For the past few weeks, a labor dispute has been unfolding at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
After flying over the area while coming in to land at LAX, I saw all of these giant container ships anchored offshore and instantly knew that I had to photograph it.
The next day I called my pilot and said ‘when is the soonest we can go up?!’
Less than 24 hours later we were in the air.
It was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had doing aerial photography - being that far out at sea, with the huge swells underneath you, and these massive, massive container ships everywhere was like living a scene out of Walter Mitty’s life.
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About Mike Kelley
I may just have the craziest story of all when it comes to how I found my career path. Let me set the stage for you.
I was living in Lake Tahoe after graduating from the University of Vermont with degrees in studio art and environmental science. I had always been drawn to snowboarding, and after spending 10 years of my life traveling all over the world to competitions (with my little camera in hand!), I decided to move west to make an attempt at becoming a professional snowboarder.
Unfortunately, I took one too many hard falls and my body began to deteriorate.
After taking a pummeling year in and year out, I wound up in the emergency room in Reno, NV with a head laceration requiring 15 stitches. Shortly after, I found myself staying in the guest room of a friend of a friend, bloody head and all, until I was fit enough to get myself home. We got to talking, and she was kind enough to refer me to my first client - a real estate developer in need of some interior photos.
Seeing as though my battered body would no longer lend itself to the pro snowboarding dream, I looked ahead to my passions of art and photography, with exactly one week to figure out how the heck I was going to pull off a professional shoot.
Source: About Mike
Related: The US West Coast Port Debacle: Porter’s Five Forces at Work
SC24/7 West Coast Port Coverage