Michelle Terris

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Michelle Terris

Photographer/ Creative Director

Los Angeles, CA
michelleterrisphotography.com

instagram: @mterrisphoto

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Iā€™m a fashion and lifestyle photographer and creative director. I really enjoy working with brands to help them establish their visual identities.

I love working with sustainable brands and sharing their message as well. I also build websites and put together events.


WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Constant outreach and networking. I've been reaching out to brands and other creatives on Instagram since I moved to LA to try and grow my network. I've also been taking photos for many years now and I've learned (and am still learning) what I like and what my style is.

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HOW DO YOU STAND OUT IN YOUR FIELD?

I love to capture movement, in-between moments, play with color (I love color), and have a bit of nostalgic touch to my images. I'm also easy to work with, my turn time around is quick, and I love collaborating and bringing ideas to life with my team.


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I'm at a spot where I'm feeling good about the direction of my current photography work so I want to try some new things out. I want to experiment more with video and directing, work with bigger sets and set designers, and do more work with studio lighting to create dramatic moods oh and I want to make a music video. Looking for people to work with on these projects with btw! :)

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WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

I love working with color, interesting architecture, capturing moments, and unique perspective. I did a shoot a few years back at the Getty Museum and it's still one of my favorites, I loved being able to use the architecture and model together with fashion.

WE ALL HAVE MULTIPLE SKILLS OR WORK IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD FOCUS ON MORE?

Just one...hmm interior design. I'd love to design restaurants, bars, hotels etc. create some awesome spaces.

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Money, but also I love money and money loves me (mantra life). If I had the money to create the projects I wanted I'd be doing them right now. I have these huge ideas that I sit on because of budget. Also, constant outreach. I'm looking forward to the day when I don't have to do as much of it or I can hire someone to do it for me.


IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Oh, like I said above, hire someone to do outreach for me.

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LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I would have told younger me that I can make money from doing what I love and to not be so nervous, just go for it ask for what you want and take the photos you want to take!


IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Marketing, getting signed to an agency, how to get money for personal projects.


WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I love working with brands that are starting out and know what they like but aren't sure how to create it. I also love working with sustainable brands, CBD/Marijuana, also more web design work!


DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

I'm lucky I have had a lot of really great clients and some that have become friends. Someone that I can communicate well with, is really excited and passionate about their project and likes to collaborate, and has big ambitions for their business.



WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

It depends on the shoot but I determine my price off of how many hours we'll be shooting and how many edited images you'll need. Currently $500-$3K


WHO IS A CREATIVE THAT HAS HELPED YOU ELEVATE YOUR WORK?

Phew...so many people but some key people that really helped grow my confidence when I was starting out: (You told me to add as many people as I wanted :)

@Lars Kommienezuspadt


A SUPER amazing dark pin-up photographer, Lars was always so helpful and answered all my questions when I was starting out. We've become friends in the process, he has always supported my work and would always tell me I was one of his favorite photographers, which really boosted my self-esteem when I was down about my work.

@Carlos Moreno

Carlos is a really talented photojournalist working in Mexico and San Diego. Carlos first asked me to take photos for my college's newspaper. He has always believed in me and supported my career.

@Daniela Marie


A dope skater who was the first person to model with me off of model mayhem. We worked so well together and she was always down to create and have fun. She'd come up with the best concepts.

@Michael Reagan

My husband. When I told him I was thinking of quitting my big girl tech job in San Francisco (with benefits, steady pay, and all the tech frills) to do photography full time with a too small savings and no idea what I was doing he 100% supported me. I don't know if inside he was like 'Yikes!' but I would never have known, to him that was the best idea I could have had and we'd figure it out. He's always been my biggest supporter and has helped me every step of the way.

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HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email or message me on Instagram. Let me know what you're looking for, how many pieces you need to shoot and how many edits you'd like. If you're not sure we can talk about it!


HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Travel, Music, Instagram, Being around people.


This member profile was originally published in July 2019.