Speaker Bios

We've been in the photo industry since 1967. And although cameras and technology have changed drastically, the components to make a great photograph pretty much remain the same. Our instructors are experienced Mike’s Camera crew members and excellent photographers and each of them is qualified as a Certified Photographic Consultant by the Photographic Marketing Association. We are also fortunate to be able to host acclaimed professional photographers and software instructors; leaders in their fields to lead certain of our Learning Center programs.

Keynote Speakers

Jay DickmanSponsored by Olympus

Landscape and Wildlife Photography

Travel photography and Using Visual Narrative to Grab your Audience

Jay Dickman Headshot Over his illustrious award-winning career, he has spent three months living in a stone-age village in Papua New Guinea and a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear-powered attack sub, and he’s even gone down with a boat on the Amazon. A veteran of more than 25 assignments for the National Geographic Society, Jay has taught workshops for Santa Fe Workshops, the Maine Media Workshops, Photography at the Summit and American Photo Mentor Series. Jay and his wife, Becky, are founders of the award-winning FirstLight Wortkshop series, having hosted workshops in Spain; Scotland; France; Italy; the Chesapeake; Dubois, Wyoming; and Italy.

The winner of several World Press International awards, including the Golden Eye and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism, Dickman is a regular on the photo lecture circuit and the author of two editions of Perfect Digital Photography.

Working with National Geographic Expeditions, Jay has also been on more than 25 trips as the “National Geographic Expert.” These have included Around the World by Private Jet and Central and South America by Private Jet, as well as trips to Svalbard and the High Arctic, the North Cape of Norway, the British Isles and the Dalmatian Coast, and multiple trips to Baja, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.

Over the past few years, Jay has worked with National Geographic Expeditions, traveling to places such as the west coast of Africa, Antarctica, the Arctic, several "Around the World by Private Jet," and "Central & S America by Private Jet," Expeditions, Baja, California, the Inside Passage of Alaska, the Cape if Norway and the British Isles. Future Expeditions on Jay's calendar include: Mozambique, the Northwest Passage, Iceland and Greenland, as well as Sri Lanka, Borneo & the Andaman Sea

An Olympus Visionary since 2003, Dickman highlights the Olympus OM-D E-M1 as his favorite camera for its power and portability, especially in the extreme conditions in which he regularly shoots

About the Olympus Visionary Program

The Olympus Visionary program celebrates the work of 12 talented photographers who shoot exclusively with Olympus cameras and lenses. The mission of the Olympus Visionary program is to educate the photographic community about the possibilities of photography and Olympus digital leadership. The program is also dedicated to creating superb images and videos and developing innovative digital photographic equipment to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. Olympus Visionaries are established, award-winning professional photographers who travel the world with Olympus products to capture life’s beauty and splendor. The elite members of the program include several Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers, as well as artists whose careers have included assignments around the globe.

Alex Podstawski Sponsored by Nikon

Nikon Wireless Flash & Macro Workshop and Hands-on Shooting Stations

Alex P If you’re an “Available Light Shooter” flash photography may have always seemed mysterious and difficult. Until now… Alex has a way of turning complex techniques easily understandable in a well-paced learning environment. Alex is one of Nikon’s Technical Support Specialist and his extensive knowledge of both the technology in Nikon cameras as well as technical photography and passion for making great images makes him a great instructor. Program includes instruction, stations setup for shooting a variety of subjects and review and critique of images and lighting techniques.

Rob Knight sponsored by Panasonic

Traveling Light with LUMIX

4k Photo and Video: The Best of Both Worlds

Travel Photography in Motion

Your Itinerary for great travel photos: As host of the weekly Your Itinerary travel photography podcast, LUMIX Luminary Rob Knight has had the chance to interview some of the top traveling photographers in the industry. He has combined what he’s learned from his guests with his own travel photography experience to create this new program to help you make better photos on the road. Rob has been using mirrorless cameras for over three years. He is an expert on the current generation of Panasonic LUMIX cameras and enjoys sharing tips for getting the maximum image quality from the small-but-powerful Lumix cameras including the GH4, GX7 and LX100.

About Lumix Luminary Photographers

LUMIX Luminary Photographers are a select group of photography professionals and enthusiasts hand selected by Panasonic as ambassadors for the brand. They are advocate and users of Hybrid Photography which is the combining of still, video and audio as a popular form of photographic display in tune with the social media world we live in. The Lumix Lounge This is the first photo community centered on a true social media experience

Rob has been using mirrorless cameras for over three years. He is an expert on the current generation of Panasonic LUMIX cameras and enjoys sharing tips for getting the maximum image quality from the small-but-powerful Lumix cameras including the GH4, GX7 and LX100. 

Unique Opportunity to Learn More in a Hands-On Workshop with Sony Technical Representative, Marc Morris

sponsored by Sony Logo

Big Photography in a Compact Form: The benefits of Mirrorless Technology

Exploring Urban Photography Workshop

Marc Morris An 18 year veteran of the photo industry, our Rocky Mountain Sony Photo Specialist Marc Morris started in 1997 as a custom and machine print technician for a local photofinishing lab. A professed tech nerd and Colorado native, he has photographed a little of everything from concerts at the Aggie in Fort Collins to the Winter X Games in Aspen, to a combined 15 years of wedding, portrait and product work. A road trip fanatic with two teenagers, he and his kiddos tend to spend their summers exploring the deserts of the Four Corners area and Moab, Utah. You can find him and some of his more informal work on Instagram at instagram.com/setaside or follow on Twitter at twitter.com/setaside2. He is always welcoming new friends and inspirations.

Shawn Weishaar sponsored by Canon Logo

Seeing your World while Traveling Locally

Mastering Outdoor Portraiture Photography Workshop

Shawn Weishaar Headshot In 1986 Shawn put his acting and stunt man dreams away and took a few classes at a local community college. It’s there that he found his passion and decided to go behind the camera. During those years he worked at a local camera store so that he could pay for his new gear… that amazing Canon gear he’d coveted! Around the 1990’s he found myself wanting to learn more so he purchased his very first medium format and dabbled in 4x5, 6x7, and even 6x17. Fast forward to 2001, Shawn continued to hit the road with his camera, a good friend and some good ‘ol Tom Petty CDs. Then in 2005 he placed a call to a good friend working for Canon to see if they were hiring, and the rest is history.

Today, Shawn is a Technical Sales Representative for Canon USA, and loves to teach both the art and amazing technology found in Canon cameras, printers and consumer imaging devices.

Ryan Gass sponsored by GoPro Logo

GoPro 101: Capturing life's most exciting moments

Ryan Gass Headshot

A veteran of the photo industry, GoPro Specialist Ryan Gass is a Technical Sales Representative for GoPro. He travels the country training adventurers and photographers on the technology and benefits of using the revolutionary GoPro suite of cameras and accessories to teach filmmakers and photographers how to apture life's most exciting moments




Jeff Allensponsored by Tamron

Choosing and Using the Right Lens for Travel, Nature and Landscape Photography

Jeff Allen Photography has been Jeff Allen's passion for over 30 years. As a pro he has worked in the wedding, portrait, nature, news and sports photography genres as well as taught thousands of photographers how to create better images. Jeff has also worked as a manufacturer's rep and a retail sales consultant and has facilitated workshops and seminars throughout the country for all levels of photographers.

Jeff is a member of Tamron's Technical Team. As a National Technical Representative, he travels the country extensively, and speaks on behalf of Tamron. He consults with professionals and aspiring photographers in the ever confusing selection process of identifying and selecting gear that will best suit a photographer’s individual needs.

About Tamron

Founded in 1950, Tamron is a leading manufacturer of photographic and industrial optics. Tamron-usa.com is a valuable resource of product and how-to information designed to educate and inspire. As well as its own-branded designs, it makes many optical units for compact digital cameras, and produces lenses for several of the major SLR manufacturers. Tamron lenses are available in Canon and Nikon and Sony mounts.

Lucas Gilman sponsored by Nikon Logo

Lucan Gilman Head Shot

Maximizing Your Next [ADVENTURE] Shoot

Lucas Gilman is one of the leading adventure photographers and filmmakers in the industry. His powerful and incisive images run in top publications & advertisements worldwide. A love of adventure and an addiction to color creates his distinct style of photography and filmmaking. Lucas documents subjects ranging from expedition kayaking in India and Costa Rica, Surfing in Brazil to backcountry skiing in Colorado, Alaska and South America. He has covered international events such as the Tour De France, Kentucky Derby, ESPN X-GAMES, IRONMAN® and NFL Playoffs.

Lucas regularly works with advertising and editorial clients that span the globe including: Land Rover, Nikon, SanDisk®, Red Bull, G-Technology, Garmin™, GORE-TEX®

National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, ESPN.com and Outside Magazine. Lucas was featured on the NBC TODAY Show and MSNBC for documenting the 2nd largest waterfall ever successfully descended in a kayak. He also appeared as a guest on Good Morning America sharing his story and short film on documenting the first successful descent of Abiqua Falls in central Oregon. CNN also profiled Lucas during primetime and highlighted his Abiqua Falls video footage and behind the scenes work.

Lucas was a finalist in the 2014 Red Bull Illume worldwide photography competition which saw more than 32,000 images submitted.

Lucas was featured in the October 22, 2013 Apple Keynote launching the new Mac Pro. He recently documented the largest waterfall ever run - The 189 foot tall Palouse Falls in Washington State.

About Nikon AmbassadorsNikon Ambassadors

Nikon Ambassadors are some of the most talented and influential visual artists working in the business today. These gifted, spirited storytellers go above and beyond and are admired for their passion, energy and commitment to their craft. Their investment in and trust of the Nikon brand are cornerstones to their image making abilities.

From workshops to trade show platforms, online learning and social media; Nikon Ambassadors represent the most versatile and ambitious photographers today. These visual artists are respected around the globe for their vision and accomplishments. The dedication to advancing the art of visual storytelling while embracing and mastering the latest technologies and trends in the field are paramount to these photographers being selected as Nikon Ambassadors.

As the top photography artists and visual storytellers of this era, these contemporary photographers' advanced techniques, unprecedented creativity and tenacious approach to imaging solutions is demonstrated assignment after assignment, each and every time they pick up a Nikon camera.

Joe Klocek

Studio Lighting and Shaping Light for Optimal Portraits

Joe Klocek Head Shot Joe Klocek has worked in the photographic industry as a photographer, sales consultant and instructor since 2005. He has taught classes on studio lighting, lens variety and usage, exposure technique, macro, sports, and vacation photography. He lives in Denver with his wife, dog, and unmanageable book collection.

Joe is a Certified Photographic Consultant from the Photo Marketing Association, International.


Julie Okada

The Art of Self Curating your Photography

Julie Okada Presenter Picture Stories are told in various ways and times, what gives them life is the telling of them. We’ll walk you through the steps to paring down your hard drive full of images, to editing them, curating and telling your stories with your photographs.

Julie’s passion lies in working with artists – especially photographers, fine artists and crafters that cross her path through her business and everyday life. Having worked with many creative people in her career, she believes that we all have a story to tell, but sometimes we need encouragement and direction to articulate it.

Spring 2015 Featured Vendors

Colorado Photo Expo 2014 Vendors