Michael.A.LaCombe@gmail.com (313)402-5385

So, What’s Been Up With Me?

I’ve been loving life! That’s what’s been up with me! I’ve been watching “as my goals unfold right in front of me,” and it feels pretty damn good. The picture above was taken at Royal Kubo in Royal Oak at an old (literally old, lol) friend’s going away party. I hadn’t seen her in 16 years! Even though she couldn’t quite get my name right, it was still great seeing her! I wish her the best on the west coast.

Moving on, I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s Resolution. I don’t think they’re stupid or anything – if you need a fresh start in order to be motivated to achieve your goals, by all means, make a resolution. It’s just never really been for me. However, I had a goal that I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2011. I decided on it in November. So why not label it a New Year’s resolution? I didn’t wait until January to start on it, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, in short, the goal is to be able to leave corporate America and work full time on my own as a photographer; OR, to get a job as a photographer with a respectable publication. In 2 hours, it will be February 1st, and the progress I’ve made toward that goal in just 1 month is staggering.

I think the ball began rolling for me when I applied for press credentials to shoot the Design Define Detroit fashion show back in November. I was excited to be approved, and I was looking forward to shooting the show. I got some great images, but looking back, the show was far more beneficial for me networking-wise than it was for my portfolio. I met some amazing people at that show who I continue to stay in contact with to this day, and with who I hope to stay in touch with for many years to come.

Things just sort of snowballed from there, and I went on to shoot some great events. Then, out of nowhere, things REALLY began to take off. I got the job shooting the auto show (see the previous post) and all of a sudden I began being contacted about weddings and various other jobs. However, let me go off on a brief tangent here. I don’t want to make it sound like this was all just good luck. I put in a lot of work to get to this point – shooting, networking, shooting, and then networking some more. So I’d like to give myself just a little bit of credit. 🙂

One day, while I was on the networking juggernaut known as Twitter (if ya don’t know, now ya know…), I saw a tweet about a job covering the nightlife in Detroit for a website. I jumped on the opportunity, and almost immediately, I became the new photographer for after5detroit.com . To say that I love this gig would be a huge understatement. I get to go to major events for free, have drinks, mingle and network, and photograph all kinds of cool people. For me, it doesn’t get much better than this. So for the rest of this blog post, I’m going to show you guys a couple of my favorite pics from some of the events I’ve shot recently.

This one speaks for itself. He’s a PBR fan. lol I took this one at Delux Lounge downtown during the first Saturday of NAIAS. There was also a Kid Rock concert that night, and a Wings game. It was INSANE downtown, despite temperatures reaching “witch nipple” levels of frigid.

This is from the Plymouth Ice Festival. The entire bar is made of ice. It reminded me of Minus 5 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. If you look in the lower left on the menu, you can see the drink “purple haze.” Yeah, I got one. 🙂

This is an ass. And no, I’m not talking about my friend Steve. This was also taken at the Plymouth Ice Festival. They had an outdoor petting zoo for the kids. I saw a reindeer, too. No one seemed to believe that I actually saw a reindeer, so I twitpic’d it on their asses. Me – 1. Everyone else – 0.

This is a fun photo from Vodka Vodka out in Royal Oak. This guy posed for a picture with his girl (who is NOT picture here, lol). The girl who IS pictured here, I’m assuming is a friend of theirs. She didn’t want to be in the picture, so she stood to the side. After that picture, I peer pressured the guy to force his friend to take a picture, and this was the result. lol In other Vodka Vodka news, Absolut was there and they had a Wild Tea Vodka. It was a revelation. I also had some sort of vodka-infused cake truffle. It was also the bee’s knees.

Recognize that face on the left? It’s Natalie Martinez from Detroit 1-8-7! I ran into her at the grand opening of a new store called Complex out in Birmingham. She looks exactly the same in person!

During these events, I’ve met so many cool people, made some great connections, exchanged some business cards, and just had a helluva lot of fun! Now all I need to do is convince some of you guys to come out to the events I’m shooting so you can end up on the site… 🙂

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