A very American Englishman…
Mike Long: Photographer. Artist. Dogs body. Chief Bottle Washer…
If you want to know what Portland Pin-Ups is, head to this page:
But WHO is Portland Pin-Ups? Well, we have an awesome creative team of make-up and hair stylists which you can read about here:
Besides that, Portland Pin-Ups is all me, Mike Long.
I have been lucky enough to have had two births – the first was in the very early 1970’s in England. I lived a very happy, if somewhat beige life, settling in London where I lived for over 10 years. I was then reborn when my wife and I moved to America where my life has taken many twists and turns, and has certainly been full of color! Shortly before moving to the Pacific northwest we had our first baby, and shortly after we arrived we added another, both boys full of energy, questions and funny smells!
In a world where every cell phone has a better camera than most professional digital ones from only 10 years ago, it’s important to know, and trust, the photographer you choose to create portraits for you isn’t a fly-by-night cowboy who will meet you in Starbucks with the camera he got for Christmas!
My photography career began many moons ago (in the mid 1990’s) when my (then) workmates grew increasingly annoyed at my arrogant belief that I could “easily” produce better portraits than the ones we were supposed to be retouching. This was way back in time before Photoshop was given away free with a box of cereal and any spotty teenager believed they were a retoucher… With young enthusiasm, I bought my first professional camera and set about proving them all wrong. Of course, I was the one hanging my head as producing quality images is NOT as easy as it looks, but a life long obsession with the craft had begun and off I went into the world of professional photography. Along the way, I’ve captured over 200 weddings, photographed babies, kids and motor racing.
Portland Pin-Ups began when a young pin-up model from Portland, Cherry Dollface, came to my studio to help me test some lighting and showed me some basic pin-up poses. I was instantly hooked and my passion soon took complete hold and a new business was born. Marrying together my skills as a retoucher and photographer, I created a brand new niche of photography – one that has been imitated and mimicked ever since! While other photographers can certainly copy my lighting, retouching and maybe even a few of my poses, there is only ONE Portland Pin-Ups!
Years later, pin-ups have taken me around the world presenting workshops to photographers in Canada, Australia and on a 13 city tour around America. I have been honored to present a platform class at the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographer’s convention in Las Vegas for the last 4 years and stood on stage at the MGM feeling like Elvis. I’m sure at least 20% of the audience understood my accent!
This video was created while touring the USA with my Pin-Up-A-Looza tour, with the great Sandy Puc:
Portland Pin-Ups has brought me many great and wonderful moments, but for all the fun of creating art with my Bombshells, touring and messing around on stage, the real pleasure comes from working with my clients. I can think of no better job than meeting a lady who has never had a professional portrait taken before, talking about what we do, guiding her through our process. Then on session day watching the transformation as our creative team set to work turning her in to a Pin-Up Goddess! Then it’s my turn to gently coach her into flattering poses – we laugh, joke around and have a ton of fun. A week later I get to watch their face light up as they watch a fun slideshow of their portraits and a few weeks after that, I have the pleasure of watching their eyes moisten as they unwrap their stunning artworks.
If you’ve read this far, then thank you! I look forward to meeting you and creating some wonderful artworks for you. The first step is a chat at my studio, we can sit and have coffee, you can have a tour and look at the artworks and albums we create and I can answer all your questions. What are you waiting for!?