Mike Birbeck broke his back in a flying accident in 1982 whilst serving in the RAF. Since that time, all of his photography has been from a wheelchair. He joined Basingstoke Camera Club in 1981, and still retains his membership having been made an Honorary Life Vice-President of that club in 2006. He now lives in Somerset, and is a member of Taunton Camera Club. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS), the British Professional Photographers Association (FBPPA) and the Disabled Photographers’ Society (FDPS).
He is a member of the Licentiate Panel at the RPS, and is also on their Advisory Board. He has been on the organising committee of the DPS since 1998, was Chairman for 10 years from 1994 to 2004, and has been President of that Society since then. In 2008 he was made Honorary Life President. In 2005 he was awarded the RPS Hood medal for services to photography.
He is an active photographer and enters images into exhibitions and competitions from club to international level. He has won many medals and awards, including Gold medals from FIAP, the RPS and the PAGB. He has been lecturing and judging since 1985. His main interest is in ‘people’ photography, both portraiture and candid. He has used Fotospeed papers and inks exclusively for over 5 years as they give him the quality he needs