New England native Mike Kelley was into photography in a big way, but one day something fortuitous happened. While at the University of Vermont, Kelley ran into Dave Schmidt, who is an employee of LPA, makers of PocketWizard. Schmidt is also a shooter in his own right, and was photographing for a local ski resort. He also happened to have a prototype of the PocketWizard MiniTT1® on top of his camera. Kelley noticed, and the two began a conversation.
“I just kept bugging him and bugging him and eventually he caved and gave me an internship at PocketWizard,” Kelley recalls, laughing. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a double major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art, Kelley moved to Lake Tahoe to try his hand at professional snowboarding. This didn’t transpire, but proved fortuitous in a different way professionally.