Friday, September 28, 2012

The Third Eye of Jillian Lee

Photographers have the most spectacular view on the world. With that magic lens than get up close and personal with details that are often overlooked. Meet Jillian. One of my favorite people and a photographer whose work I fell in love with many years ago.

Her ability to capture a moment with children or the details inside a flower are breathtaking. I could swim around inside her photos for hours just taking it all in.

Jillian lives an works in Salt Lake City, Utah where she and her husband Ian often team up to create beautiful and sometimes silly photo sessions. One of the coolest things about her work is that many of her portrait sessions are done in her apartment. She is making her passions work for her. A busy mom of three boys and she still knows how to rock a cool haircut and create beautiful imagry!
 Enjoy getting to know the gal behind the lens.

1. When did you discover your passion for photography?

Hard to say. My dad loved photography, so growing up we always had disposable cameras to play with. In highschool I took photography classes, and after that I was always taking pictures of friends or even myself when I had ideas and no models. I don't think I really understood my passion for it until I had children. They opened up my eyes in so many ways.

2. You have this amazing ability to capture still life. What is it about nature that inspires you?

 It is mysterious and untamed and I love getting into the heart of it. I like looking into the finer details that seem to be missed. The bugs living inside the plants, the patterns, the decay, all of this life going on around us that is paid so little attention to. It makes me feel that much closer to the Earth.

 3. Do you have a favorite place to take photos?

 In my apartment. Its where my kids are just themselves and I get to capture them as they are, with real raw emotion experiencing life. I also love some of the old parks, graveyards, canyons, desert (Knolls)... I do my best to avoid the popular places.

4. What type of camera do you use and what is your favorite lens?

I have used many, but currently Nikon D40 with multiple lenses and filters. My favorite lens is my MF 50 mm 1/1.8. Favorite filters are my macro filters that were my dads. They are banged up and old and I love what they produce. I am not huge on spending money on equipment though. My published images were taken on a Kodak point and share! I don't think a great image is due to the camera itself.

5. It seems everyone takes pictures now since the advancement of technology and apps like Instagram. How do you feel about that and has it impacted you as a photographer?

 I think it is fantastic. I think a lot of people are now able to discover they have a talent that they maybe didn't know they had. I used to be opposed to it, because I did feel sort of threatened or not taken seriously, but then I realized that wasn't the kind of mindset I wanted to have. I'm not a snob about photography. Maybe it's because I am too poor so I work with what I can and find it acceptable. I don't think you have to have a $3000 camera to take an emotional or inspiring image. I do however find myself frustrated when people think that photoshop is photography and sells it as such. But I like to create realistic images, especially when being paid for it, unless, of course, I am being paid to specifically alter for a product or something. Don't get me wrong, photoshop is a great tool, and it is fun to add a bit of 'pizazz' or whatever you want to call it to a pic, but I don't think it should be heavily relied on. It just breaks my heart to see babies airbrushed, know what I mean? Sometimes, it just isn't necessary. I also think people need to become more comfortable with pushing the trend borders and produce something more unique and exciting. Has it impacted me? Probably, but I have a bit of a different style, and people will find me and hire me if that is what they want.

6. You and your husband have a side business together. Tell us more about that and what you offer?

Being sexy, or our other business? Ok, seriously. We run Camerunning Photography. Its a SLC local photog business for pretty much everything. Bands, families, businesses, product, portraits, pets, you name it. We go on location mostly but also do sessions in our apartment. I do 93% of the photography, while Ian helps in the editing process, and also staging and directing when he is available. Our aim is really to deviate from the norm here in Utah, but it can be difficult. Doesn't mean we are giving up though.

 7. What would you consider your niche is in photography?

My niche would be whatever my camera is focusing on. I don't really know. I have a huge passion for real life. Nature, raw emotion. I don't much love the posed stuff, the gallons of makeup and fashion, etc. I think there is enough drama and mystery naturally occurring in life. People just need to relax and allow it so I can capture it. Kids and nature and animals are probably my favorite. They don't hold back anything.

8. Do you have a single favorite photo that you have taken?

Depends on the day and my mood. There are a few, but I am not sure about a single one. There are a few I am pretty proud of.

9. You have a dark side, do you think that comes through in your work?

I sure hope it does! That's the plan! Well, not always, but I do enjoy some of the creepiness that comes out of people when they aren't paying attention. I also have a sort of bizarre obsession with dead things and photographing them. It's kind of a running joke most places we go there is always a dead bird or something rather waiting for me. I think a lot of my love for darker imagery comes from my fascination of the real goth world that I encountered and became a part of as a young teen. I still think that is probably one of the most beautiful scenes image wise and it still inspires me in a great way today.

10. How many pictures do you think you have taken in your lifetime?

Haha. All I can do is laugh at that. You should see my computer. I am a picture hoarder! We are only 2 weeks into September and purely for recreation, I have over 200 images waiting to be filtered through.

 Jillian can be found online here:

1 comment:

  1. New follower here ;) And thanks so much for sharing this lovely photographer- I love finding photographers who specialize in people and life moments and expressions. They make me infinitely happy to be alive.

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