Mikkel Aaland

"It's All An Adventure"

Photography has been my passport to meet movie stars, presidents, Nobel Prize winners and many other extraordinary people. Elizabeth Taylor was the most charismatic woman I have ever met and photographed. Ronald Reagan was one of the nicest guys I ever met, even though I hated his politics. Jimmy Carter had a great sense of humor. When I took a group picture with him in it he deliberately had me back up into a tree. Bill Clinton really knew how to work a room, and picked out the most beautiful women in an instant.


Most of the money I made over the years has come from photography. I started as a newspaper photographer then worked as an itinerant county fair portrait photographer. I freelanced for magazines and other media in Europe and the US. Eventually I turned to corporate and PR work and worked nearly a decade for UC Medical Center where I photographed J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus on the morning they received news of their Nobel Prize in 1989. During the 80s and 90s I also freelanced for AFSCME, the national service union, which gave me access to the White House and Capitol Hill and lots of other interesting people and places.


I have only a few regrets. One was when I was with Martin Mull and his fiancée in the green room just before I appeared on the David Letterman show.  Martin asked if I would photograph their wedding and I said I didn't do weddings.  What was I thinking?



Mt. Shasta Portraits 1981

Heppel & Ettlich 1982

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