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Photographer and Owner
Customer Service and Print Media
About Michelle: Photography is a passion of mine, and I love being able to go out into nature and capture its beauty with my camera. I have applied this passion into the creation of my own business, No Blink Pictures, LLC. Since its inception in the May of 2015, I have worked hard to create a business that allows me to share my photographs, talents and abilities with others and to simply continue doing something I love.
Photography has had a presence throughout my life. After the passing of my grandfather, I discovered his collection of photographs that he had taken of the family. Images of my mother, her sisters, and my beloved grandmother. Many of these images were used to comfort my family after his death, and I saw at an early age the important role photography has in our lives. As I grew, my parents became an influence on my passion for photography. My father, always seemed to have a camera in his hand during important family occasions, trying to capture those special moments. My mother, could always be found holding the video camera on the sidelines of all of our athletic events. My childhood was well documented because people in my life valued photography. To this day my mother is surrounded my photo albums that detail our lives. I am able at any time to reach up on the shelf and pull down one of the many photo albums my parents would put together after each season of softball, baseball, or basketball. The physical memory of some of the moments in these albums have faded, but the images always seem to spark a different memory that was filled with joy. Naturally I developed a fascination with cameras at an early age. I received a Kodak Disc for my birthday one year and the excitement was intense. I thought it was so cool. I took that camera everywhere. I snapped quick pictures of everything I found interesting as a 9-year-old. One of my favorite memories of taking pictures is when I would hold “photoshoots” with my stuffed animals. I remember arranging them on the couch with such care.
When I entered college, I was reading over the course catalog and saw that photography classes were available. I wanted so badly to take a course, but I was intimidated by new camera technology, with all the settings, dials, apertures, and other features. I regret missing out on a great opportunity, but it just wasn’t right for me at the time.
As the digital age of technology was emerging, and sophisticated cameras became more accessible, I decided to get a digital camera. It was a fairly simple device, but I learned a lot from it. However, the more I used it, it made me realize that I needed a better camera. I wanted more functionality out of my camera, and so I invested in a better digital camera. I began exploring with framing and angles, then all of the sudden woke up one day and wanted to learn more. At that time, I began saving to buy my first DSLR.
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I was so excited when my Sony NEX-5N arrived with its kit lenses. Nothing was safe from my camera. I wanted to photograph everything. With this camera I taught myself the basics and then began to push myself to learn more. I continued to soak up as much as I could. During this time, I was able to tap into the skills of my father. I would take a series of images, print them and then ask for his feedback. He would give me advice and I would work at making the corrections during my next outing. Each time out, my skill level improved and my desire to challenge myself only grew stronger. I searched relentlessly to learn more. I then decided to take a correspondence course to learn the fundamentals of photography. I could not wait to get started. When my books arrived, I dove in. I felt so motivated to learn and practice what I was learning. As I did previously I would look to my father for his critique. He was always so happy to review my work and give me feedback. It was his passion for photography that struck a chord with me. Before I could complete the course, my father became ill and I had to focus on my family. I was devastated when he eventually passed and I struggled to resume my studies. Eventually, I was able to pick up my camera and slowly I began to study my manuals again. I worked hard to complete the course, and with a small extension was able to graduate in a little over three years. I was so happy to receive that certificate, and I know my father would have been proud to see me achieve this goal. I became active in the community and volunteered my photography services to various groups and events. I began selling my prints at various craft and art fairs and when people started to take notice of my work I was encouraged to take my passion forward into the creation of my own business. I expanded my services to include photographing team sports, pets, events, and eventually more family and portrait photography. Most recently I extended my services to include open-air photo booths for various events and gatherings. I also began to teach photography and give private lessons to help others learn how to take professional images of their own.
None of this would be possible, if I did not have the support of my family and friends. My mother has always has been supportive of me and my photography and is a crucial member of the No Blink Pictures team. She is always eager to help people learn about my services and share my images with them. My siblings have been with me from the beginning of the business, rooting for me and responding to my calls for help. My sister, Jill, has taken on a crucial role in the photo booth process and is really committed to helping the business succeed. My son, Tristan, is definitely an inspiration and is pretty much the main subject for most of my photography, or when I need to practice something new. Needless to say, his childhood is being well documented. Then there is Katie, my partner, my rock and the greatest support system I could ever have. She encourages me to be my better self and the best photographer I can be. She allows me to spend a lot of time challenging myself and learning as much as I can.
I am a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, with a Master’s Degree in Corrections and Juvenile Justice. I have worked full time with the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice for over 20 years. In September of 2015 I earned a certificate of completion from the New York Institute of Photography in their Professional Photography program. I then earned in August of 2017, a second certificate from the New York Institute of Photography in their Business for Photographers program. To date I have won several awards for my images, and published an instructional guide in Basic Digital Photography.
image by Zandra Raines firstname.lastname@example.org
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