Welcome to the eighth installment of our new column “On Our Radar”
Is there a photographer whose work you find yourself going back to again and again? Maybe you have never heard of this photographer? Perhaps they are “flying under the radar”? It happens but I want to find those photographers. I want to celebrate their work. 2018 is the year of discovery at Senior Style Guide and I am counting on our readers to lead the way!
Each month we will be featuring an artist who is inspiring others, who may not necessarily be someone you have heard of. From time to time I will be enlisting the help of the SSG community to nominate an artist. I want to hear their story, share their triumphs and hear what they are doing to make this dream of theirs a reality. We can learn from others whether it be through inspiration, education or everything in between.
This community will only get stronger if we are there to uplift and give as many people as possible a voice.
Our “On Our Radar” artist this month is Merritt Lee of Merritt Lee Photo
Nominated By: Vickie Black
“I have loved the imagery coming from Merritt for some time now. The images have emotion almost storyline to them, they are a breathe of fresh air. It is just beautiful and twist on what you expect in the senior industry!”
1. Tell us a little about yourself…the things that make you YOU!
I love to wear black because it makes me feel like Anna Wintour, but I prefer to shoot light and airy and girly. I signed over my wardrobe budget and social life 18 years ago to my three daughters. I’m a professional photographer, but my daughters’ memories live on the iCloud. It’s February and my Christmas tree is still up. Greatest accomplish is working 60 hours a week for myself to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. #smallbusinessowner
2. How long have you been shooting seniors?
I have been in business and photographing seniors for three years. However, much like dog years, 3 years in the business is like 9!
3. What is your favorite style to photograph and why?
Portraits. I love finding a way to capture raw, emotional, intense, breathy portraits. I love playing with available light to create a mood. I love drawing inspiration from little delicate details.
4. What makes you jump up and down with excitement when planning a session?
Pre-session planning, I’m very inspired by wardrobe. I style each of my clients as part of their experience and I love pushing them into wardrobe that represents their personalities… something that feels like them but gets them out of their normal shopping habits. Because… playing dress up.
5. What is your motto for work/life balance?
BAY-LANCK? BALAY-S? I’m sorry. I just don’t understand any of the words you are saying.
Haha! I struggle with balance a lot during my busy season (June-November), so when I opened my studio I set a rule that I am CLOSED after business hours unless I am shooting in the evenings or on weekends. I do not answer texts or emails or calls when I am not in my office. I needed to set boundaries as a way to control myself and those 11pm text messages.
6. Your super power is?
Holding a 200mm Nikon lens for two hours.
7. What was your aha moment in the senior industry with your business?
Does the Senior Style Guide Icon Award count?
8. Tell us what motivates you most?
Creating. My daughters. Increasing my sushi budget.
9. What are your top 3 goals for 2018? Are you achieving them-if not, why?
Spending a lot of money on new products – achieved.
Avoiding burnout- will let you know if I actually answer your emails come December 2018.
10. What is the one thing you want all of us to know about YOU? What will you be doing differently in 2018?
Last year was my first year as a single mom. I went through the motions with my business and found myself in survival mode. I’m looking forward to pushing myself creatively in 2018. I’m excited to colab, travel, and teach more. And if the amazing sushi restaurant around the corner will agree to stop serving me, I will drop 30lbs.