Karcher Image Professional Commercial Photography Services

HISTORY:  My career started at Pitt Johnstown where I worked in the Audio Visual Department doing photography and media production for faculty use in the classroom. I went to work at a local television station shooting 16 mm film and studio camera for the 6 and 11 news broadcasts.  Rebecca McAneny also worked at WJNL-TV. Dale Wicks was my boss. I went to graduate school and earned a Masters degree in Communications Media. Allegheney Ludlum Steel hired me to produce video training programs. We won two Pennsylvania Learning Resources Association awards with those productions.

In 1980 I started a commercial photography business in Baltimore. I created advertising photography for corporations, hospitals, advertising agencies and graphic designers. In 1992, I came to work at Wix Pix Productions in Johnstown for Dale Wicks and Rebecca McAneny Wicks. Today I work for myself and Karcher Image is the name of my company.

CLIENTS: During my career, I’ve had the opportunity and  the privilege to work with some very sophisticated clients. These people include corporate marketers, advertising and graphic designers, architects, business owners and artists. The array of logos in the slide show above includes some of the most recognizable local and national companies and organizations. Many of these people were very exacting and demanding. That is what teaches you. I was a privileged to work with some true artists who were exacting and perceptive teachers who elevated the work I produced for them. I hope to continue those relationships as I work to provide photography through Karcher Image Professional Photography Services.   

KARCHER IMAGE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Even when I worked in Baltimore, I took the challenge of offering a broad range of photographic capabilities. This is even more necessary, being based in a small community like Johnstown. I shoot business portraits, studio product photography, location photography for industry and corporate applications, as well as food and architectural interiors. My experience with photographic lighting has gotten me opportunities to produce photography on sets requiring over a dozen artificial light sources, for companies who market across the country and around the world.

PASSION: While there are many new and younger people in this business, I bring  enthusiasm, passion,  and a sense of humor to my work because I really enjoy what I do and I plan to do it for quite awhile.

Professional Photography

Professional Photography – Baltimore Symphony Orchastra

MUSIC & MAGIC: This photograph was created as part of a promotion for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The art director for the project came to me and said: “We want this image to convey a feeling of motion and magic.  See what you can come up with.” He had drawn a layout showing the hands holding a baton and moving in an arc.

After a few days of useful thinking and experimentation I had a monstrosity of fabrics, cellophane and glittery objects suspended by string and clear packing tape in my studio. When everything was rigged and the lighting was set the art director arrived with the baton and a hand model dressed in a tuxedo.

We shot this using a view camera on 4 X 5 inch transparency film. We wanted the hand in the foreground to be solid while the movements in the background were intended to have varying degrees of transparency. The hands were photographed in reverse order, the one farthest back first and the one in the foreground last. For the foreground hand, the background lights were turned off and black cloth was placed over the background. A grease pencil was used to outline the hand positions on the ground glass of the 4 X 5 inch format view camera so the hand could be spaced correctly before the exposure was made.

I built a rest for the hand model’s because it was necessary to remove the film from the camera back, open the lens to view the hand position, then close the lens and reinsert the film back, remove the dark slide and make the exposure. The final image required five exposures, one for each hand and one for the background. You didn’t know you had it until after the film was processed.


Michael Karcher operated a commercial photo studio Karcher & Associates in Baltimore for 12 years before returning home to Johnstown, PA to work in media production and as the still photographer at Wix Pix Productions. He has produced images for national clients like Cannondale Bicycles, Coleman Campers, Siemans Medical, T.Rowe Price and Noxell Corporation. Mike has a Masters Degree in Communications Media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2005 he started a small sideline business while still working at Wix Pix. In April of 2014 he left Wix Pix to devote his energies to to Karcher1 & Karcher Image Photography on a full time basis. This is the work he loves. He believes that education and experience are important but creativity and imagination are the two things that make photography magic.



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