“I feel like my photography really fits in with men’s style; especially men who are professionals, CEOs, and those who have an adventure/travel lifestyle.”
Mike Darter is more than a simple shutterbug who took up a hobby. He’s had a passion for photography since an early age and has spent nearly 40 years honing his craft.
“I remember picking up my dad’s Canon AE1 camera at the age of 10,” he recalls. “I knew right off that there was something special about photography and knew that it would be part of who I am.”
Though he was accepted into Brooklyn’s Pratt Art Institute during his high school years, he decided to point his lens in a different direction. Most aspiring photographers wouldn’t dream of turning down such an opportunity, but Darter had other plans.
He spent 20 years serving in law enforcement, witnessing violence on a daily basis. He’s seen the worst of humanity – particularly when working the Oklahoma City Bombing case – and views nature’s raw beauty with reverence. He now turns his lens to the magnificent creatures and landscapes that have shaped this planet long before our modern civilization did.
How Talent, Quality Equipment, and VisionTurn Photographs Into Statements
Darter isn’t snapping shots off of his phone’s camera and printing them out at home. In many cases, a photographer is only as effective as his equipment and Darter isn’t taking any chances. You’ll find everything from a Sony A9 or A7RIII to a Nikon D850 around his neck, with a crop of lenses like the Sony 400mm f2.8, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Nikon 500mm f4, and Zeiss Batis 18mm f1.8 in his gear bag.
One look at his online portfolio is enough to showcase his talent, but you should see just how captivating and inspiring these prints are when viewed in-person.
Spoiler alert: they’re jaw-dropping.
“There’s nothing quite like having a huge grizzly bear or shark print hanging over your desk or bed. Most of my prints start out at 40×60 and go up to wall-size prints. Some are also LED backlit and they are definitely the ultimate statement piece for the home or office.”
What do the walls in your home or office say about you? If you thought that your Scarface poster exudes your power or that blank white walls are crowd-pleasers, think again. High-quality photography like the artwork that J. Michael Darter creates will enhance your space. Why do his pieces belong on your walls?
Your walls need personality.
The walls of your home are not only extensions of your own persona, they’re also blank canvases in need of their own personalities. Now, we’re not saying that every inch of drywall should be covered with a framed work of art, but consider how impersonal bare walls truly are. Art and photography draw the line that separates the distinctions between a house and a home. Do you merely live under a roof or do the spaces between your four walls welcome you with warm embrace?
Your office needs character.
Branding can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and while so many professionals ensure that their company logos, color schemes, and slogans are always front-and-center, it’s critical that you don’t underestimate how much of an impact non-branded décor can have on your office’s aesthetic. Choosing mass-produced artwork from the department store only ensures that your office loses its individuality. Your business won’t be the first to throw up a famous reprint on the wall which may make your clients question which of your other ideas and operations are just as run of the mill.
Photography and artwork build foundations for décor and decoration.
A single piece of stunning art or a striking photograph can do wonders to a room. Not only can it act as a focal point, but it can also set the stage of the rest of the room’s aesthetic. The vibrant colors of a sunset over the mountains or the sunrise hitting the ocean can influence the color palette for the rest of the room. And, yes, believe it or not, a single black and white print can create such a dramatic contrast that you can turn a room with white walls and black furnishings into a refined space as debonaire as the man residing in it.
Art evokes emotion.
Art isn’t merely created to be seen; it’s meant to be felt. There’s a reason why the finest art galleries and the most basic of waiting rooms showcase specific pieces. Art evokes emotion, and perhaps more importantly, the right artwork can evoke the desired emotions. Imagine your clients feeling a sense of strength, safety, and security when they walk into your office for the first time. Picture your houseguests immediately appreciating your sense of style and artistic taste when they step into your home, curiously asking how and where you got such jaw-dropping prints for you wall.
Art equals emotion which is why you should fill your most precious spaces with one-of-a-kind pieces.
Give Your Walls Something Wild
Bring Darter’s keen eye, raw talent, and decades worth of refined technique into your home or office today. Using the virtual portfolio on his website, you can digitally stroll his Wild Nature Gallery of Fine Art gallery. This exhibition features dramatic city skylines, colorful landscapes, and bold portfolios of bald eagles, grizzly bears, great white sharks and more.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also highlight Darter’s talent through another artistic medium. Inspired by his travels, he brought a brush to the canvas and paid tribute to some of his favorite experiences via paintings. You can find all of his current artwork for sale on his website.
Looking to snap your own sensational photos in some of North America’s most spectacular parks? Give Aaron’s Photo Tours a call and venture into Grand Teton, Yellowstone, or another haven for the region’s amazing creatures.