Taking photos one thousand words at a time…

How do you choose a photographer? There’s 12,625,483 of us. I counted.

It’s simple. You choose the one you connect with. Who gets you. You click (pardon the photo pun.)

Let’s see if we click! Coffee/tea/hot chocolate (or adult beverage) of your choice is my treat. The best way to find out if we click is to spend a little time together. If we can’t meet face-to-face, let’s chat on the phone(!) or on one of those new-fangled video chats.

I’m in Sammamish, Washington (about 25 miles due east of Seattle), and would love to connect. Please send me an email or call/message me at 425.785.3374.

And now, the rest of the story…

Once upon a time (8th grade graduation), I was gifted my first camera, a Pentax K1000. For quite awhile, I was that guy, always with a camera.

Pentax K1000 Michael Sladek Photography

I fell out of love with film photography after college (too expensive, delayed gratification) and didn’t take many photos for a long time.

And then, my son was born. Lots of point-and-shoot film camera photos. With Little League baseball games for my son, came my first digital camera, a Minolta DiMage s404. No cost per click! Instant (kind of - it was a slowwwwww camera) gratification. So fun!

I started getting more serious about photography again, and my next camera was my first “real” digital camera, the Nikon D70.

Can I tell you a secret? I wasn’t a very good photographer. My good photos from that time were more by luck than design. I wasn’t really invested and motivated in photography. Yet.

Fast forward a bit to my son’s senior project - photography. I helped him with this (I had my Nikon D300 by then, and he used my “old” D70), but it turned out I learned more from him, and got excited, really excited about photography, as I watched him create awesome compositions of ordinary objects, by thoughtful camera placement and interesting arrangement of objects in the frame. Wow!

And then, I got a phone call from a friend - “Would you like to teach photography at Highline College?” I quickly discovered I needed to really understand photography in order to be able to teach it. And in that process, I discovered how much I love photography, and its unique combination of technical skill and artistic vision. I never planned to be a teacher, but I’m so grateful I have this opportunity to learn and share about photography.

Can I tell you a secret? I’m a pretty good photographer! And I can’t wait to see what stories I get to tell next.

Trivia & Other Stuff

I’m left handed. Except for baseball batting, scissors, golf, computer mice, and cameras. Did you know there are no left handed cameras?

I never photograph weddings alone. I currently have two amazing photographers who make sure we get the whole story at each wedding: Debbie Sladek and Deanna Rivaldo.

I have a business degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. I met my wife, Debbie, there. Bonus points!

I didn’t get chicken pox until I was 35. I don’t recommend it. Yuck.

Kenmore Camera is my favorite camera store. It’s worth the drive to Bothell, and then stop at Acapulco Fresh for lunch.

Top Pot Doughnuts is my favorite local doughnut. When in London, the best doughnut ever is at Bread Ahead.

I love Ampersands. The shapes are so cool and the concept of “And,” instead of “Or” is very appealing to me. Confession: I have three t-shirts with ampersands.

Ampersands Michael Sladek Photography

MWS Headshots Office 2019_06_28-29_sm.jpg
Photo above by  Deanna Rivaldo

Photo above by Deanna Rivaldo