‘A Northern Tradition’ fundraising event returns with Michigan photographer Steve Jessmore

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Five-time Michigan Photographer of the Year, nationally recognized for his wildlife photography, particularly for showcasing the state’s birds, will participate in Mid Michigan’s ‘A Northern Tradition’ event College on April 10 at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare.

Steve Jessmore of Grand Rapids is a lifelong photojournalist with over 30 years under his camera strap. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism in 1996 and only started taking wildlife photos during the pandemic.

When COVID hit, freelance photography work was in short supply, so Jessmore started thinking about what he could do to keep his skills up to date.


Ducks have become his passion. He fell in love with bird photography. And his bird photos won national recognition last year when two of his images swept through the professional division of the Audubon Photography Contest 2021winning 1st place and an honorable mention.

“The Audubon was probably the most startling and surreal [award]. I’m truly honored that the hard work has paid off,” Jessmore wrote.

“I’m married and I owe this whole adventure to my wife Brenda Hasso,” Jessmore continued. “She was the one who encouraged me to use my talents during covid for the best. I couldn’t have done this without her.”

Jessmore won first place in the competition’s professional category for her photograph, “Northern Cardinal in Flight,” which depicts a northern cardinal flying at snow level in rural Muskegon County. See winning moves here.

Steve Jessmore regularly posts new Michigan content to his Instagram @sjessmo. Contact him and discover more of his award-winning images at stevejessmore.com.


Event details:

Mid Michigan College announced details of the event in a recent press release. The event is Mid Michigan College’s annual fundraiser. Tickets are available for the event here. The Mid Michigan College Foundation raises funds to support student success, academic excellence, high-tech learning spaces and campus improvements, according to the university.

“This year’s event represents a welcome return to Jay’s Sporting Goods,” Tom Olver, executive director of the Mid Michigan College Foundation, said in the release. “We are excited to provide a great experience for our attendees.”

Each $75 ticket provides the attendee with a $25 gift certificate to Jay’s Sporting Goods and a limited-edition print or notecard set featuring Steve Jessmore’s photograph. Attendees can also expect refreshments at local restaurants, chef-prepared wild game tastings, creative mocktails, various desserts, and live music from Full Cord Bluegrass.

Additionally, Mike Avery, a Michigan-based broadcaster with over 40 years of experience in the industry, is expected to host the event. His weekly three-hour radio program “Outdoor Magazine” promotes the history and tradition of hunting, fishing, shooting and trapping.

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