Glenview photographer tells stories with his camera
Michael Lee Photography specializes in weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and family portraits. He also does commercial work, such as employee head shots and products. | Jackie Pilossoph~for Sun-Times Media
Michael Lee Photography
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:27AM
GLENVIEW — Michael Lee has always had a passion for storytelling, first as a theatre actor and director, and now as a portrait and event photographer.
“Everybody has a story to tell, and they’re all interesting,” said Lee, who started his Glenview-based company, Michael Lee Photography 10 years ago, “I look at all of my work, whether I’m photographing a wedding or a landscape or a product, as a story to tell, and my job is to tell it.”
Lee said he remembers the exact day, 13 years ago that he became interested in photography.
“I was at my parent’s house in Racine, Wisconsin, and I noticed a Willow tree I’d grown up with,” said Lee, who now lives in Glenview with his wife and daughter, “I saw it in a way I’d never seen it before, and I felt like taking pictures of it, so I grabbed a camera and started shooting.”
Lee then spent the next few months driving around the country and photographing the landscapes in several different states, an experience he said taught him to be a skilled photographer. Lee said when friends and family members saw his photos, they started asking him to photograph their families, as well as special events. Through several referrals, Lee decided to officially go into business.
Michael Lee Photography specializes in weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and family portraits. He also does commercial work, such as employee headshots and products.
Deb Weiner is the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager for Keshet, a Northbrook-based non-profit organization that provides education, recreational, vocational and social programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Weiner hired Lee to photograph some of the participants.
“We really wanted to capture the essence of what we do, and who we serve,” said Weiner, “It’s very hard to get photos of some of the participants because some don’t make eye contact, and it’s hard to capture them if they are moving around quickly. Michael was on the floor with our kids. He had patience, and his photographs turned out amazing.”
“His work is beautiful,” said Lesely Hansen, who hired Lee to photograph her December 2012 wedding, “It’s clean, it’s classic, and it’s timeless.”
Lee, who holds a Master’s degree in fine arts from Southern Methodist University, and who performed in New York City, Dallas, and Louisville with a Shakespeare theatre company, still takes landscape photos, some of which have been on display and have sold in art galleries in Chicago and Wisconsin.
“What has always inspired me from the very beginning is that I get to tell a narrative,” said Lee, “That’s what drove me as an artist first in theatre and now. Photography is just a different format for me to tell stories.”
Lee’s family portraits start at $275, weddings start at $2,500 and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs start at $1,950. Lee’s hourly rates are $200.
“We really wanted to capture al the milestone moments of the day, and Michael really listened to what we wanted,” Hansen said, “It’s obvious he cared about giving us really, really good pictures.”