about

Michael Lee, CPP
Michael Lee, M. Photog., CPP

I strongly advise you to make up your mind, muster all your spirits and start in search of the interesting unknown.”
–John James Audobon, Ornithological Biography Vol. 5.

My father and his father were both photographers, my grandmother was a painter, and I can’t help but to think there must be a chromosome for image-makers.  I first learned photography using film, and had a traditional black and white darkroom. I felt a special kind of magic, in that red-hued darkness, placing a blank sheet of paper into a tray of water and waiting for an image to slowly appear. The magic comes in a different way now, but the process is still the same – start by creating a great image, and know just what to do to make it shine.

Since 2002 I’ve been working at the art, craft, and business of photography, in constant pursuit of improving my skills and techniques so that I can offer my clients only the very best.  My goal is simply to create both exceptional photographs and experiences.

As a member of several professional organizations, I am required to uphold the highest standards in photography and business wherein membership must be maintained through advanced education and photographic competitions. In 2010 I joined the Professional Photographers of America, and in 2017 I became a Certified Professional Photographer, a designation that is held by fewer than 2,500 people in the world.  In 2020 I received my Master of Photography degree and was inducted into the invitation-only American Society of Photographers.  Throughout this time I competed successfully in national and international competitions.  In addition to my work being part of the PPA’s permanent Loan Collection, it has also been featured in their prestigious Showcase Collection, and in 2019 I was a Silver Medalist in their International Print Competition.

I’ve also been honored to have my work displayed at several museums and galleries throughout the midwest, as well as being featured in local, national, and international publications.

 

AWARDS

  • 2019 Silver Medalist, International Print Competition
  • 2019 Loan Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2019 General Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2019 President’s Award, PPANI Print Competition
  • 2018 Loan Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2018 Showcase Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2018 General Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2018 Bronze Medalist, Epson Pano Awards
  • 2017 Loan Collection, International Print Competition
  • 2017 General Collection, International Print Competition

DEGREES / CERTIFICATIONS

  • Master of Photography, (M. Photog.), Professional Photographers of America
  • Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), Professional Photographers of America
  • MFA, Southern Methodist University
  • BA, University of Wisconsin

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • American Society of Photographers (ASP)
  • Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
  • Professional Photographers Association of Northern Illinois (PPANI)

Awards