The Legacy Continues… | Portland Wedding Photographer

Mike Bickler

As we launched our new website Thursday and as I continue to adapt Camera Art Photography to reflect me, who I am as a person and an artist, I find myself reflecting a lot about my dad – the man who started this all and passed on the gift of photography in my life.  I grew up with photography from the earliest time I can remember and I can still hear my dad’s voice that day more than fifteen years ago, “Hey kiddo, you want to learn how to shoot?”.  I never thought that the artistic side of the business would be an option for me.  I thought the only part of the business that was an option for me would be all the behind the scenes type of work.  When he called that day, I was filled with excitement.  He had confidence in me and in himself to share this talent and pass it on to me.  I learned to photograph on a very heavy medium format Mamiya camera.  This meant I had to learn the technical side of how the camera works, unlike the smart cameras of today that do all the thinking for you.   On my first day of my training, I was a third photographer, an extra and no one was expecting anything from me.  Dad handed me the very heavy Mamiya and said, “Go have fun.”  A few days later, my dad called and I could tell there was a bit of a different sound to his voice, maybe like he had been crying.  He said, “Hey kiddo, I got your pictures back from the lab.  I was looking at them while I was driving down the road (for which my dad was well known…driving and reading the newspaper, books…) and I had to pull over on the side of the road.  They were so good, I started to cry and had to pull over.”

When I began my journey as a photographer, it was the mid-90′s and at that time Camera Art Photography and Michael Bickler led the market as the top wedding photography studio in the Portland Metro area.  I had the opportunity to learn from the best.  What a gift that was.  Fast forward more than 15 years and I can’t imagine not having my camera in my hands everyday of my life.  It is how I capture emotion and feelings and it is how I interpret my world.  It is also how I am able to feel connected to my dad everyday of my life.  The night before my dad passed away, I spent several hours with him in his hospital room.  We were looking at my website and looking through my gallery of images.  He had been sick and didn’t feel well for several years and had not been able to look at my developing work for years.  But, on that night, the night before he was to go in for a serious and lengthy surgery, he wanted to go through every image in my gallery.  He looked at each one and I could see the light in his eyes as he studied each image and how it was composed.  He offered some feedback and direction on some some but mostly he had a look of pride in his eyes.  He was proud of the artist I had become, he was proud of how I was developing the business and he was so proud that his craft, his talent and love of photography would live on through me.  Earlier that year, my work was featured on the cover and in a feature article of The Oregonians annual Bridal Guide.  He mentioned how proud he was of me for that.  He said, “You know, in all my years, that was something I never accomplished.  I’ve never had my work published.  And you have.”  I was certainly proud of capturing the top spot in the Bridal Guide but in that moment, to hear my dad tell me how proud he was of me…I was fulfilled.

Thursday, I launched our new modern, contemporary and elegant website, for which I am so proud.  Next week, the 2013 Oregonian Bridal Guide will come out and we will have a feature wedding in that and I am waiting to hear if we earned the top spot on the cover again.  The Oregonian asked for one of my images that is being considered for the cover.  If that image is on the cover, I will have had the cover image and feature wedding for both the 2011 and 2013 Bridal Guide.  I am excited to pick up the paper on that morning and see if we got the top spot.  I certainly feel proud when my work is featured, published, acknowledged…but nothing can come close to the connection it makes me feel with my dad.  I miss him everyday.  I am so excited, and I know dad is too, to pick up the paper on the morning of January 12 and see our feature wedding and hope for the honor of having the cover image in the Guide too.


Portland Wedding Photographer

Enjoy this Portland wedding photography provided by Camera Art Photography offering Portland Oregon wedding photography in the Portland metro area and Vancouver Washington area.

Camera Art Photography is anything but your average Portland wedding photographer. Each wedding is treated with care and creativity not found with other Portland and Oregon wedding photography studios. Your wedding day is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the Portland area.

This is Portland wedding photography at its best. Camera Art Photography is an award winning and published photographer based in the Portland metro area. Offering wedding coverage in Portland, OR and destinations worldwide, this wedding photography studio is one of the top studios in the country and is located right here in the Portland metro areas.

Service Information

Camera Art Photography offers Portland wedding photography coverage in the Portland metro area, including but not limited to, Vancouver, WA, Portland, OR, and the surrounding areas. In addition, we also offer wedding photography coverage across the United States and destinations worldwide. Call for more information.

Not looking for a Portland wedding photographer? Please be sure to consider us for your high school senior photography and all your family and maternity photography needs in the Portland area.

Location Information

We are located conveniently in the Portland metro area in Oregon @ 1049 SW Baseline St, Suite C 450, Hillsboro, OR 97123

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1 Comment to “The Legacy Continues… | Portland Wedding Photographer”

  1. Shauna says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. The love you and your dad shared was so beautiful. What a blessing you were to him. Seeing your photography is a blessing to many. The gift goes on…

Leave a Reply to Shauna