For this week's interview we're heading out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to visit photographer Max Lee of Max Lee Photo. Max photographs both seniors and weddings and is surprisingly still sane!
SeniorInspire I've never been to Eau Claire. What's the closest big city?
Max Lee The biggest city near Eau Claire is Minneapolis/St Paul!
SI When did you start Max Lee Photo?
ML I started ML Photo in 2012. I began dabbling in photography after my separation from the Navy. I can't say I had the natural talent for it, as it was incredibly difficult to get the results I wanted... but obviously I am way too bullheaded to quit.
SI You photograph weddings and seniors. On a perfect day, which are you photographing?
ML This is a difficult question, as it's kind of an apples to oranges comparison.
Weddings require a journalistic approach with a little bit of posing but you have to get the images that your clients will cherish for their lifetime regardless of rain or three hours behind schedule, or having to shoot their key shots behind a grocery store.
Whereas seniors, it's carefully planned, meticulously styled and posed, with usually perfect weather.
I honestly prefer both the same!
SI How about a quick BrideZilla story?
ML I can honestly say I've never encountered a BrideZilla, as I set up painfully clear expectations. However, I did have a bride almost lose her character when her makeup artist gave one of her bridesmaids a chemical burn on wedding day, and threw stuff around the room and stormed off. She had to wash up, and redo everything which forced me to get all the entire bridal party and couple key shots in 15 minutes. Thankfully I nailed it, whew.
SI LOL. Sounds to me like you have encountered a BrideZilla. Let's switch gears a little. There's a photograph on your on Instagram page of a senior who appears to be hanging from a ledge. Is that real, or are you playing with us?
ML Totally photoshopped! I got inspired from a photograph that had a guy hanging from a skyscraper... but it was two images merged. So I was bored at a session, and decided to emulate it! Her parents weren't too happy with the image until she explained how it was shot. 😅
SI Choose your chicken sandwich of choice... Popeyes, Chick-fil-A or KFC?
ML Popeyes fosho!
SI Care to share any photography workshops you've been to that you loved?
ML Yes! I have taken several, Jerry Ghionis, Twig & Olive, Dani Diamond, Amanda Holloway, and Thomas Nguyen!
SI Who are some favorite photographers you think other people may not know about?
ML oh my, I have many photographers I love and get inspired by!
Kristina Makeeva, Irene Rudnyk, True Moua, Susan Gietka, Luizclas. There are too many to list! 🤣
SI Those are all awesome! Thanks so much for sitting down with us today!