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  • "BP & Mike Wilson" #ThisRoanoke

    “BP & Mike Wilson”

    (This! January/February issue)

    When it comes to dating, my success rate is pretty bleak. My Saturday nights usually consist of a mildly entertaining movie on Netflix, the cheapest wine that's not in a box and raw cookie dough. As much as I enjoy the inevitable stomach ache that follows, I'd much rather share my poor choices with, well, someone special. What am I doing wrong? I have a stellar personality and I am the spitting image of Brad Pitt... in the dark. Then it dawned on me: my pics on the dating app Tinder are terribly bland. As I glanced through them, my eyes became very heavy and profuse yawning occurred. So I put down the cookie dough and took matters into my own hands.

    I Facebook stalked Mike Wilson of Bohemian Robot Photography and pleaded for his assistance. He must have been privy to my lame photos because he eagerly agreed. But before I dove head first, I thought I should be a responsible consumer and do my research.

    Before Mike made photography his full-time passion, he spent an extensive amount of time in front of the camera. He lived in the Big Apple for a number of years as a print model; most notably in Southern Living magazine for the Tennessee Board of Tourism. From there he went on to be a producer at MSNBC, after which landing several hosting jobs in Texas & Virginia. After his most recent turn as co-host of Daytime Blue Ridge on WSLS ended, Mike made his love of photography his main priority. Though several TV offers arose out of state, his love of Roanoke made him push aside his quote “ego for being on-camera” and pick up his trusty Canon.

    Feeling I was in safe heads, Mike and I began discussing the popular pictorial trends on Tinder. He suggested an “online dating mullet”, meaning have a professional headshot followed by fun, candid photos. One example of a candid photo might be of me standing in front of a Ford F-150, in casual camo, holding a freshly-caught fish… or some variation. Sidebar, why is this a “go-to” look on Tinder? Mike feels it makes a statement and that statement is “you shall never go hungry”. But my thought is if fish is the only thing on the menu, then we have a real problem!

    Another growing epidemic in our culture is the use of a certain unnamed app that allows you to blur away imperfections on your face, thus making people look like a blur-ball with eyes. When I asked Mike to weigh in on this, he profoundly uttered “false advertising often results in a high rate of returns”. Chills, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Photoshop especially after wine & cookie dough night (see paragraph 1). However, Mike prefers to limit his Photoshop to mainly correcting minor flaws or color-correcting. Agree to disagree. I much rather prefer to have my Photoshop take me from Zach Galifianakis to Zac Efron.

    Once I stepped in front of the lens, I swelled with confidence mainly because I knew I had chosen wisely. Not to editorialize but Mike is a true professional. He really does know what he’s doing… and I’m not saying that because he’s pressing a revolver into the upper half of my back. The proof is in the pudding… and I got myself a date! He’s blind though, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Check out Mike’s vast portfolio at