What inspired you to sell your work? Selling my work is something I always knew I would do at some point. Several of the art pieces offered in my print shop are some of the first pictures I ever took. I've been very fortunate to travel internationally shooting destination weddings. There are a lot of pieces in my art store that I took during my free time at my destination weddings. I was creating art I later intended to make available.
A few years ago, I started photographing interiors. The appropriate audience was created and my art store launched.
Your new print shop seems to have a little bit of everything. Do you have a personal favorite? I love it all, really. I intentionally filled it only with pieces to which I feel a genuine connection and that make me happy when I look at them. 90% of the pictures I take are to pay my bills. My art store is made up of pictures I wanted to take.
What's the most valuable thing you've learned as a woman in business? That if you need to raise your voice to create order in a crowded room of people whose attention you need in order to do your job, you should go ahead and raise your voice... then get away with it by following up immediately with a flirt or a smile. If neither of those work, say something funny.
You probably know her from her colorful Matchbox car prints, but let us talk a minute about all the ways we love all of photographer Leslee Mitchell's work. This Nashville native has an eye for all sorts of subjects—weddings to interiors—and an amazing ability to tackle it all. Keep reading for more on where she finds inspiration, her path to success, and how she handles her day-to-day creative hustle.
How would your friends describe you? Witty, hard-working, strong-willed and curly headed.
What are your favorite things? Some of my favorite things are old cars, vintage Nikes, really beautiful light, and lipstick.
Where do you find inspiration? Interior design, fashion magazines, movie scenes, old black and white photos.
How did you get into photography? What drew you to the medium? Photography was never something I viewed as a career path. That, plus I never had a camera and I went to law school. Long story short, I have loved pictures my entire life. For me, the turning point was a realization of what I was meant to do rather than the decision to pursue photography as a career. Photography was never the plan. I see it as divine intervention for sure...just God's plan for my life. As opportunities presented themselves, I accepted them and looked for ways to create more.
What an amazing journey. What is it you love most about photography? Everything. I love that there's something in my life that touches my soul, that consumes me, that makes me dream. I see beauty with or without a camera in my hands. Having photography as a career allows me to look even deeper at the beauty I already see.
So, if you weren't a photographer what would you be? The person who makes the window displays at Anthropologie. I've also always wanted to valet cars.