About Us
History & Bio
 
Our History  !
Michael Scalf Sr began working in photography and filed a business license for Mike's Photo & Design in Houston , Texas , on September 11, 1980.  Mr. Scalf operated a part time business out of his home doing weddings and some portraits while working a salaried job full time.  A new business license was filed on April 4, 1988 to change the name of the business to Mike Scalf Photography.

Mr. Scalf's college degree and work was in Hydro-Mechanical engineering where his salary jobs were in the oil field equipment manufacturing business.  He was   a Hydro-Mechanical designer and in 1979 was subsequently promoted to department manager with as many as 40 individuals reporting to him while being responsible for an annual budget of more than one million dollars.  He was also responsible for creating and implementing operational procedures and policies for the corporation.

He also worked assisted the company’s commercial photographer from November 1978 through February 1982. In 1982, he was hired by another company as their department supervisor while also being responsible for all commercial photography

He and his wife, Kathy, signed a lease in the Clear Lake Area of Houston on a 1200 square foot storefront studio and completely remodeled the facility themselves. They officially opened for business on September 1, 1988 with the studio being incorporated on December 20, 1991.  Upon outgrowing the first studio, they leased another space within the same shopping center with 2100 square feet and moved there on October 1, 1993. They occupied that location until March 1, 1999 when they moved to a 3000 square feet studio at 17066 Highway 3. Mike also designed and completely performed the build out of this location.

The first store front studio grossed only $ 45,000.00 in 1988. The studio more than doubled their gross sales in 1989 and added a part time employee. The studio again more than doubled their sales in 1990 and added another part time employee. In 1991 their gross sales grew another 50% and they placed one of their part time employee's on full time status. They continued an annual steady growth pattern while employing, in addition to themselves, two full time and one or two part time employees. They annually grossed at or above $500,000 a year. On August 27, 2004 Mike and Kathy sold their studio to another studio owner, Dean Grimes who owned Arrant Grimes Photography of Alvin, Texas. He relocated his Alvin studio into the Clear Lake location. Mike worked with Mr. Grimes until December 31, 2006 doing some photography, database management, price list development and studio marketing along with writing policies and procedures. 

In 2007, Mike moved and relocated to Blanchard, OK, which was outside of his non-compete limitations. There  he has rebuilt a home based photography business specializing in location portraiture and commercial photography while continuing to work as the Executive Director of the Southwest Professional Photographers Association.

During the many various cycles of the studio transition, his studio has evolved from a single photographer studio to a multiple contract photographers studio doing several weddings each weekend and then returning full circle to the single photographer studio. Consequently, he can provide a realistic perspective of the pros and cons of the various challenges, hurdles and pitfalls you may encounter regardless what your studio size may be.


Degrees

 Master of Photography

Photographic Craftsman

CPP (Certified Professional Photographer)

API (Approved Photographic Instructor)

Texas Full Fellowship Degree

Texas Associate Fellowship Degree

Houston Full Fellowship Degree

Houston Associate Fellowship Degree

 

Memberships

Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
(Council Member & National Lecturer)
(Affiliated Print Competition Juror in Training)

Southwest Professional Photographers Association (SWPPA)
(Executive Director since 2003)

American Society of Photographers (ASP)
(Board of Govenors 2009 - 2010)

Professional Photographers of Oklahoma (PPOK)

Texas Professional Photographers Association (TPPA)
(2002 – 2003 President)
(Life Member)

International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum (IPHF)
(Interium Executive Director since 2009)

Professional Photographers Guild of Houston (PPGH)
(1996 President)
(Life Member)

Metro Photographers Association of OKC

Grand Lodge of Texas
S.P. Waltrip #1328

Scottish Rites of Freemasonary

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)
(Life Member)
(Special Attractions Lifetime Committeeman)

 
 

Accomplishments & Awards

First Place Wedding Portrait (Master) - Oklahoma 2011

People's Choice Award Image - Oklahoma 2010

PPA National Award Recepiant 2008
(From Southwest PPA)

State of Texas Senate Resolution #1072 Recipient – May 16, 2001 
(Awarded for accomplishments in Photographic Industry)

 PPA National Council Representative since 1999

PPA By-Laws, Rules and Ethics Committee 2002 thru 2008

Texas PPA State Director from Houston Guild 1992 thru 1996

Texas Director-at-Large 1997-1998

Texas Secretary 1999-2000

Texas Treasure 2000-2001

Texas Vice-President 2001-2002

Texas President 2002-2003

Chairman of the Board – 2003-2004

Print Competition Chairman for Houston Guild, 1990 & 1991

Director-at-Large for Houston Guild 1992

Treasurer for Houston Guild 1993

Secretary for Houston Guild 1994

Vice-President for Houston Guild 1995

President for Houston Guild 1996

Chairman of the Board for Houston Guild 1997

Author of numerous business and marketing columns nationwide

SWPPA Convention Distinguished Print Award - Illustrative 1994

Texas Summer Convention Distinguished Print Award - Women's Portrait 1994

Texas Summer Convention Distinguished Print Award - Men's Portrait 1995

Texas Summer Convention Distinguished Print Award - Children's Portrait 1997

Texas Summer Convention Distinguished Print Award - Illustrative 1997

Texas Summer Convention Best of Show Trophy - Illustrative 1997

Kodak Gallery Award - 1997

PPA Loan Collection Print - 1997

Texas Summer Convention Best of Show Trophy - Wedding Candid Album 1998

Houston Guild Best Individual Portrait by Active Member 2000

PPA Today cover image – May 2000

Texas Summer Convention print competition title announcer 1993, 94, 95 & 96

Southwest PPA Affiliated print competition title announcer 1993, 94, 95, 96 & 97

PP of A's National Print Judging title announcer 1997

1991 & 92 Houston Post's annual wedding planner exclusively featured photographer

1993 Houston Post's annual wedding planner co-featured photographer

Macy's Houston Galleria Bridal Fair 1993, 94, 95, 96 & 97
(exclusive Houston photographer invited to exhibit)