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Daily Inspiration: Meet J. A. Mikulich

Today we’d like to introduce you to J. A. Mikulich. 

Hi J. A., so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born in Michigan where I have lived and worked most of my life. I have a bicultural family history and background—my mother’s side of is of Mexican-American heritage and Eastern-European on my father’s side. Professionally, I have been a designer and marketing consultant, and I currently help companies and organizations better connect to Latinx communities in the U.S. Along the way, I’ve become very much interested in wildlife photography, in particular capturing images of avifauna. And while I don’t take photos for a living, I consider photography as a ‘very serious’ hobby. 

Within the last few years of my life, I’ve been spending my time between Michigan and Puerto Rico—where my wife Evelyn is from. 

It’s been a great ride and I’m very grateful to have had the privilege of a very fulfilling personal and professional life. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Overall, I have little to complain about and hardly any regrets. But if I had to define a significant life challenge, I would say that I wish I had a little more confidence in myself early in my career. In retrospect, I realize my opinion and perspective as a young person were more valid than I considered them. I put too much emphasis the opinions of others I felt were more seasoned than I. My advice to others starting out: do listen to the advice of those more experienced than you but not at the sacrifice of your own expertise and perspective. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Regarding my photography of wildlife, I have always enjoyed the outdoors and outdoor activities. I grew up with an appreciation for the environment and wildlife, thanks to my parents instilling these values. And while I have only been a photographer for a few years, in that time it has become a significant element of my life.

My appreciation for avifauna really took off because of my wife Evelyn, who shares my appreciation of all things outdoors. She always wanted to make sure our bird feeders were filled with seed so we could enjoy watching birds from our front window. 

Me being a constant seeker of creative challenges, I started taking images of birds with my phone and quickly realized I needed to upgrade to more powerful equipment. I now use a professional-grade camera and telephoto lenes to capture what I need. 

I really do love the beauty and lore birds and if people viewing my images simply enjoy them also for their beauty, I’m perfectly satisfied with that. But if I am able to encourage someone to see beyond the beauty and understand the importance of the environment, the relevance of biodiversity on wildlife, and the impact we have on it all, then I feel I have contributed something more important. 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I guess I don’t have many surprises. I do music on the side and occasionally, someone I work with professionally might see me at a performance not realizing I’m also a musician. I’m primarily a saxophonist and have played jazz, rock, salsa, just to name a few. 

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Image Credits

J. A. Mikulich

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