Photographer Bio


Mike NIesen


Hi! I’m Mike Niesen. I became an avid Gopher fan when I played the baritone horn in the U of M marching, pep and concert bands from 1971 – 1975. After my student days, I became life member of the Band Alumni Society and since 2007, I’ve been a volunteer photographer with Gopher Photo.

I live in Bloomington, MN and my pursuit of photography is purely a leisure activity. I’ve had a passion for the medium since I was a kid. Recently, a good friend of mine said, "I've known Mike for nearly 4 decades and I don't think I've ever seen him without a camera."

Growing up in Richfield, MN, I took lots of snapshots of family and friends, neighbors, the neighbor's pets and other interesting subjects with my Kodak Instamatic camera. I became a little more serious about photography while traveling in Europe with my high school French class. Travel related images - city and landscapes, buildings and monuments along with people and their cultures have become an important part of my work as I continue to travel extensively close to home in Minnesota and throughout the world. 

While in college, I took a photography class that included a section on darkroom techniques and for many years I shot and processed black & white film almost exclusively. I’ve used color slide and print film and in 2004, I made the switch to digital photography. Oh, by the way, I still have my film cameras!

In addition to my work with the band, I really enjoy shooting night skies and other forms of low light and slow shutter speed photography. For the past several years. I’ve also had a lot of fun photographing my two grandsons and their activities – sports, scouts, school and just being kids.

A closing note - We’ve even established a bit of a family legacy in the band program with my daughter and her future husband being members of the Pride of Minnesota in the late 90’s and into the early 2000’s. I hope that my two grandsons will have opportunity to continue the tradition.

If you would like to see more of my work, please visit the links below:

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