A cup of water is spilled in an attempted exchange during a running of the Encinitas Half Marathon. (photo by Mike Kacmarcik)


By Ashley Shah

Starting with his interest in photography at a young  age when he played with his grandmother’s Kodak Instamatic, Michael Kacmarcik has had an extensive past in the photography world.

In high school, Kacmarcik continued his interest in photography. 

“I made my own lab in our basement where I was able to process black and white film and create prints. My parents said it was a waste of time, but I loved it,” he said.

After high school, Kacmarcik joined the Navy and served from 1976 to 1980.

Following his service in the Navy, he was able to land a job as an engineer at a local company in Virginia where he worked full time. While there, Kacmarcik was also able to work at a local newspaper for a couple of years doing freelance work.

“Where I lived in Virginia, there was a family who owned several community newspapers in that area, so I was able to land a part time position on one of their other community newspapers,” Kacmarcik

He worked on the weekly community newspaper “Loudoun-Times Mirror’” for 30 years.

“Being a part of that community newspaper was one of the best experiences I had. I was able to get to know so many people in the community and tell their stories and gain their trust to do so,” Kacmarcik said. 

In 2003, Kacmarcik moved from Virginia to San Diego. 

He worked for three local newspapers in the span of four years, including the North County Times, The Union Tribune and Today’s Local News.

In 2007, Kacmarcik changed career paths and has been working as a liquor salesman. However, he still takes photos in his free time. His favorite subjects to photograph are people and he loves news photography. 

“I think I’ve photographed almost everything, but  I just love the raw emotion that people present. I think it is important to get all of the emotions, whether that be happiness or sadness because it really helps you understand the whole story,” Kacmarcik said. 

At the moment, he does not have any set plans with his photography journey. 

“With COVID and everything, I don’t find myself making photos like I used to. Not many people want to buy photos anymore. Hopefully though, I will get back into it,” he said. 

To view more of Kacmarcik’s work, visit michaeljkacmarcik.com, his Facebook page @michaelkacmarcik or on Instagram @Kaz1957.

Mike Kacmarcik captured this top award-winning news shot during a student protest in North San Diego County while on a newspaper assignment.
A firefighter’s jacket temporarily catches fire while he attacks a roof blaze on a new school under construction in this photo by Mike Kacmarcik – which won numerous awards. 
Retired Navy Admiral Don Shelton, age 100, kisses his wife’s hand after returning from an Honor flight to Washington, D.C.