Northeast Michigan's Secret

Northeast Lower Michigan has a secret. I really hope I don't get blasted for posting this. This post is primarily focused on the Rogers City area, but applies for most of NE MI.

I can let you in on the secret by simply explaining what our secret isn't..if you love the following things, stop reading now because you will not find it here. 

  1. big box stores
  2. crowded sidewalks/paths
  3. tons of traffic
  4. tons of chain restaurants
  5. overcrowded beaches
  6. unaffordable real estate

I believe the majority of people who call northeast Michigan "home" would rather shop local, aren't huge fans of crowded sidewalks and beaches, chain restaurants, crippling traffic, and they certainly aren't here because the real estate is super expensive. 


This may come as a surprise, but the lack of the above are massive advantages to the people who live here and for people seeking new opportunities. 

We try our very best to support local, family-owned businesses. Sure, there are a few big box stores about 45 minutes away (from Rogers City). So if you really need something that isn't available here, it's not like it doesn't exist. You can drive to the beach or to an inland trout stream in mere minutes or seconds depending on where you live. I've never been stuck in traffic, ever. There are many local, family-owned restaurants that typically serve better food at a better price than chain restaurants. In the summer there are people on the beaches, but it's never uncomfortably packed. You don't bump into anyone or have to search an hour to find a little piece of beach that isn't occupied. There is always room for everyone to relax and enjoy the pristine coastline. The real esate here is very affordable, relatively speaking. It's a steal when you compare our real estate to similar properties on the west side of Michigan. It's an ideal place for retirees, people looking for a vacation home, or for people who are tired of the hussle & bussle and want to slow down and plant their roots in a clean, beautiful area.

I'm proud to say that I grew up in Rogers City; my wife and I are now making a living here. I love traveling to other states/cities, it's fun and all, but I always end up missing the relaxed, yet adventurous atmosphere that northeast Michigan yields. 

As a photographer, northeast Michigan provides a massive amount of outdoor photography opportunities. The beauty in this area has been a great influence and a huge reason why I enjoy landscape photography so much. I try my absolute best to showcase our "secret" lifestyle in each image. This is a unique place on the earth where no filter is required. All of our perceived disadvantages are really an advantage and provide a lot of opportunity for those who are willing to see it and embrace it. 

Light is fleeting.

Here one second, gone the next. That is a quick summary of today's photo shoot. My wife and I drove out in the country to get a few pictures of some kits (baby red fox). The entire morning prior to our departure I kept telling my wife how perfect the light was for pictures. It was somewhat hazy, creating a giant filter in the sky. There weren't harsh shadows; it was just a perfect balance of light. Side note: For the most part, the lighting conditions are numero uno when I decide to make some images. If it's too sunny, the images will turn out very contrasty and harsh. I hate that and it can ruin a perfectly composed image. was around 12:30 in the afternoon, we were making our way to the fox den. During the drive I kept drooling over the light conditions. Megan became slightly irritated with my obsession with the light and proceeded to drown out my comments by turning the music up. Looking back on it, I understand that it was probably like being trapped in a room with a monkey that just drank a pot of coffee. We arrive at the fox den around 1PM. As we cautiously approached, we noticed a kit laying in the sun. It was perfect. I rolled down the window and Megan handed me my camera. 

As soon as I had the camera steadied, the kit jumped up! Perfect timing, again! I focused the lens and shot off about 6 pictures while the little fella moved around chasing flies and then stopped to stare right into my lens.

This was the point in which my luck ran out. Immediately after the kit looked into the lens, the sun blasted out from a cloud. The intense light made looking at the sand near the den almost impossible without sunglasses. 

Out of the 6 images I took, 1 image turned out (shown in this post). Just like life, light is always in a state of flux. While it may seem like I'm complaining, it's actually made me realize that it's the uncertainty that makes it challenging and fun. Without it, it wouldn't be special or memorable.

Thanks for reading! Have a good evening all.

- Travis.