most of all I love the connection between the man and the dog.

A few weeks ago, I shot a winter bike race in Manitowoc, Wisconsin as part of a continuing project for the Visitor and Convention Bureau there to show people enjoying the area year round. While scouting the course, I saw a sign for a beer short cut. Turns out racers could cut off part of the course if they stopped to drink a can of beer. Let’s just say it made for some interesting photos.

I shot this photo I’m going to call ‘young love’ in downtown Guanajuato, Mexico while working on a project for a manufacturing client. I was shooting some photos of landmarks in the city when I spotted these two couples. I really like the contrast between the familiarity of the one couple versus the shyness of the other couple, depicted by the averted eyes and the shy smiles.

I took this photo while on a shoot at a chemical plant. This area was very important for the client to highlight. The shot wasn’t all that interesting from ground level, but I thought worked rather nicely from an elevated position. It just needed a couple people and some additional lighting to make it more interesting and make the subjects pop. I had my assistant place one strobe to light our subjects and another as a rim light. The rim light was throwing a little bit of shadow, and I thought it would be even more interesting if we could make that shadow more dynamic. A few adjustments of our lights and we had the shot.

This shot is from the same chemical plant project as the previous photo. Again, we were looking for something a little different than what you would get from ground level. After scouting around, we found this elevated position looking down on the piping and wiring, which created interesting patterns and angles. Again, we needed a human element and we easily arranged for that to happen. I battled with cropping out the yellow safety wash station, but decided to keep that in since safety is so important for these types of industrial and manufacturing clients.

Nothing all that amazing about this portrait shot, but I like it for it’s clean, simple composition with some nice existing and added light. This was an environmental portrait for a financial magazine. We had shot a few safe photos in the subject’s office, but then we found this area the floor below his office. We set up one light to camera left, had our subject turn that way, and combined the added light with the existing, which gave us a shot the client didn’t expect, but really liked.

While waiting for our driver to pick us up in the city center of Guanajuato, Mexico during a shoot for a manufacturing client, I did a little street photography. This pickup passed by with a baseball team riding in the bed. I lifted my camera above my head as the truck passed, and a couple of the girls turned towards the camera, giving me my shot.

I shot this photo just a few moments after the previous photo in this post in the exact same spot in Guanajuato, Mexico. I love the way the two people on the passenger side of the car are looking out the windows and the groceries set on the roof.

During a family gathering, I hauled out my cameras to get some shots of my nieces tubing behind my brother-in-law’s boat on the Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin. This is a shot of my niece Izzy Kellner. I have plenty of images where I’m not shooting through the mist that the boat and tow line kicked up, but for this shot, I thought it added some interest. The shot was okay in color, but I really liked it in black and white.

Our dog Chica is seven years old; that’s her in the kiddie pool. Probably the first week we got Chica, we bought her this pool and each summer since, I’ve shot a photo of her and her cousin enjoying the dog days of summer. Pun intended.

While driving from Dallas down to Stephenville, Texas for an industrial photo shoot, I spotted this barn with the Texas flag painted on the roof. I pulled over and grabbed a few frames, but the light wasn’t the best. The next day, I went back to this spot when I knew I’d like the light better; this is the result.

I usually have more shots in my year end blog from Packers games, but this year Aaron Rodgers got hurt early in the season and the season spiraled down the drain. This shot is from the season opener and that’s Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers trying to run down Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Nazair Jones after throwing an interception. I love that look on Aaron’s face – I saw that same look on the faces of a lot of Packers fans as the season went on.

Before covering every home Packers game, I head out to the tailgating area to grab a couple of feature photos. I spotted this young man in his Packers pjs waiting to use a Porta-Potty. I think he may be trying to grab a quick nap. Hopefully he doesn’t nod off and drop his beer.

Every year or so, I go to an elevated position to get some different types of shots for Green Bay mens basketball, one of my higher education clients. For this shot, I was just trying to get some players coming across the logo on the middle of the court. When this player pulled up for a three point shot, it put him in a a great position to contrast against the logo. I love how small the player looks against the logo from this angle.

Green bay Photographer

Hi, I had a number of people reach out to me asking how we shot the RoemerPhoto Christmas card this year after we posted it on several social media platforms over the holidays.  Well, the first thing I did was ask my main assistant, Matt Ludtke, to shoot the card again this year; he also shot last year’s card.  Calling Matt my main assistant is selling him short.  Matt is an excellent photographer who has taken on a bigger roll than just assisting me.  This past year, we started shooting more video interviews and b-roll for various clients and Matt has taken the lead on that.  Matt also steps in as a second shooter on bigger projects and handles things as the primary shooter if one of my clients who Matt has worked with needs something shot when I’m booked.  Matt also shoots Packers football for the Associated Press, so if I’m in the north end zone look for Matt in the south.  We also share one of my college athletics accounts.  He is more than just a guy who works with me; he has his own clients and works with other companies on bigger video productions.  And he’s a good friend.

Okay, on to the technical stuff on how we shot the photo.  The two aspects people wondered about is how we froze the flying objects like me, Chica and the snow.  With normal strobes and normal camera settings for strobes, we probably would have had some motion blur and ghosting of the objects.  We used Elinchrom Quadra HS flash heads and a Canon 1Dx camera body that allowed us to use the high speed flash sync capabilities of Hyper Sync with the Elinchrom heads.  Hyper Sync allows you to use a faster shutter speed with strobes or flash than the camera is rated for.  The Canon 1Dx normally can only sync with strobes if you’re shooting at 250th of a second or slower.  With the combination we set up, you can get into the 2000th of a second range.

Matt set up one of our strobes on a hill behind the subjects so that it was out of view; this got us that great backlighting.  There was another strobe to camera left to light the subjects.  Matt also put a color conversion gel on the strobes so that the light temperature of those lights was warm like tungsten light, which would make the sky even bluer than normal at dusk.

We tried a number of shots timing all three of us perfectly – but with my middle-aged man leaping skills and Chica not following photo direction all that well – we ended up shooting the three of us separately and then combining all the elements in Photoshop.  I know you’re asking “did you need a trampoline to get that high off the ground?”  With a running start and the adrenaline rush of getting the holiday shoot done, I was able to get that entire 24 inches of vertical on my own.

So that’s the back story on how we got this shot – not all that incredibly complex and nor different from what we do day in and day out on our normal shoots.

Thanks again, Matt, for shooting the photo.

Mike

2017 was a busy year for me and I got to travel to a lot of interesting places and shoot a lot of interesting things. But the photos that I’ll remember long after those other images have faded will be the photos I shot of a trip that my wife, Judy and I took to Germany with my parents.  My mom is from Germany; she met my dad there when he was stationed in Frankfurt in the military and I was born there.  My parents and I have been back many times since we moved back to the states in the mid 60’s. Judy and I try to get back every three years or so to visit my aunts, uncles and cousins, but my parents haven’t been back in about ten years.  Some of my mom’s siblings have been here to visit in those ten years, but there’s no guarantee they will be making any more trips across the pond.  

My parents had been toying with making a trip back for the last few years, but for one reason or another, they always backed out.  A year ago we thought we had them convinced to take a river cruise through Germany with us, but we couldn’t get them locked in and then they told us to just go by ourselves and have fun.  They feared that they would just slow us down.

In early summer, a fellow Wisconsin commercial and editorial photographer, David Jackson, documented a trip he and his family made with his mom to her native Norway in a very similar situation to my parents.  Looking at his great story telling photos documenting those priceless moments, I knew we needed to put the hard sell on my parents.  I’m not sure we put all that much pressure on my parents, but we did work hard on convincing them we really wanted their company, and that would make the trip even more special for us.  In late June to my surprise, they gave me the go ahead to buy them tickets and I wasted no time booking the flights that day. I  know once they had spent the money, they wouldn’t back out.

So there it was: a two week trip straddling Labor Day weekend.   We got hold of all the family members in Germany and set up our whirlwind tour with one little side-trip for a shoot I needed to do for an industrial photography client. The first few days, we spent time in Frankfurt near my mom’s hometown of Hanau with her sibling, in-laws and nieces and nephews in the area, just taking in the city where my parents met and started a family.  From there, we traveled south towards Eichstätt so my mom could spend time with a cousin she grew very close to when they both became displaced from their homes in WWII.  From there, it was on to the Allgäu region so I could take care of the one shooting day I had scheduled during the trip. My mom’s sister and her husband met us in the storybook city of Wangen in Allgäu and they got to reminisce and act like sisters, alternately arguing and hugging at random times.  From there, it was up to Bad Kissingen, a small little spa and retirement town on the southeastern side of Germany; there my mom spent more time with her sister at her home.  To finish up the trip, we went back to Frankfurt and visited with family there while staying with one of my mom’s brothers. We finished the trip with one last, big family meal and even a drive past the tiny house my parents lived in when my brother and I were born.  My mom stayed very strong through all these good-byes and was ready to move on, but the story telling emotion was of her siblings.

My mom’s not big on having her picture taken -as is most of her family – but in general, they were good sports as they knew I was documenting the visit.  I only got the stink eye once and shoo’d away a couple times.  All along, I knew I would create a book of the trip as a gift for my parents.  My dad kind of figured that out since I had done one for a cruise we took for their 50th wedding anniversary, so my mom may have given me more access since she knew how much that book meant to her.

Judy and I head down to my parents’ winter home in Florida every other year and this is going to be an off year.  We did meet at my brother’s house in Colorado for Thanksgiving, so I made sure to have the book done as an early Christmas gift.  Having my parents look through the book as I watched made all the effort worthwhile.  I had additional copies of the book made and shipped them off to family in Germany so they would get them for Christmas. I’m looking forward to getting their reaction.  I know this will be a present my parents will enjoy for years to come and one I will cherish as well.

Here are some of my favorite story telling photos from the trip.

Thanks for looking!

Mike

 

In Wisconsin, its important for people to find fun activities to do outside in the winter.  One of my continuing projects is to create images to help the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Area Visitor & Convention Bureau build a library of pictures which highlights fun things to do year round in their areaWith easy access to Lake Michigan and its the awesome parks, beaches and lighthouses, getting great photos in the nonsnow months is a cinch.  In the winter, you have typical activities like snow shoeing, cross country skiing, sledding, and ice fishing to capture, but youre always looking for something a little different.  This past weekend, I found one of those events: the Shelltrack Fat Bike Race at Silver Creek Park in Manitowoc as part of the Snow Crown Race Series.

When I showed up on Saturday, I was expecting a normal bike race – just in the winter.  Part of the race course took the riders along the shore of Lake Michigan.  I knew that would make for some nice images and ones the Visitor & Convention Bureau would want.  What I didn’t expect was the other little fun things that would make for some great photos.  For one, I really didn’t expect a beer short cut.  You ask what a beer short cut is?  Well, riders who took the shortcut needed to drink a can of beer before they continued on.  Normally a photo of someone drinking a can of beer wouldn’t be that remarkable of a photo, but when it’s a bike racer trying to speed-drink with most of it not making it into his mouth, you’ve got yourself a fun photo.  Another thing that made for interesting photos was the way the races started.  Everyone had to lay their bikes at the start line and then run down a snow slicked hill to get to their bike before hitting the course.  Add in a ring toss competition – in which hula hoops were tossed onto helmeted humans – and general hijinks by the race organizers and the racers, and you have yourself a fun day that made for some interesting photos.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the day.

Thanks for looking!

Mike