Where to begin? How about the beginning…. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, a long time ago! A year later, my parents, Mike and Sheila Putnam, packed up and moved our family to Lexington, Kentucky. I had a pleasant, and very well supported, if not typical childhood. I attended Sayre School( Go Spartans!) from Kindergarten all the way through high school. When I
was 12 years old, my only sibling, Hallison, was born. While in Lexington, I developed a passion for the natural world, animals, gardening, and athletics. I played both soccer and basketball while in high school. After graduation, I attended Kenyon College( Go Lords!) where I majored in Philosophy, played soccer for the college team, made some of the best friends a guy could ever have(GDI’s!) and I received a wonderful liberal arts education. After graduation, I briefly took an office job before realizing the indoor life was not for me. I underwent two years of post-graduate education at the University of Kentucky( Go Cats!) before being admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University( War Eagle!) where I met my future wife, Debbie. Debbie was a year ahead of me in Vet school. In addition to being intelligent and beautiful, Debbie took great notes, which was a huge bonus for me! After receiving a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn, Debbie and I moved back to Lexington where I worked as an equine veterinarian( shout-out to Dr. Chet Blackey, one of the great mentors in my life!). A passion for adventure drew Debbie and I out of Lexington and to our home in Bend, Oregon, a place I truly love.
Several years after moving to Bend, our only child, Emma, was born. She, like her mother, is smart, funny, athletic, exceptionally hard-working and beautiful. She is our light. After working as a Veterinarian( My emphasis was on horses with some small animals as well) for nearly 15 years I hung up my stethoscope and became a full-time Landscape photographer.
My transition from Veterinarian to Landscape photographer was not as abrupt as it sounds. I have always had a tremendous passion for the outdoors. As soon as I was old enough to drive, much of my free time was spent hiking and backpacking. The outdoor world has always been my “happy spot”. My adventures have always been accompanied by a camera which documents my quests. I’ve explored in countless wild areas across the United States, including but not limited to the Appalachian Mountains, the Smokey Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Mountains, the San Juan Mountain, the Wind River Range, the Cascade Mountains, the Wrangle St. Elias Mountains, and the Alaska Range. After moving to Bend, nearly 20 years ago, my passion for wild and beautiful places exploded. Being able to find adventure and natural beauty before or after the work day was a game-changer for me. Being forced to repeatedly say, ” the pictures don’t do it justice…” took its toll. I wanted images that truly honored the special places that brought me such joy. After years of research and trial and error, I bought and experimented with countless different cameras in an effort to honor the beauty of the natural world. Long before discontinuing my Veterinary career, I settled on a large format film camera for the capture and creation of all of my fine art landscape photographs. To be certain, being a large format photographer is unique in today’s digital world. To learn a bit more about my prints, visit, fine art landscape photography.
Currently, our wonderful daughter, Emma is in College, Go Cal Poly!, My amazing wife, Dr. Debbie Putnam is an owner and Veterinarian at Riverside Animal Hospital here in Bend and I am a busy Oregon Landscape photographer. I’ll soon share more details about my fine art landscape prints and what makes them special. Thanks for visiting!
Interested in continuous Central Oregon landscape of mountains and reflections off lake
For a very large wall of approximately 6-8′ print to be glassed and framed.
Not sure if this is something you could give us an estimate as well as photo ideas.
Hi Mike! Just curious here….My husband and I were watching a movie called Amelia about Amelia Earhart. Her husband was a George Putman. He wrote a book called The Smiting Of The Rock: A tale of Oregon. So I’m sitting here googling all over the place trying to figure out if the Smith Rocks by Redmond had anything to do with George’s book and what did I find? A Mike Putnam photographer in Oregon! Any relation to George?
My husband was born in Bend and even though we live in Washington, we had season ski passes to Mt Bachelor. We’ve been all over Oregon and love it and I can’t wait to go through your pictures!
Nice post Mike. I always find the backgrounds of professional photographers so interesting. I am glad to have found your site. I was wanting to know if you might have any advice for aspiring professional landscape photographers.