For the second year in a row, we partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to provide an opportunity for novice and professional photographers to engage with the downtown area. We received well over 100+ submissions for our 2nd Annual Photo Contest and the judging panel narrowed it down to five finalists for each of the categories below. From December through January the public had the opportunity to vote for their favorite entry. We are excited to announce that the 2018 Fan Favorite winner is Long Beach native… Mike Zampelli!

Pictured: DLBA President & CEO Kraig Kojian with DTLB UNFILTERED winner Mike Zampelli.

Residents might remember Mike Zampelli from his days as the owner of Zed Records, a regional music institution known for its rare vinyl records.  He owned the record shop for 27 years before it closed in 2000. Mike has been interested in music, photography, and hockey since he was a teenager. When he first got on the internet he said, “What do I make a page for? So, I made one for the LA Kings.” He used his growing skills as a photographer to build a fan site dedicated to the LA Kings and fostered a community of hockey fans to connect online. The Kings were so impressed with his work, they offered him a job.

The gig landed him two Tiffany championship rings and a passion for action photography. He says there is a thrill to action photography, “You have to be able to know, almost predict when something is going to happen.” After leaving his full-time position with the Kings, he made the rounds working as a photographer for digital and print publications including LAist and The Long Beach Post. He admits that being a photographer awards him access to some great events.

Mike’s photography might sound like a full-time job, but he says it’s a hobby that he has enjoyed in his retirement. He always has his camera on him for his daily walks and spends time online researching new photo locations. He said his photography now is less about action and more about landscapes, “You set up your camera and then sit back and enjoy the sunset.”

2018 DTLB UNFILTERED Fan Favorite Photo by Mike Zampelli’s

He is trying to concentrate his photography on Long Beach and find a balance between action and still photos. The fan favorite represents his new perspective, the photo boasts a string of blurry car lights moving through the crowded street against the sturdy buildings of downtown.

Learn More About Mike: 

Instagram: @mikezedphotography

His photo canvases are on display/sale at Wine Crush on Broadway

For more information on the photo contest please visit DTLBunfiltered.org.