“I have photography in my blood. I am a self-taught photographer. My father, a professional photographer for 15 years in Italy, lit the fire and provided me with years of guidance, encouragement and a critical eye. Photography school would have been a poor substitute.”
After around many years as an amateur black and white (and color) photographer, Mike Gerra entered the ranks of professional photography in 2002. He finally turned his back on a technology career and corporate America to pursue his long-held dream.
Mike has fond memories, beginning as an 8-year old boy, of spending many evenings in his father’s darkroom. He was enthralled by the dull red glow of the safety light, the varied collection of chemical bottles and flasks, the gray fixing tanks, the boxes of colorful filters, the drying prints hanging from a washing line and of course, the rocketship-like enlarger. But what captured him most was seeing those magical first images appearing on that unlikely wet paper right before his very eyes – images that both he and his father were seeing for the first time.
From a very early age, Mike’s family and friends would tease him for looking at things differently. He would find beauty in the peculiar arrangement of clouds, or the juxtaposition of two trees, or the contrast between different materials in a local building, or the varied expressions of people in a group. He has been constantly fascinated by reflections and patterns and forms and textures.
Mike sees photography as an extension of his obsession with visual harmony and contrast. In his photographs he is crystalizing these fleeting image elements for others to see. He continues to look for symmetries and harmonies in faces and objects and landscapes, and to unlock unique and extraordinary compositions where others may just see blandness or nothing at all.
Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Computer Science from the University of Leicester in Britain. He currently resides in Keller, Texas with his family, and where he and his wife, Kim Patrick Gerra, recently opened a fine art gallery to bring a shot of color to the suburbs.
Mike Gerra shoots 35mm film (yes, it does still exist), medium format and digital images. His preferred medium is black and white, which allows him to explore the basic elements of his compositions without the noise of color.
While he has a particular photographic affinity for the Pacific Northwest and desert Southwest of the United States and Atlantic Canada, Mike’s portfolio is truly international. He has traveled and photographed extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It is during these visits to 35 countries, including Peru, South Africa, Chile, Bolivia, Kenya, China, Sri Lanka and India that he captured many of his images of people, architecture and landscapes.