Photographer Spotlight Monday: Michelle Terris

Madonna Inn_self portraits_2015 (174 of 190)


Preferred name? Michelle

Where Are You From? So.Cal

Current area of residence? Oakland

Instagram: @Mterrisphoto

More Work:

TOAN: Do you have a focus on one specific area of photography, i.e.: fashion, landscape, portraiture, events, etc? If so, which?

Michelle: My preferred area of photography is fashion and portraits. I’m really into creating different time periods with my photos, using vintage clothing and run down locations. My favorite eras are the 30’s-70’s.



TOAN: What are your thoughts on saturation in the photography industry due to social media?


M: I have some mixed feelings about it, but overall it’s been pretty beneficial in getting me where I am today. After I finished college I took a bit of a break from photography because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or if I was good enough to do anything with it. When I started getting into Instagram and following so many great photographers I became very inspired and started itching to do work like them. I think sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram helped reignite my passion for photography and working on creative projects. I also love how it’s so easy to meet and collaborate with people. It’s also super easy to show off your work and get people excited about what you do. That being said, Social media can be like a part time job, you have to be constantly appeasing your fans and keeping your pages looking a certain way. It also feels like it’s a lot about your following, and how many followers you have states whether you’re good enough or not. When I bet half are just spam in the first place. It can feel like it’s all about that number at times.



TOAN: Considering its origin and some specific knowledge of settings, numbers and so forth, do you consider photography an art, science, or skill/talent? 


M: I think all 3. There are definitely people who know a lot about how their cameras work and use that to their advantage and then there are people like me who practice all the time and don’t really know half the things their cameras can do, but can still take a pretty good photo.


TOAN: How did you decide on photography as something to commit your time to?


M: When I’m taking photos is when I’m the most like myself. I feel a different kind of excitement and enthusiasm than I do with almost anything else. I can shoot forever.


TOAN: What do you imagine to be doing with photography in 6 months? 5 years?


M: I recently have wanted to go on a huge road trip through the US. I’d love to start a blog where I share my photographs and profile different vintage shops that ideally let me use their clothes in my shoots.