Words from the mind of Shawn Lee
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign
Saturday, March 28, 2015 4:09PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

http://youtu.be/Hy7Vppky9Cw Check out vid! This is what our kids will experience!GIVE HERE! http://tilt.tc/jrzmhttp://youtu.be/Hy7Vppky9Cw Check out vid! This is what our kids will experience!It's as simple as this... Our youth need to be engaged and impacted. I thought how cool would it be to take the very things I love and am passionate about (Photography and my City: Detroit) and combine them in a way that is cool, educational and inspiring and then introduce it to kids who need the opportunity dream and be successful.So that's exactly what I want to do! I'm going to take at least 200 kids on a Photographic Bus Tour of the jewels of the city of Detroit where we will have a professional tour guide give us the facts. I'll have a contingent of professional photographers, community leaders, educators and role models on board to give not only photography instruction but also mentoring and presence in a very fun environment. We'll teach kids the art of photography and things like composition, camera function and how to get proper exposure, set white balance, etc. This will also give some kids the opportunity go beyond their normal neighborhood borders and experience a great side of the city they never hear about.    I calculated about $2,000 per bus load of about 50 kids for a 6 hour guided tour of the city (I WOULD LIKE TO DO AT LEAST ...

Surviving and Thriving in the Photography Business
Thursday, March 12, 2015 6:21PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

 The image above is of a High Schooler I photographed a few years back. He had a great passion for basketball and I thought this would be the perfect image to use in my slides for #WPPI2015 to convey attitude needed for business. I had the honor of speaking this year at WPPI 2015 in Las Vegas. The conference boasts 15K attendees, 125 instructors and 8 days of intense learning annually. For those that don't know, that's (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). I thought I could lend a unique perspective on not only surviving but thriving in the photography business in Detroit while we were as a city going through bankruptcy. I have been in the full time photography business now for about 8-9 years and it has been rough at times...actually it has been rough alot of times.The one foundational trait that has carried me through it all has been my "ATTITUDE". I came up at a time when everyone was looking for a discount or break on everything, when it's tight people want the max while spending the least. When I came out of school I set my pricing at a certain level and people would always say, "Shawn, I can go to Olan Mills for that price!" or "What makes you better than K-Mart?" or "Sears?". I quickly grew angry of being compared to standard big box stores photography offerings. The thing that kept me going is my refusal to be thrown in a box with everybody else. I ...

Rangefinder Magazine Cover
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 1:50PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

Hey everybody! I'm up here...in the clouds. That's where I've been for the past month and a half after finding out my work was being featured on the cover and three spreads inside of Rangefinder Magazine. I know right?! I appreciate all the support I've gotten so far, it's simply been AMAZING! Just want to take this opportunity to thank some great people!I wanna thank some great people at Rangefinder...Jessica, who wrote the "Fully Lit" article on me. #AWESOME  http://digitalmag.rangefinderonline.com/rangefinder/july-august_2014#pg56Jacqueline, the great lady in charge who saw value in what I do.Jason, Mike and Jodi, the WPPI folks who brought my name up when they didn't really have to....and to the entire team from graphics and layout to print to administration. YOU ALL ROCK!  I also want to thank the great people at Millers. (TOO MANY TO NAME INDIVIDUALLY)  Without these people, nobody would know who I am. I know that's hard to believe with my Big Mouth, but its the truth! I've met and had the pleasure of getting to know people from both the Pittsburg, KS and Coumbia, MS labs. We've had great times at conferences and trade shows and they have given me the honor to speak at the Miller's booth. It has been a blast! I am proud to call Miller's my professional imaging lab. Below is a picture of a float mounted "Vivid Aluminum Metal" they just surprised me ...

THE (313) TURNED 313: The Highlights of Detroit's Birthday
Saturday, July 26, 2014 1:12PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

Detroit is affectionately known as "THE 313"(area code of course), and a few of us took some time to say "Happy 313th Birthday Detroit!". July 24, 2014 marked the city's landmark day that hosted many events going on around town. Even though Detroit has had its share of obstacles to overcome, it or should I say "we" still have a great deal we're fighting for and a great legacy to leave behind. I am proud to call myself a Detroiter and everywhere I go to speak, I wear my Detroit Tigers hat and tell my story of how I was born, raised and still live in the city of Detroit. We are a city that innovated manufacturing for the world, we are the reason the world drives cars and... we are the home of the Motown Sound! This city has changed the course of music not only in this nation, but the world!It may be a clichéd statement but it is very much true...If you can make it in Detroit, you can make it anywhere. Truth is people in this city have a resilience that I haven't seen anywhere else. We are strong spirited people with a resolve to overcome and NEVER QUIT! We took a photographic bus tour of Detroit on its 313th birthday to learn, highlight and honor the history and thriving infrastructure of our city and we had a blast! Take a look at some of the photographs taken and enjoy!Remember, Detroit is still here! And we are coming back! #ROCKTHAT ...

What does COURAGE look like?
Thursday, March 13, 2014 4:18PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

Well...I'll answer that question for you. Courage looks like a teenage girl named Maia Wright who on Friday March 7, 2014 lost her battle with colon cancer.I was all set to write a blog post on my experience at WPPI 2014 in Las Vegas and how cool it was to be a speaker and talk about all of the cool people I met and how it was such a boost for my career... but all that can now wait until next week. I was busy in this season making plans for the rest of my life in photography when I received a text that told me that Maia passed away in her sleep. Ironically, I was at a funeral when I received word and I began to weep, not necessarily because I was sad but because of the impact she had on my life in the very short time that I knew her.February 2013 is when she found out she had colon cancer and because she went to Renaissance High School in Detroit (my alma mater), I really wanted to engage somehow. Found out that Maia had to...1. Leave school immediately2. Undergo chemo therapy and blood transfusions consistently and aggressively3. Finish her education at home while undergoing treatment4. Mom Jamilah Perkins decided to leave work to take care of Maia full time while also taking care of two small children (Maia's brother and sister :))(Maia showing her necklace, a bead was added for every procedure she had undergone) The family had no health insurance to pay mounting ...

YOUR IMAGE SPEAKS... When you're not there to speak for yourself!
Thursday, February 06, 2014 11:08AM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

Well Shawn...what makes you say that?Fact is your image whether it's on a business card, your website, facebook, twitter, foursquare or any other social media or media platform gets a ton more mileage and views than you will ever get walking through your 24 hour day and showing everyone you come in contact with your beautiful face. :)Just on Facebook alone Google now estimates that about 590 million unique users on are requesting a staggering 840 billion pages every month, excluding application pages, which translates to 1,423 pages per user per month. That means 38.5% of the users on the Internet are using Facebook in some way. The average user visits Facebook 41 times per month, which gives the site 24 billion visits per month.So what does all of this mean for my new or existing Business, Start-up or Venture?Believe it or not, perception of who you are and how you conduct business as a professional is perceived from the images people see of you regardless of whether they've met you are not. (i.e Headshots, Photos, Logos, websites, business cards)Personally speaking, I would not have even gotten phone calls from some of my top clients if the imagery they saw on my website, social media sites and google searches were'nt first class. And believe me, anyone seriously considering doing business with you WILL SEARCH YOU OUT! Most companies said they were 75% sure of ...

Sunday, January 26, 2014 12:27PM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

Had a great time at Imaging USA this year. The annual photography conference which hosts up to 10,000 pro and enthusiast photographers from around the globe, took place in Phoenix, AZ January 12-14 at the beautiful Phoenix Conference Center.I was honored to be able to speak and do a "live" shoot on Miller's Professional Imaging stage this year...IT WAS AWESOME! I taught on "Cutting Edge HS Senior Portraiture: From consult to final output" and "Thinking Outside the Box". And Brandon Heiss and the team at Westcott provided the innovative continuous lighting system called ICELIGHTS. And for the latest and greatest in the tech world and the utmost in Adobe education and training, please check out Terry White's Tech Blog! Really want to thank him for helping the live shoot take place. This dude rocks and I'm honored he's a friend. Thanks T! I have to say, for any photographer looking to take their craft to the next level, meet new people, learn great and amazing techniques, refine your skillset, and learn from the best in the game, I would highly recommend going to Imaging USA and conferences like it. This experience over the past few years have caused me to really refine my brand and ability. I have started more worthwhile business relationships than I ever have doing this on my own and not attending these conferences. I will now be attending WPPI in Las Vegas this year ...

The True Spirit of Detroit - A great guy named Bobby
Thursday, November 01, 2012 10:41AM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

 A few weeks ago I posted on social media my encounter with Bobby a homeless man who pan handles in and around Metro Detroit. I decided to repost with a photograph I took of Bobby with his permission.--Talked to Bobby, a homeless guy that pan handles off the Lodge 8 mile service drive Detroit/Southfiled, MI border. I asked him, "Why do you dance and bow before people and seem to be happy all the time being homeless?" His answer, "When it's hot outside I sleep on rocks, when it's cold I try to get enough money to get a room, most times I do, sometimes I don't...but every morning I wake up, I'm grateful because God has given me another chance, so I dance." His statement brought tears to my eyes. How dare I ever be down on my luck when a man who has not much to his name still finds cause to be grateful and filled with joy.Ladies and Gentlemen, this what I see when I SEE DETROIT. It is this type of attitude among the people here that I find more often than not. It shows that you're environment doesn't have to dictate to you, your attitude does. Awesome guy with an awesome outlook on life. I learned something from Bobby that day.

Life on Assignment
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 8:37AM
IMPACTING DETROIT YOUTH Through Innovative Tour: Giving Campaign

The more I live, the more I realize that this life doesn't belong to me. To some people that may sound really weird, but it's the truth. I realize now more than ever that there are those that paved a way and laid a foundation before me so I can walk on something solid. My life is made up of accomplishments built on foundations that other people laid. Wow, what a thought! How dare I take credit for anything I've done. There have been men slain, women working four and five jobs just to barely make it while raising families, communities have marched and stood in the face of oppression, demanded education when it was vehemently denied and died holding on to a resolve that life will be better for forth coming generations...All holding on to one great galvanizing factor. GOD! In all of the history that I read of people overcoming great ordeals and standing when they should had given up long ago, was their belief in the Great GOD Almighty who had assigned them to stand in the face of wrong and was on their side. A God that built a people for endurance so in the end they could show that there certainly is a God that really exist.In today's generation, we give up so quickly and there is such a lack of resolve. People don't fight like they used to for marriages and children and families and relationships and businesses. My belief is this... If the belief in God got my ancestors through ...