Director of Photography and Exhibits
Mike Schmitz, Official Photographer
Mike Schmitz is a renown and extremely dedicated photographer of aviation events. He has routinely provided photographic support at our annual Hall Of Fame induction dinners.
In 2010 he covered NVAHOF events at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, USGIF, the International Spy Museum, Nellis AFB, Bolling AFB, the Atomic Testing Museum. He was asked to design a picture for the EAA gift shop (CIA). The picture is of the mounted A-12 at Headquarters and the Pilots that flew the aircraft in “Black Shield”, they sale it in there gift shop.
In 2008 he traveled to Mobile Alabama to present the widow of Jack Weeks (A-12 Pilot) a custom picture of Jack on the 40th aniversity of his death. He also designed a custom picture for the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park which they sale in their gift shop.
He has been one of two photographers for Roadrunners Internationals for many years. He has provided support at their reunions. Mike has made several custom photographs for many people, organization and various reunions.
He is an active member of the U-2 “Dragon Ladies Association”, the SR-71 “Blackbird Association”, and the “Blackbird Maintainers”. He is a life time and active member of “Roadrunners Internationale” and “Disable American Veterans”. Whenever there is a aviation event within the Blackbirds Community or other major aviation event you can bet Mike will be there with his camera. He takes this Camera everywhere he goes and gives away most of the pictures he takes. He will not accept money for his pictures.
Schmitz was born it Stockton, California. He received an AS degree in Aeronautical Studies from Sacramento City College and also received his Airframe and Power Plant License. He joined the Air Force and he was assigned to maintain the SR-71 Blackbird at Beale AFB CA. During his last year in the Military he was sent to South East Asia and assigned to the 8th TFW known as the “WOLFPACK” they flew the F-4 Phantoms. He was in the 25th TFS “Assam Dragons” while in SEA. He was discharge when he returned from SEA. While in the Air force he got interested in photography and has expanded his interest in photography to become a life time of enjoyment and challenges.
Concerned about the environment Schmitz received an AS degree in Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management studies from Sacramento City College. He spent 37 years working in Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment while his interests in photography continued to expand.
He also has a love for automobiles. This stared in high school. He loves to restore autos, build street rods, and hot rods. He has had several show quality cars. When he finished the auto he sells it and starts another project. He is an active member of several car clubs and supports the Association of California Car Clubs.
If it’s an Aviation event or a car show or just sight seeing you can bet that Mike will have his camera with him taking pictures.