The Scoop: Todd Reed, 49 years of photography.

June 6, 2019

Todd Reed


The Scoop: Todd Reed, 49 years of photography. Art center exhibit launches Friday.

Today on MCP’s The Scoop, we have a special guest, photographer Todd Reed. Todd discusses his exhibit that begins Friday, June 7 at Ludington Area Center for the Arts titled “Todd Reed’s Photography Retrospective: 49 Years and Counting.”

LUDINGTON — For nearly 50 years outdoor photographer Todd Reed has been capturing breathtaking scenes from around Michigan. The Ludington based photographer, considered one of the best in the United States, will display images from throughout his illustrious career at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA), 107 S. Harrison St., in downtown Ludington.

‘Todd Reed’s Photography Retrospective: 49 Years and Counting’ will be on display in LACA’s main gallery June 4-29 during normal business hours (Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday’s 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or during the many special events taking place at the art center during the month of June. LACA will host an artist reception Friday, June 7 from 5-7 p.m. to allow the public to visit with Reed and view his work.

 Prior to opening Todd & Brad Reed Photography Gallery with his son, Brad, Todd spent 23 years as a photojournalist and writer for the Ludington Daily News, where he won dozens of industry awards for his photos portraying the beauty and telling the stories of everyday life in small towns and rural areas. Todd’s love of the Great Lakes was enriched by 33 years of service in the Coast Guard Reserve. In 1988, the U.S. Coast Guard honored him as top “Outstanding Enlisted Reservist” in the nation. 

In 1998, Todd’s image “God’s Light,” which shows a lightning bolt hitting near the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse, won third place overall in the Nikon International Photography Contest. The North American Nature Photography Association has featured both Todd’s and Brad’s images. Many magazines, including Traverse, Michigan Blue, Bay Life, and LAKE, have also featured the Reeds’ photographs and galleries in their publications. The Reeds had the cover image and the main feature story in Outdoor Photographer magazine in October of 2016, which is one of the world’s most popular photography magazines.

 Todd and Brad have a simple approach to photography. They choose subjects that touch them in emotional ways, and strive to convey their emotions through the photographs they make. They are both known for saying that good photography is all about feeling. To see and appreciate a scene in the natural world is one thing; the artists’ challenge is to capture visually the emotions of that scene and that moment. It is simply a matter of being present at those rare moments and letting the heart guide the composition.

 In 2000, Todd released his first book, Ludington Point to Point. This book covered the waterways and countryside between Big Sable Point and Little Sable Point Lighthouses. In 2005, this father-son team collaborated and released their first joint book, Lake Michigan Point to Point, a visual journey of the waters and shores of the same region. In 2006, Todd and Brad released their first DVD, Lake Michigan Point to Point. In 2008, Todd and Brad released a new fine art book and DVD called Ludington State Park: Queen of the North. The book and DVD feature beautiful photographs from inside the 5,300-acre Ludington State Park.  In 2010, Todd and Brad completed their 365 Project, a year-long photo shoot in which Todd and Brad each shot one photograph daily during 2010, posting them weekly on their website and Facebook.  In Spring 2011, they published all 730 photos from the project in a limited edition fine art book entitled 365 – A Year in the Photographic Lives of Todd and Brad Reed, the book sold out the day it was released. Toddand Brad also released a 365 DVD, which includes all 730 images from the project, as well as interviews with Todd and Brad.

 In spring 2013, Tuesdays with Todd and Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute was the grateful offering of a father and son who set out weekly for a year seeking, discovering and revealing Michigan’s natural heart and soul with their cameras. They traveled throughout Michigan, shooting from sunrise to sunset every Tuesday of 2012. Besides shooting still photographs they shot HD video and every week produced a 7-10 minute video of their photographic journey. Todd and Brad captured 1,014 of Michigan moments’, all of which are featured in this 400 page hardcover art book and 2-disk DVD set from the project.

Todd and Brad Reed

After the success of their award-winning book, Tuesdays with Todd & Brad Reed: A Michigan Tribute, they decided to once again take on a year long shooting project, this time photographing the splendor of Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas every Wednesday in 2014. This year long exploration of the best of Michigan’s landscapes and scenery culminated in their new book, Todd and Brad Reed’s Michigan: Wednesdays in the Mitten. Todd and Brad as they set out every Wednesday for a year discovering and revealing Michigan’s natural heart and soul with their cameras. Todd and Brad then went through every image they shot on Wednesdays in 2014, selecting only the best for this new book. Once images were selected, they started laying them out in the book, thinking of how they wanted the images to look side by side, and how they flowed through the book. After the images were placed, Todd and Brad took to their keyboards, writing the different sections of the book.

 Wednesdays in the Mitten is the largest book Todd and Brad have ever produced, measuring 18.5-inches-wide by 12-inches-tall and containing 224 pages. For this book, they wanted to bring Michigan to you in a big way, with some photos measuring as long as 37 inches over a two-page spread. They decided to feature fewer images in the new book, but showcase them bigger and better than ever before. The book also comes with a DVD containing a slideshow of all the images from the book set to beautiful music.

 In 2018, Todd and Brad partnered with West Shore Bank and produced another internationally award winning book, Wonderous West Shore. That is the smallest book they have self-published.

 Todd and Brad Reed’s photographic artwork is featured at Todd & Brad Reed Photography Gallery, in downtown Ludington. Visiting their website at Any image can be ordered in multiple sizes and formats. The Reeds also put on acclaimed weekend workshops in their hometown of Ludington, Michigan.  Details on the workshops can be found on their website as well.

Editor’s Note: I have a very personal connection to this exhibit. Todd Reed is my mentor and my friend. I first met Todd in the fall of 1988 when I was a freshman at West Shore Community College. I took Photography I, taught by Todd. He saw the interest I had in photography and journalism and recommended to Ludington Daily News Managing Editor Paul Peterson that he hire me as a stringer to write feature stories on the upcoming Scottville Centennial (1989). Soon, that evolved into a part-time job while I attended WSCC and later Grand Valley State University. Upon completing my studies, Todd announced that he was leaving the newspaper, after 23 years, and wanted me to take his place. For three decades I have enjoyed a career in professional photography and journalism, with much of the credit to this very talented and caring man. I have been blessed and honored to know him.

– Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

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