Hi, I’m Maike!
I’m a German photographer that somehow ended up in Central California. My name is pronounced “Micah” – I figured you might be wondering. :)
I love the scent of pines, Berlin subway stations and horses and am happiest in any place you can find one of the three.
I’m all about honest photographs full of atmosphere – especially of pets and their families but I collect snippets of life wherever I go: mountains, llamas, giggle fits and everything in between. :)
One of my favorite, quirky quotes is this one by Roald Dahl: “It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.”
Let’s hang out and feel twinkly!
MY YEARBOOK PAGE WOULD SAY:
1. i am (not so) secretly obsessed with:
Dots + Paper Products! ♥
2. if I could read any book again for the very first time, it would be ...
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ... obviously!
3. TO ME A perfect day looks like this:
Typical German breakfast (rolls with Nutella!), followed by a day outside with horses, my husband and camera, then buffalo chicken dip and Netflix on the couch with our kitty cat.
4. IF MY PHOTOS HAD A SOUNDTRACK IT’d have to be:
Golden Age (especially “I love you”) by Woodkid
5. my favorite activities besides photography ARE:
Trail rides on horseback, rock climbing, boardgames (current favorite: Pandemic Legacy!), reading in the hammock, practicing guitar and crafting while listening to audiobooks.
6. THE BEST COMPLIMENT EVER WAS:
“Your photos make me want to climb in the frame and explore.” That was pretty fantastic to hear! :)
If you’D LIKE to know My Whole Story, read this.
(lazy? Skip to the bottom.)
Thanks to my dad for the first and last photo above! You might want to check out his work over at 500px !
HOW I GOT HERE
I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and while I absolutely love the great outdoors I will always be a big city girl at heart. I moved to the US in 2015 and after a year in Mississippi, my husband’s career brought us to the Central Valley of California. I am so excited to be this close to all the amazing National Parks and wonderful cities of the West Coast and love sharing photos of it all with you on this site.
Back when I was in primary school our teacher asked us to write down our dream jobs and I wrote photographer and horse trainer. My dad had always been really into photography and was definitely a huge influence on me. But as a teenager I learned that neither of my dream professions would give me what adults called “financial stability”.
So I decided to work towards a different profession – without a clue what that would be. I interned with the Berlin police, wanted to be a car mechanic at some point and later a psychologist. All while riding horses a lot, attending photography workshops and feeling most at peace in my school’s darkroom. Can you tell that I really had no idea what I wanted to do apart from the two things I already spent most of my time doing anyway?
OF COURSE A GUY CHANGED EVERYTHING
Once I was done high school I spent a year in Canada to escape college applications and see more of the world. Not only did I have a great time experiencing a new culture but I also met my best friend and partner-in-crime for life, Neil. Then of course everything changed. Suddenly I was with a guy that lived on the other side of the world.
After figuring out what we wanted to do with our lives and having to jump through quite a few hoops, he joined the US Navy and I studied graphic design back in Germany. Once I finished my degree I joined him in the US, where I was on a visa that didn’t allow me to work ...
So I had to come up with a way to keep busy and creative. This is when I realized I could finally pursue the passion I had wanted to all my life. I took pictures of everything and everyone around me and really focused on honing the craft that I had always been interested in.
HOW I FOUND MY PHOTO GENRE
Throughout 2016 I worked on a project 365 – taking and posting photos every day for an entire year. Nature was right there, so that’s what I captured most during that year.
I had no idea what type of photography I wanted to focus on and so I experimented a lot. I watched photography classes online, read books and attended workshops. I really did eat, sleep and breathe photography.
Then something happened that made me realize that what I do is much more important than I thought. One of my friends had a child while her husband was deployed and she asked me to take photos for him of his daughter. I went over to her house and took pictures of the little girl in their home. My friend printed out every single one of the photos and made an album she then sent to her husband.
I had taken photos of families in their homes before but this was when I actually realized how much photos of real life mattered to me.
I had never been a fan of pictures where people squeezed themselves into outfits they’d never wear in real life and put on a smile for the camera without any emotion behind it. But whenever people asked me what kind of photographer I was (Weddings, newborn or landscape?) I never really knew how to answer that question.
It seemed like people had the idea that you could only be one kind of photographer and that was it. But I didn’t like that idea.
And so after thinking about it for a while I finally figured out what I really wanted to do: always stay curious and document life from my perspective. Sometimes that’s a family in their home, other times a group of horses at a lake or the subway stations of Berlin.
I strongly believe that real life and its little fleeting moments are what we will actually be happy to look back on in 20 years and remember life as it really was.