I found this old blog post I made back in Jan 2009 (about 9 months into my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, right after I was promoted to blue belt). To my surprise, I still agree 100% with everything I wrote. I know that these principles helped me in my journey to black belt (which I received earlier this year). They also apply to business and life in general so I wanted to share them here…

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. teaching me what it feels like to fly.

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. teaching me what it feels like to fly.

1. Don’t resist too much; roll with the punches. Resistance will tire you out and throw you off of your game. Remember that there are many solutions to every problem…. find a new angle.

2. You don’t have to be bigger and stronger to succeed. Technique and experience are far more superior than force.

3. You will always learn more from losing than from winning.

4. Play safe but not too safe. Injuries will set you back in your progress but fear will take you out of the game completely.

5. If you work uncomfortably harder than your competition, in time you will find yourself comfortably ahead.

6. Match yourself up with strong competitors; they will push you to get better.

7. Absorb everything you can from people who have proven themselves but be careful in taking advice from a rookie.

8. One private lesson from an accomplished instructor is worth at least 10 group lessons.

9. First, become an expert in one or two tactics. They will give you respect and open doors for you to diversify.

10. Be patient; Enjoy the journey and the progress that goes along with it. Focus on being the best you can be for each level of experience.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of covering Claire Pettibone’s 20th Anniversary and grand opening of her new flagship salon in Beverly Hills, CA.  It was a fun night mingling with old and new friends.  I’ve known Claire and her husband/biz partner Guy Toley for many years now.  I first met them on a plane coming from New York and just happened to be sitting next to them.  They are great people and so down to earth.  I really enjoyed shooting this event for them.  Congrats Claire and Guy on 20 years of success in marriage and in business!  It was an honor to shoot your event!

Special shout out to my team Brandon Aquino, Daniel Cruz, JC Guzman, & Stewart Uy for all the help shooting that night!  #LTFL

Special thanks to Art Scangas and Inside Weddings for the love in the Fall 2014 Issue.

Claire Pettibone 20th Anniversary Published in Inside Weddings




(Images Courtesy of Photographer: Mike Colón, images available upon request)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Claire Pettibone had much to celebrate on June 11, 2014. On this perfect Summer evening she and husband, Guy Toley, welcomed family, friends and celebrity fans to the Claire Pettibone Flagship Salon in Beverly Hills to celebrate their 20th Wedding Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of the renown Claire Pettibone bridal label.

Rumer Willis photo by Mike Colon

Among the celebrity fans that came to show their support was, Rumer Willis, who proved that her sister is not the only one in the family to command attention! Rumer wore a showstopping white crochet and mesh cocktail dress, that, while was not as risqué as her sister, Scout Willis’ ‘free the nipple’ statement in New York last week, was nothing short of a provocative fashion statement (that we loved)!

Also in attendance was, Angela Kinsey, who was as charming and lovable as she looks in a photo hugged up with celebrity wedding photographer, Mike Colón, who shot the weddings of the huge talent including Usher and Timbaland.

Angele Kinsey Celebrity Photographer Mike Colon

Like the success of their matrimony, Claire’s business has grown exponentially over the last 20 years; she not only has she become one of the top bridal designers, but is now forging on the path to designing for the red-carpet, dressing celebrities like Carrie Underwood. Could Rumor Willis and Angela Kinsey be added to the list of Claire’s designs for red-carpet gowns this season? We can only hope and can’t wait to see what Claire Pettibone brings us next!

WHO: Designer, Claire Pettibone, Actress, Rumer Willis, Actress, Angela Kinsey.

WHAT: The Celebration of the 20th Anniversary for Claire Pettibone

WHERE: Claire Pettibone Flagship Salon in Beverly Hills, CA

WHEN: June 10, 2014


CLD Contact info

Bow Tie Problems Tuesday February 18, 2014 5:22PM PST Celebrity, Fashion, Wedding

MSC_1669 (1) copy

I’m sitting here trying to figure out why I like this scene so much…  I guess I just like the fact that his son’s girlfriend feels so comfortable around him.  I think it’s sweet that she’s helping him with his bow tie.  I really like the tones and balance of color in this image.  Other small details like the Coca Cola “light” and the iPhone on the table help to set the scene.

I timed this image to make sure I could see the bow tie dangling there so the viewer knows what’s happening at first glance.  I don’t think second image wouldn’t work by itself since it might be confusing without the first image but paired I think they tell the story well.

I shot this with my Nikon D4 and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G.  ISO1250 f2.8 at 1/200 sec. No fill flash or reflector… just exposing to naturally see detail in subjects without completely blowing out background.  I used Aperture and a film filter VSCO Kodak Portra 160(-) with VSCO II film grain 100 to edit the image.   I’m a huge fan of “less is more” when it comes to editing my photos.  I try not to over correct or perfect my images when editing since my goal is to tell a story that is believable.   I will crop, retouch, or remove distractions that take away from the moment if necessary… but I left this scene pretty much as is.

Location:  The St. Regis Singapore Presidential Suite

Please comment below to tell me your thoughts on the image.  I read and appreciate all feedback and try to answer all questions!

Thirst Relief Benefit Shoot and Dinner Monday February 17, 2014 1:55PM PST News


This year’s Benefit Shoot (at WPPI-3.2.2014), is certain to impress! Old Downtown Las Vegas (Fremont Street) will play host to an amazing afternoon of shooting, with leadership and training from some of the best photogs in the industry (incl Mike Colon, Zach and Jody Gray, Trevor Dayley). Then, finish the evening off with great eats, drinks, and private concert (you won’t want to miss) at one of the raddest spots on Fremont Street (The roof deck at Commonwealth). It’s a day (and night) you won’t want to miss.
Transporation provided from the MGM Signature and will return post-Dinner.
Dinner (and Concert) Only tickets are also available for those who can’t make the Shoot itself.
*DINNER: 6PM-9PM AT COMMONWEALTH (525 E Fremont St. Las Vegas, NV 89101)
*Transportation not provided for Dinner Only tickets


The Uncomfortable Workshop | Calgary, AB Thursday February 21, 2013 3:43AM PST News

andras schram

Dark churches getting you down?  Off-camera lighting throwing you off your game?  Family formals killing you?  Trust me, you are not alone.  The reason wedding photography is one of the most dreaded (and highest paying) professions in the photography world is simply because it’s not easy!  Mixed lighting, harsh shadows, blown-out backgrounds, fast moving subjects in low light, tall brides next to short grooms, five minutes to shoot fifteen different group shots while the sun goes down… the craziness has no end!  And the scary part is, you can’t make excuses when it comes time to deliver images to your client.

I once heard a commercial photographer relate wedding photography to Russian Roulette.  He said “You’re bound to get unlucky eventually and then it’s all over.. you’re finished.”  He’s right… there are no re-shoots in wedding photography, and a scorned bride is not someone you want hanging around your Facebook fan page.

So here’s the good news:  I’m not just writing all of this to give you more anxiety about shooting weddings.  I am dedicating myself to a new workshop series called “The Uncomfortable Workshop“.  I’ve teamed up with Andras Schram, a photographer in Calgary who I deeply respect as an artist in our industry.  This workshop has been a long time coming and a long time planning.  It’s not my regular “set up the students with insane portfolio material” workshop.  If you want that go to my Vegas Shooting Workshop next month.  This workshop addresses the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of shooting a wedding.  It’s specifically designed to prepare you for the worst case scenarios.  We intentionally booked one of the darkest churches in Calgary to do one of our live shooting demonstrations.  We’ve also scheduled an outdoor night shoot for the group.

This workshop will not be easy, and will most likely stretch you far beyond your comfort zone.  But nothing worth doing is easy, and discomfort forces us to find a better way.  If you are ready to patch those holes in your game and become a more able and confident wedding photographer, come to The Uncomfortable Workshop.


Baby Archer Wednesday February 13, 2013 10:52PM PST News

Baby Archer Norwood - copyright

I love photographing babies.  Especially when they cooperate and stay asleep :)  This is one of my favorite shots of Archer, Jessica Claire & Jeff Norwood’s newest addition to the family.  I just love the symmetry, the smooth tones, and the mixture of the cold, hard chair with Archer’s warm, soft skin and blanket.

Ines DiSanto – New York City 2012 Thursday November 1, 2012 5:33PM PST Celebrity, Fashion, Wedding

Ines DiSanto is quite possibly the sweetest person in the world.  If I could adopt her as family, I would in a heartbeat.  She makes everyone around her feel at home.  Her creativity and design skills are second to none.  Here’s a quick in-between shot I grabbed of the beautiful Ines during a photo shoot in NYC for Wedding Style Magazine.

Ines DiSanto by Photographer Mike Colón

Behind the Scenes | Romona Keveza Bridal 2013 Friday August 3, 2012 12:16PM PST Fashion

Louis Vuitton Runway | Behind the Scenes Thursday July 19, 2012 11:06AM PST Fashion

Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2012 Runway collection is filled with lace, pastels, and great color blocking.  Several weeks ago I was thrilled to shoot the Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 Runway Collection in Los Angeles.  Enjoy the images as well as some fun behind the scenes shots of the event!

What can I say about this couple?  I usually have my photo editor pull out the best shots and throw them up on the blog – saved in the drafts folder to await my approval.  I then go through, delete a few shots, and publish the post with little to no comments just to keep fresh images coming.  It’s different this time.  I tried to hit the publish button, but I just couldn’t.  I had to say something about this couple.  Well, it’s more about Jackie because I really only met Mike on the shoot so I don’t know too much about him other than he’s married to Jackie (which says a lot) and that he’s great looking, successful, and a super nice guy.  Mike, if you read this, please take this as a “I want to hang with you and get to know you more” ok? :) Ok, on to Jackie…

I met Jackie a couple years ago when she styled my NYC shooting workshop.  I only met her briefly during the workshop, but knew I was lucky to have her because of the amazing styled shoot she put together for me.  You can view some of those images here.  I also knew that I was lucky to start this relationship with her because I could instantly sense that she was the kind of person that everyone loved.  I knew from the minute I met her that if she wasn’t already killing it in her business that it was just a matter of time because when God gives someone talent, passion, and a genuinely gracious and sweet personality, you know that person is going places.  Turns out she was already killing it and still is.  She’s the greatest thing the NYC wedding market has seen in quite some time!  Check out her labor of love “Merci New York” and see what I’m talking about.

Jackie and Mike gave me the honor of photographing them for my NYC workshop this spring and it just so happened it was on their 4th anniversary!  Such a beautiful couple!  I wish you guys many many years of happiness together!  Can’t wait to see you both again!  Read Jackie’s post about the shoot here.

Thanks so much to the wonderful vendors that made this shoot a success!!

Production and Stylist:  Kat Harris

Hair Stylist:  Maysoon Faraaj, FaceTime Beauty

Make-up Artist:  Sharon Becker, FaceTime Beauty

Gown:  Romona Keveza, Gabriella Bridal Salon

Tux:  Model’s own

Look 2 and 3 dresses:  Rent the Runway

Look 2 and 3 male:  JCrew

Florals:  Lori Meigel, AvaFlora