My name is Mike Belleme and I am lucky enough to get paid to do my favorite thing in the world! I have labeled myself as several different kinds of photographer over the years, but the truth is simply that I am a photographer. I enjoy the challenge of creating thought-provoking and visually- and emotionally-impactful images whether they are part of long-term documentary projects, portraits in or out of the studio, or collaborating with clients to modify my vision to best suit their purposes.
After 3 years of living in a treehouse in the woods, I now live in Swannanoa, a rural area just outside of Asheville with my wife and still take great pleasure in household building projects, chopping firewood, wood carving, gardening and learning from nature every day. Spending time in the outdoors has been a huge part of my life and upbringing and continues to be the main inspiration for my life and work.
Living in a smaller market has meant wearing a lot of hats over the years. I’ve had some experience in almost every facet of photography, but have placed a specific emphasis on documentary/journalism and portrait work. I have a studio in Asheville, NC. In 2017 I was awarded 2nd place in the “Feature Story” category in POYI “Pictures of the Year International” photo contest. Clients include National Geographic, Rolling Stone, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Outside Magazine, Fortune, The New York Times, Propublica, Al Jazeera America, The Wall Street Journal, Time.com, New Republic, The Fader, CNN, MSNBC, Wired, Associated Press, The Guardian, Huck Magazine (UK), and Intro Magazine (Germany).
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