Splash it up this Fourth of July!

Splash by Charles Bonham

Splash by Charles Bonham

The strangest (and hottest) Fourth of July weekend in recent memory is on tap with highs in the 90s forecast to blanket the state. Here’s hoping you can get into one of Michigan’s lovely lakes or rivers and stay cool (and safe) this weekend!

Charles took this on Tuesday at Higgins Lake. See much more on his Flickr!

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Socially Distanced Photography Bringing a Community Together

Exposures by Rah Social Distancing Porch-raits

Socially Distanced Superhero by Exposures by Rah / Sarah Armstrong

Like most people these days, professional photographers are struggling as their livelihood vanishes down a Covid-19 rabbithole. One of my photographer friends in Traverse City came up with a cool way to continue working responsibly AND add to the community. Northern Michigan Porch-raits is a social distancing photography project from the safety of your home. 100% of the proceeds from each session fee will be donated to the amazing hometown heroes working tirelessly for the community at Munson Medical Center. Sarah writes:

I want people to feel good about supporting this project, and I really want to do my part to safely join the fight. As an artist and small business owner, I’ve felt pretty helpless and limited in how I can make a difference. I’m not good at sewing like all the wonderful people who are making masks, so this is my socially distanced creative way of giving back to the fight while also bringing joy to my community. It’s such a scary and uncertain time for everyone. My friends and family members are healthcare workers and have weakened immune systems. This is my way of feeling like I can make a difference.

Session fees will be waived for healthcare workers!

There’s no better time than now to have some photos of you and your quarantine crew using a telephoto lens from my car (seriously! I never even get out of my vehicle). Since everyone is home, many with their families, why not use this time to support a local art, give back to Munson AND receive a beautiful portrait to commemorate this extremely weird time This is not just for families! Have you ever had a nice photo taken of you and your dog? This is your chance to do it for a fraction of the normal price! When you sign up for this service from Exposures by Rah, you’ll pay a $20 fee to reserve your date/time. I will arrive with my telephoto lens to snap a handful of photos at a safe distance from my car.

You can check out the photos in her editorial gallery called Northern Michigan Porch-raits: The COVID-19 Sessions.

Window Cake

Window Cake by Peter Kelly

Window Cake by Peter Kelly

For some of us, social distancing has been a thing for weeks, but with Governor Whitmer’s executive order yesterday restricting non-essential travel, a lot more of us will be making window cake for the next three weeks. Stay safe everyone!

You can see more in Peter’s The Henry Ford set on Flickr & see lots more portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

(ice) Phish

phish

Phish, photo by Noah Sorenson

View Noah’s photo bigger on his Facebook and follow him at nsorensenphoto on Instagram for more!

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

Love & Hate in Michigan

the-people-of-detroit-stylist-make-up-artist-by-noah-stephens

The People of Detroit: Stylist | Make-Up Artist, photo by Noah Stephens

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan had the highest number of hate incidents among states in the Midwest in the 10 days following the Nov. 8 election, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center released this week.

There were at least 40 incidents involving bias against African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, LGBT, and others in Michigan in the period following the contentious election, 18 of them involving suspects who mentioned Donald Trump, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

It saddens me greatly to see Michigan, a “home free” stop on the Underground Railroad and a state that has gained as much from immigrants & diversity as any in the Union, to lead in such an ignominious category.

Anyway, in the interest of tolerance and appreciating our shared diversity, I wanted to steer you all to one of my favorite photographic projects, Noah Stephens’ The People of Detroit. It’s a fantastic glimpse inside the vibrant mix of people that call Detroit home. His post on Sharon who is pictured above says in part:

Sharon is a stylist and make-up artist who immigrated to metro-Detroit at 16 from Puerto Rico. We had a really cool conversation about the differences between the two places – especially the weather.

…Sharon never became much of a fan of the winter weather, but she did say she loves summer in the D. She talked about how much she and her friends like to bike around downtown in the summer and then go down to the Riverwalk to relax, read a book, and maybe have a couple of sips of wine.

I told her about a large, male co-worker who works downtown but who has never spent a single afternoon walking around and doing some of the things Sharon likes to. He has these notions about about some sheathed menace that lies in wait, anxious to envelop him the second he steps out on Jefferson Ave.

Of course no such menace exists. As downtowns go, Detroit’s is as safe as any other major city’s. A fact Puerto Rico expat Sharon is well aware of.

Funny how sometimes the most accurate appraisals of a place come from one thousand miles away.

Indeed. View Noah’s photo bigger, see more in his The People of Detroit slideshow, and follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

Philip’s Water Tower Project

philips-water-tower-project-caseville

Philip in Caseville, MI, photo by Philip’s Water Tower Project

Let’s just jump right in to Philip’s Water Tower Project:

Philip is a 5 year old Autistic boy from Michigan. He has recently developed a love of water towers. Upon a simple google search, he realized he couldn’t find many pictures of water towers in our area. So he made it his mission to “cheese” (take pictures) with as many water towers as he could. We are up to 21 cities so far in the thumb of Michigan.

After speaking with one of my friends who came up with the idea to have others send in pictures from all over the country of them with water towers, I spoke with Philip about the idea and he loved it. So this page was born. If you’d like to participate please message or post a picture of yourself (or your kiddos) with a water tower near you. Be sure to point at the water tower in the picture, it’s his signature move!

View more photos right here and definitely share a pic with Philip’s page if you’re near a water tower in Michigan or elsewhere!

Pint Sized Leprechaun

Pint Sized Leprechaun

Pint Sized Leprechaun, photo by Danielle Ericks

Luck is believing you’re lucky.
~Tennessee Williams

My St. Patrick’s Day wishes are that my Michigan State Spartans prove they should have been a #1 seed all along (Go Green!), that the Michigan Wolverines show they’re not the only ballers in the Great Lakes State by defeating Notre Dame (Go Blue!), and that luck makes itself a believable part of your life (Go Luck!!).

Danielle writes “This little guy was having a hard time keeping his hat on – my best shot was a little blurry so had to resort to this one.” View photo bigger than a leprechaun and see more in her Motor City slideshow.

Let it snow … please

Brockit Holiday

But if you really hold me tight, all the way home I’ll be warm, photo by brockit inc

Still looking for some of that frightful weather so we can enjoy the delightful parts of winter!

View the photo bigger and tune into brockit’s Facebook for lots more creative portraits (that sometimes wander into the NSFW realm).

Jtomic

Jtomic

Jtomic, photo by farlane

This is where I’d normally post something about what most readers are thinking about today – Christmas Eve. Instead I’m going to wish a very happy 18th birthday to my high-flying son Jamie!

Here’s hoping you’re never too old for fun like this … and multiple takes to get the shot right!

View my photo background big on Flickr.

Might as well JUMP! with Michigan in Pictures.

Happy Michigan Indian (Anishinaabek) Day

Odawa Indian Boy

Odawa Indian Boy, photo by Sharon

Michigan Indian Day was established as the 4th Friday in September by the State of Michigan in 1974.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians & Kenny Pheasant, Director of their Anishinaabemowin Program created a cool site to help people learn Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Anishinaabe nation. The history page begins:

In the beginning, Gizhemanidoo created the universe as we know it today. He created Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth and Father Sky. And on the earth he created all things, living and nonliving. He created life in the earth, on the earth, in the sky and in the water. He created the plants, rivers, four-legged and winged creatures, and the swimmers. After this was done, he created one of the greatest mysteries of all – the four seasons – to bring harmony and balance to all.

After all creation was complete, he created man. After he created the first Anishinaabe, he came to him in a dream and instructed him that he was to name all things in the language that he gave him, Anishinaabemowin. So the first man went about on his journey and named all things he saw – all the animals, insects, birds and fish – however long this took. Afterward, he spoke to the Creator Gizhemanidoo in his dream and said, “I have finished what you have told me to do.” Then the Creator Gizhemanidoo spoke back to him and said, “Yes, you have indeed done so, and now it is time for me to give you your name. Your name shall be Nanabozho, and whenever your people meet and greet one another, they will say a part of your name. That is why whenever the Anishinaabe people greet one another, they say the word Bozhoo.

Our creation story tells us that we originally migrated to the Great Lakes region from the East Coast. There are many settlements of our original homes that still exist to this day, like Manitoulin Island, the Island of the Great Spirit.

We have always been a nation, and we knew one another as the Anishinaabek. It was not until the French and European settlers arrived on this part of the continent that we became known as the tribes now called Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodwe’aadamiinh.

Read on for more.

Sharon took this at the 2014 Odawa Homecoming Pow Wow in Harbor Springs. View it bigger and see more in her slideshow.

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.