Mike Torrey finds fame after a trip to Peru

Mike Torrey is an architectural photographer who grew up in Arcadia, near LA, and moved to San Diego for college. He worked for several years as an energy consultant, earning a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of San Diego. After transitioning to a career in photography, Torrey got the opportunity to travel to Peru as part of an architecture school group. In May, his first book, “Stone Offerings, Machu Picchu’s Terraces of Enlightenment,” was published. This led to a request for a slide show program from the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Locally, Torrey will present this work at 3 p.m. Nov. 22 at the La Jolla Library.


What brought you to UTC?

I purchased a home here.

What makes this area special to you?

I really enjoy the canyons. They are a surprising little oasis in “the burbs.”

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in town?

I’d get rid of the traffic ... especially when I’m on my way to the beach.

Who or what inspires you?

So many things — nature, architecture, art, beautiful light. I like the idea that there are no ordinary moments.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Alice Waters would be on my list; I’m not famous for my cooking. Also, Barbara Kingsolver, Joseph Campbell, Neil Young and a few musicians of his choice.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

“The Last Days of the Incas.” I’m expecting some tough questions at the Smithsonian event.

What is your most-prized possession?

The ability to see. By this I mean my eyesight, plus the richness of the world that I observe everyday.

What do you do for fun?

Play beach volleyball, hike at Torrey Pines, watch a little baseball, and just enjoy living in San Diego. I’ve always loved baseball and at one time had been to all but one Major League ballpark.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

The book has been an amazing experience. More than 100 people came out to see my first slide presentation on the book at Warwick’s. This whole experience continues to challenge, surprise and delight me.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Laugh, love, share, create and discover. If I lose sight of any of these, I hope it is because I’m laughing so hard.