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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

Corporate Environmental Portraits With A Fun And Happy Vibe

Wisconsin Commercial Photographer • I was recently hired by Bay Tek Entertainment to shoot a series of portraits of some of their employees. The Pulaski, Wisconsin based company makes a number of fun ticket redemption type games so they wanted the photos to have a fun happy vibe to them. We used a game room at their corporate office as our environment for the shoot and used items from the games as props. Here are some of my favorites from the environmental portrait project.

Thanks for looking!

Mike

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    How I’m Doing Six Months After My Accident.

    It’s coming up on six months since the fall that broke my pelvis in two spots and cracked two vertebrae, so I thought I’d give everyone another update on my progress. I’m happy to say that I’m up and walking without assistance from a cane or walker and it’s been like that for close to three months. I’ve also been back shooting for about the past two months.  I try to get my steps in each day and most days, I walk seven or eight thousand steps and do some additional rehab to improve the flexibility in my back and hips.

    I started out doing some small journalistic-type jobs with an assistant, but I’ve ramped that up to some bigger commercial jobs that have even taken me out of state. The longer shoots that have me moving around an industrial site with steel-toed shoes and gear hanging off me can be challenging and I definitely feel it the next day, but it feels really good to be doing a shoot like that again.

    I will admit I had built an image in my mind as I sat in that wheelchair in November and December that once I got the go-ahead to get back on my feet, I’d be back to normal in no time. I had even hoped to be back shooting at Lambeau Field if the Packers made the playoffs. The doctors didn’t tell me I couldn’t do that, but they didn’t encourage me either since I was still on blood thinners and I probably couldn’t jump out of the way if a football player came flying toward me. Judy and my parents breathed a sigh of relief when I told them I was going to be sitting out those games. Watching games at Lambeau was tough. It would have been really tough to not shoot an NFC Championship game in Green Bay, but luckily / unluckily the Packers didn’t make it that far.

    I don’t feel normal yet and the doctor said it can take close to a year until you have days where you kind you forget about the injury. The Wisconsin winter and cold damp spring don’t help either, so once we get some warm weather, I’m hoping it will help bring me closer to normal. The doctors also told me I wasn’t allowed to shovel any snow or use the snowblower, so that tossed one more thing on Judy’s plate. Trust me – I felt very guilty as I stood in our front window with a warm cup in my hand as I watched Judy do battle with the driveway. I did teach her to use the backpack leaf blower to clear the light fluffy snowfalls and she admitted it was “oddly satisfying”.

    I have good days and bad days with the pain and stiffness, but the most I’ve taken for pain in the last three months is extra-strength Tylenol. As time goes on, I have more good days than bad days and the bad days aren’t as bad. Sustaining an injury and having your body go through the trauma mine did can be more than a tad depressing and some days I‘m not the chipper positive person I’d like to be. Luckily, I have a loving wife to help me deal with those types of days, friends and family to help lift my spirits, and a dog at my side to pet when needed.

    I find myself being extra careful when I’m moving around, especially in the winter slop, which probably isn’t all bad. I even feel anxious for others when I see a video pop up in my social media feed of someone doing something crazy that could get them injured. Last week I was on an industrial shoot and was offered the chance to climb to the top of a 30-foot tall silo inside the factory for a shot; I declined that offer. On the flip side, my assistant on a different shoot was impressed with how I was easily and without hesitation, I was moving up and down mobile stairways for shots.

    I had worried about how I’d do on long drives, but I’ve had some days when I’ve been behind the wheel for six, seven, eight hours. I actually did pretty well – my tailbone was a little sore, but even pre-fall it would have been.  Judy and I just got back from a little road trip with our daughter to check out the Smokey Mountains, and while there were some long days of driving, it was manageable and I was happy that I felt well overall. During the recovery, I had pictures that would pop up on my iPhone of Judy on some of our traveling adventures. Those images gave me the inspiration to press forward with my recovery and rehab. Getting back to walking around foreign and local travel destinations and exploring is high on my priority list.

    In those first days and weeks after the accident, I would think about how my injuries could have been so much worse or how the outcome of the accident could have been devastating if the rescue personnel hadn’t gotten me to the hospital as quickly as they did. I’ve also had times when I get so frustrated that the accident and the injuries even happened. Life has a way of reminding you that things could be worse, however, as I’ve heard many tragic stories happening to people within my circle of friends and acquaintances. Even looking at the news and seeing what is going on in the world makes me thankful that I and my family are safe, have a comfortable home and our country isn’t being invaded. Keeping a positive attitude moving forward will be important because I’m sure I’ll have days when I’m sore or stiff.

    I haven’t been as creative as I was pre-fall and, honestly,  I haven’t had that desire to be creative. I’m sure the limitation of my mobility caused that to a great extent. As the weather has started to improve and I’ve gotten back into the working world, that creativity has started coming back. I haven’t posted a photo to any of my social media channels since the fall. There’s a little bit of me that’s not sure how to jump back into that, but I think it’s like getting into a pool – you just gotta jump in.

    So in these next few weeks keep an eye on my social media. Hopefully with the start of spring and continued work, I will be posting creative shots again soon. Thanks to all of you who have reached out and offered your support – your encouragement has meant a lot to me and I appreciate all your kinds words, your prayers and most of all, your friendship.

    Thanks!

    Mike

     

     

    Recovery Is Going Well! How I’m Doing Ten Weeks After Surgery.

    Wanted to give people an update on how I’m healing after my fall during a photoshoot the end of October.  Today marks ten weeks since the surgery to repair the two cracks in my pelvis and the one broken vertebrae.  I’ve been able to put weight on my left leg for about eight weeks, but I was recently give permission to put 50% weight on my right leg and that will ramp up to 100% over the next couple of weeks.  I currently need to walk with the help of crutches or a walker to take some weight off my right leg, but it sure feels great to get out of the wheelchair. Standing and moving around under my own steam feels amazing and the additional mobility has allowed me to do a few more things around the house. Hopefully I’ll be able to  get out and start shooting photos again in a couple weeks.  I appreciated everything so many people have done for Judy and me during my recovery.  The cards, phone calls, visits..everything has meant a great deal. Happy New Year to all of you and here’s wishing for a better year for all of us!

    Thanks!

    Mike

    In this week of Thanksgiving, I have many things to be thankful for. Let me say early in this post, in a few months I should be back to 100%.

     

    In this week of Thanksgiving, I have many things to be thankful for. Let me say early in this post, in a few months I should be back to 100%.
    The things I have to be thankful for revolve around a fall I took on Saturday Oct 23rd. I took a 12-foot fall within a cave while shooting a tourism job. When I fell, I was already more than 20 feet below the surface so when I landed I was 30-40 feet below the surface.
    You may ask how can I feel thankful. Well first and foremost, I’m thankful I wasn’t hurt worse or killed. Since the accident, I’ve heard of others taking a fall of this magnitude and being hurt much worse. I broke my pelvis in two spots and broke one vertebra. When I landed, it was on my side, with a waist pack of lighting gear around my hips, which I believe cushioned the blow to an extent. If I would have landed on my feet I probably would have done damage to my feet, legs, spine, etc. If I would have landed on my head I probably wouldn’t be around to write this.  The feeling of the falling and those first minutes laying on the cave floor are burnt in to my mind.
    I’m also thankful that when this happened to me, I wasn’t alone. At the time I was working with videographer DJ Kast and Paige McKenna of Shift Visuals. DJ was the first one to my side after the fall and I can still hear him calling back up for Paige to get help, “Roemer just felling and is bleeding”. I can also still hear Paige scream “Roemer!!!!!” as she saw the event unfold. I did hit my head against the cave wall as I fell, but it wasn’t hard and caused just a slight scrap, but it was good bleeder as most head wounds are. I kind of credit me hitting my head against the cave wall for me getting tossed to my side and not landing on my feet.
    I’m also incredibly thankful to the amazing firefighters from New Holstein and Chilton that came to my rescue and extracted me from the cave. Getting me out of this cave wasn’t easy. One of the things I can remember most vividly is laying on the floor of that cave looking up at the ceiling with the little bit of daylight making it’s way in wondering how they were going to get my broken body back up to the surface. The firefighters strapped me to a backboard and then used all the physical strength and ingenuity they could muster to get me up ladders pitched about 90 degrees and through a section of the cave I had to crawl through earlier. I remember looking around at the faces of the firefighters looking for my wife cousin’s husband whom I had shot a portrait of a few years earlier in his fire garb. I also remember hearing the name Turba, my wife’s maiden name, being called out to one of the firefighters and wondering how that person was related to my wife. Judy grew up on a dairy farm just a few miles from the accident. I also remember on the last vertical the firefighters had to get me up, the sensation of my my body slipping on the board and calling out to the guys “I’m slipping!”  Within a fraction of a second, I could feel hands grabbing me and keeping me in place.
    I’m thankful for the team from ThedaStar’s flight for life that helped stabilize me while I still laid on the cave floor and flew me to The Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah. I’m thankful to the amazing and caring health care professionals at the trauma center for putting me back together and keeping me comfortable during my surgery and week-long hospital stay. This is not an easy time for the healthcare system with the extra load they have on them with Covid, so I’m even more thankful for how much they cared for me and how they helped my wife Judy and me through this difficult time.
    One of the memories I think I will always have was on the day I was let out of the hospital. They let Judy take me in my wheelchair on a trek down the hall. Within seconds of being pushed down the hall, I was greeted by different smells than I had experienced in my room and even a breeze from a fan we passed. All those different feelings and smells just felt so great. As Judy pushed me down the hallway, I finally filled her in completely on how the fall went down. As we reached the end of the hallway I realized it was a spot I had shot some work for the hospital earlier in the year. By the time we came to a stop at the end of the hallway overlooking the helipad, I was a sobbing mess and Judy was hugging me, but it felt so great to finally let some of that out. I think that may have been some of the first emotions I had shown since the accident. I had tried to be upbeat and hid so much behind my humor as I lay in that hospital bed. As my sobbing subsided, a flight for life came in and I watched it land, wondering about the patient that was just arriving.
    Once we got released from the hospital, our next hurdle was how I was going to get into the car, but luckily I could put a little weight on my left leg for transfers so things went smoothly. As we left the hospital, I remembered all the times I had taken this route, but it was always as a photographer heading back home after a shoot. Once we got home my brother, my sister-in-law, our dog Chica and our foster daughter came out to the driveway to greet me. Chica wasn’t so sure about her Pop Pops being in a wheelchair. I’ve always had some slight self-diagnosed sensory issues and those kicked in even more while in the hospital. Little things like the pinging of a chime to let the nurses know a patient needed assistance was so loud and annoying to me. In that first hour of me settling into what my life at home would be like for the next few months, those sensory issues kicked in with all the activity of people helping to get the house ready. Luckily Judy knew this might be an issue and had my parents pick up a pair of noise-canceling headphones for me so I could block out some of the noise. It was important for my parents to put eyes on me to alleviate some of their concerns for me and they knew they shouldn’t stay long, but reassured Judy and me that they were there for us for anything we needed.
    I’m thankful for the support my friends and family have given Judy and me during this. From my brother John flying in from Colorado to help get the house ready for someone in a wheelchair, my brother in-law Dan Kiernan for building ramps to allow me to get into the house, for the support Judy’s sisters who are healthcare professionals gave her all times of the day to answer questions and keep her sane especially in those first couple of days in the hospital and through the surgery. The list goes on to include my brother-in-law Jerry Turba for helping get the house ready for winter, and my brother- and sister-in-law, Dave and Annika for hauling a hospital bed and lift chair up to the house. Another thank you goes out to all the friends and neighbors helping with fall cleanup, delivering food and treats, and offering of support. And special thanks for my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup and goulash which alway make things better.
    I’m also thankful to my photographer friends for all their support, especially the ones that helped me complete projects I had already started or shoot jobs I already had on the books.
    Most of all I’m thankful for my wife Judy through all this. This hasn’t been easy on her, but she has been my rock. When she first got the call that I had this accident, she was only told that I was involved in an incident, I was conscious and breathing and was being airlifted to a trauma center. Luckily DJ, the videographer I was with, gave Judy an update shortly after that I was able to move my extremities and I was talking. Judy slept in the hospital room every night I was there in a recliner and helped me out in so many ways. Judy even slept on the floor next to the hospital bed we now have in our first-floor den for the first couple of weeks I was home. I finally convinced her to get a good night’s sleep in our second-floor bedroom, but she did put a baby monitor next to my bed. The first night she woke to the sounds of our dog Chica having a dream and making noises. Despite Chica’s early wariness around me in the wheelchair, she has since come around and is usually by my side, hoping for some leftover bites of food or affection.
    So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for so many things, most of all that I have my wife Judy and the rest of my amazing support system and a future ahead of me that shouldn’t be too different from the one I had envisioned prior to this accident. Things could have been so much worse and I’m soooooooo grateful that for whatever reason, I was spared the worst injuries and can look forward to getting back to doing the things I love.
    Thanks!
    Mike

    Randall Cobbs Scores Two Touchdowns. Packers Defeat The Steelers

    Here are some of my favorite photos from covering the Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburg Steelers football game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Sunday.  Wide receiver Randall Cobb had a big game with two touchdown passes.  Cobb came back to the Packers this off season after playing for the Texans and the Cowboys the last two years.

    Thanks for looking!
    Mike

    Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers warms up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

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