Behind The Page: Meet staff freelance photographer, Mike Leonard

As part of our campaign, #keepourspiritsupmaine we’re turning the interview process inside out and asking our freelance staff of Maine Brew & Bev Guide and Activities Guide of Maine what keeps them upbeat and resilient during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 –and what they’re doing to stay happy, connected, and forward-thinking this fall.

Q: What is your freelance specialty and what do you do for Activities Guide / Maine Brew & Bev Guide?

My specialty across all of the publications is photo editing and stock photography.  I “fix” and improve the photos that are published to make them more eye-appealing and relevant to the subject. 

Q: What is your favorite local Maine craft beverage?

One of my favorite beverages is Dragon Fly Wine & Distillery’s Blueberry Bliss wine – it is a sweet wine that is made here in Maine.  It is called a dessert wine and is best when served chilled.

Q: Personally, has COVID-19 experience changed your freelance work, and if so, in what way?

Much of my scheduled summer and fall photography activities were canceled due to COVID-19.  I was on tap to have a record year of 26 photo cruises scheduled along the Maine coast and all but one got canceled.  I began getting projects that would normally be done off season. With a lot of people stuck at home, they began going through their old 35MM slides and finding videotapes that they had not seen in years and it was the best time to get them converted to a digital form to be able to view and share more easily. 

Q: What do you do to keep your spirits up and stay resilient?

My passion for photography significantly helped me to keep my spirits up.  While places and events were closed down I knew that Nature was still “open” so I embraced it. In the spring, I forced myself to get outdoors and do more bird watching and made photos of some of the most beautiful migratory birds.

I was also able to capture some weather phenomenon – namely thunder and lightning storms that are always a favorite of mine to shoot.   

With the clearer summer nights I was able to do some nighttime photography in early and mid-summer and I love seeing those colors of fall foliage.

Photography has always been a passion of mine and although Covid squelched many of the planned activities I was fortunately still able to personally remain active making pictures of the beautiful surroundings for which we are so fortunate to have all around us in Maine.

Mike Leonard has been involved with photography for more than 35 years and is now engaged in photo tourism offering photography services and programs to businesses and the public. Mike’s work can be seen on television, in books, websites and of course in magazines.

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