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Meet Trailblazer Michelle Terris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Terris.

Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started photography back in college. I was interested in working for National Geographic and newspapers. I wanted to travel and document what I saw, but after finishing school and spending time working for a paper I felt that it wasn’t quite right for me and I stopped doing photography for a few years. During that time, I ended up working retail jobs which started getting me into fashion. I was introduced to Pinterest and spent far too many hours on there looking at other photographers work and I got really inspired to shoot again. I picked my camera back up and started shooting fashion shoots with a friend and the work we created together made me hungry for more and ever since then, I haven’t stopped shooting. I left my part-time job this year and am doing fashion photography full time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has definitely not been a smooth road, and it isn’t now either. It’s not easy running your own business and I often battle with “should I even be doing this” or ” am I really even good at this” thoughts. No one tells you what to do and sometimes, being your own self-starter is tough and can get overwhelming. What keeps me going is support from my family and friends and my own stubborn determination to achieve my goals. I love collaborating with other creative people and making our visions come to life, it’s like a smaller version of me inside my chest is just jumping up and down and can’t contain its excitement when I’m shooting something I’m passionate about, and that’s also why I keep going and how I knew photography was for me. My advice to young ladies in photography is to find a good support system. Find people who help lift you up and support you and your vision! It was also really helpful for me to assist other female photographers who are doing what I want to be doing, not only do you learn a lot but seeing them run a shoot and be badasses is super motivating and inspiring.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Michelle Terris Photography – what should we know?
I specialize in fashion and lifestyle photography. I love working with designers who think outside of the box and create fun colorful wild pieces. I’ve also been focusing on working with eco-friendly brands. I really want to help promote who they are and what they’re doing so more people buy local and environmentally friendly. Fashion is a huge contributor to climate change and poor working conditions, many of those workers are women. Many of these brands are also very inclusive of different body types and skin colors and I’m all about promoting that change in the industry as well. My hope is to be known as a photographer that works with diverse eco-friendly brands.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
For work, I’ve started using Dubsado to manage the business side of things, it’s great for keeping everything organized. My favorite app is Plaonly, I can spend hours mapping out my Instagram feed to get it just right. I also read ‘You are a Badass’ and ‘You are a Badass at making Money’ by Jen Sincero, she has a super fun way of telling you how awesome you are and making you believe it and then to achieve your dreams. And Podcasts ‘Being Boss’ for business tips, ‘Two Dope Queens’ for a good laugh while I’m working or driving in traffic to a shoot, ‘Limetown’ for something scary, and ‘Wait Wait don’t tell me’ the NPR radio news quiz because I love listening to NPR and it’s so funny.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

@mariamalsibai @isabellalwalsh @jaypearr, @hathorway @chaynlerjoie, @isabellalwalsh @mariamalsibai, @haileychaneyluvscats @alexandraaffrench, @fairclothsupply @nattlewis @indi_incredible, @michaelr___@janetdgomez @deliajowensmakeup @jacri.akeem @faberobinson

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