From Michigan To Ontario With Mark Sommerfeld

When it comes to snapshot photography the Toronto-based photographer Mark Sommerfeld values reaction over thought.

The young photographer started taking photos with disposable cameras when he was still in High School and developed his interest to become more serious about his “hobby” in his last semester of University. Between his first book launch and numerous commissions for editorial as well as commercial work, Sommerfeld managed to find the time to head out on the road and share his adventure with us…

This past September, Heather and I went on an 8-day, 2,400km road/camping trip through Northern Michigan and Ontario. “We saw the Northern lights creep up from the horizon as we stargazed through a telescope on Manitoulin Island.”We saw the Northern lights creep up from the horizon as we stargazed through a telescope on Manitoulin Island, swam in three Great Lakes & Georgian Bay, devoured fire-cooked meals and sipped a fair bit of whisky and beer. We also bickered over how to set-up camp and prepare food and huffed and puffed our way through forests and long walks on the beach.
At the time, Heather and I were dating… a few weeks after our return to Toronto we decided to go our separate ways. Since then, we’ve maintained a close friendship and have spent a fair amount of time discussing the nuance of emotions packed into countless fleeting moments that felt monumental at the time.


On the first day we drove through a thunderstorm while having our first heated argument as a couple. It’s humbling to be able to look back at these moments/photos with a light heart and chuckle about and an argument we don’t quite remember.

I don’t think either of us expected to spend so much time in the water in September in Northern Michigan and Ontario. Nothing quite compares to jumping into a cold lake and drying off in the hot fall sun (over and over) until the sun sets.


I bought an underwater camera and accidentally set it to ‘panoramic.’

Heather is a master fire starter.


The photos below were taken with an iPhone.


All images © Mark Sommerfeld