Mike JensenWho: Mike Jensen, 52
Born: San Diego, Calif. Family moved to Iowa in late 50’s; to Minnesota in early 1960’s.
Current Home: Little Falls, Minnesota (Pop. 7,700), located near the exact geographic center of the state, on the Mississippi River, 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul; boyhood home of aviator Charles Lindbergh; manufacturing headquarters of Glastron, Larson and Crestliner boats; Camp Ripley, a 53,000-acre National Guard training complex is just seven miles north of Little Falls.
Career: At age 16 he started as a high school yearbook and newspaper photographer. After graduating from high school in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, he set out to pursue weekly newspaper journalism. He worked as a photographer, reporter and editor at weekly and twin-weekly newspapers in small communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. That chapter end and he started a new one: ownership of a photography studio in Little Falls. From 1982 to 2000 he did portrait, wedding and commercial photography. He sold the business to one of his employees in 2000. The studio is approaching its 50th anniversary.
It was during his transition from business ownership, and while working a “real job” as a hotel front desk clerk, that “Looking for Minnesota” was pursued and created.
He now works full time as an editorial assistant and part-time photographer for the St. Cloud Times, a seven-day daily newspaper, in St. Cloud, a city of 60,000 about 30 miles from Little Falls. He also continues to assistant Silker Studio with wedding photography, special projects and the transition from film to digital photography.
Other: Life Member, Accredited Photographer Degree, Service Degree from the Minnesota Professional: Photographer’s Association (MPPA).
“Arts Patron of the Year 2000” - Great River Arts Association