Featured Photographer: Michelle Turner

Thu, Jun 2, 2011 Our latest featured photographer Michelle Turner is a national speaker, published author and amazing photographer. We love her use of color and you can certainly feel the fun coming from the scenes she shoots. Read all about what Michelle has to say!
How did you get started in photography?
By accident, really.  I always have been a photographer, from the time my parents gave me my first camera at age two.  However, I was on a very different professional track.  I graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown with a degree in International Law and Security, and I worked in the defense industry for a few years.  I really wasn’t a good fit, so when I went back to graduate school at Dartmouth, I was searching for a different career path.  On the side, I was still taking photographs, and someone suggested that I consider taking on photography as a profession.  I jumped at the idea and have never looked back.

Who have been your influences in photography?
People like Annie Leibovitz and Avedon always have inspired me, but I am also inspired by other wedding photographers, such as Yervant, David Williams, and Ben Chrisman.
How would you define your style of photography?
It is a mixture of environmental portraiture and documentary photography.  I like bright, colorful weddings with a fun, laid-back vibe, and I try to reflect that in my images as much as possible.
What is one thing that has helped you grow your business?
The support of a wonderful network of photographers.  I work in a few different markets, and in each, I have a core group of photographers to bounce ideas off of and share business successes and failures with.  It really has helped my business succeed.
What is one thing that has helped you grow as an artist?
I attend and have spoken at several conventions, including Mystic and DWF.  The atmosphere is almost electric, and I come away from such events feeling inspired and ready to try new things.
What is one failure that helped you grow as a business person/artist?
I struggled to make the destination portion of my business financially viable for a time.  It was difficult to reconcile my love of destination weddings with my need to make money off them.  I think after a year of running myself ragged with not enough financial gain to show for it, I had to smarten up and make some tough changes in my business.  Now that portion of my business is thriving and I couldn’t be happier about it!
What is one piece of advice that you would give to a person that is in the first few years of their photography business?
Make connections with other vendors, especially other photographers.  It is so important to have a group of trusted professionals that you can rely on.   Make sure you get out of your house or office to interact with other people!
For more, see Michelle’s photography on her site.
Michelle’s second book has just been published, check it out.  

About Fundy

Andrew Funderburg has written 285 articles on this blog.

Father, husband, photographer and creator of Fundy Software residing in the Portland, Oregon metro area.

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