Michael started pursuing his interest in photography at young age of 10, the bug really sunk in at 12 while attending a class on basic photography in elementary school with his friends. The story is told over so many times of the magic that happens when you first see the image under the eerie orange glow of the safelight in the darkroom. Boom, the bug bit, from that time on Michael could not get enough information about photography, cameras, b/w, color, transparencies. He devoured the entire Time-Life Library of photography instruction by the time he was 16 and went on to reread many volumes 3 and 4 times. He still has that collection of books, since the basics of photography have not changed even in these digital times.
Michael continued his pursuit and education of photography after High School with a formal degree in still photography and graduated with his degree in 1978.
After college there were many studios and apprenticing. Michael completed some of the work from that early period helped sharpen his photographic skills and eye for shooting fast and getting the assignment completed. He photographed High Schools Dances, Youth Sport Leagues, Corporate Special Events, etc. He even worked in a camera store selling the cameras he used.
1980 was a transition year and a departure from photography as a full time profession, and the beginning of a new career direction. He entered the world of Mechanical Design and Engineering. Thus you may ask what Happened? In hindsight it was the best thing that could have happened. Michael’s father was an engineer by profession and so Michael had a keen attraction to mechanical things, always wanting to know how they worked. Additionally his Grandfather was a welder working for DWP who showed him how to weld. He would spend many times disassembling some item only to find out how it worked and put it back together. He spent over 17 years in the engineering profession working for companies such as, Jensen Aero Products, Ford Aerospace, and Rockwell International. This laid the groundwork for him in many areas of his photography business. Starting to work for Rockwell in 1982 was very pivotal for the entire nation’s corporate world. The PC was becoming part of the business world to replace the typewriter. Not only was that, but CAD design was replacing the drafting board. Michael was trained and took to CAD design like a fish to water. He was trained in understanding and operating Cadds 3, Cadds 4, AutoCAD, and MiniCAD. By the time Michael left Rockwell to pursue his lifelong goal of photography he was proficient in DOS, Basic Programming, computer configuration and networking of PC’s.
During this entire engineering time Michael continued his photography pursuit but on a more low scale endeavor accepting assignments from friends looking for a good deal. Lucky for them Michael knew how to photograph the assignment, complete production and deliver the product.
1990, another pivotal year, Terri and Michael decide it’s time to jump into photography full time. With her being laid off from aerospace and Michael still with his job they decide on a transition, Her selling weddings and Michael continuing the engineering work. 3 years later and Michael sleeping 3 hours a night they decide it’s time Michael makes the jump.
Fast forward to the late 1990's
I have operated a successful studio under the name of Starlight Photography since July 1991.
Prior to operating my own photography studio I was employed in the aerospace business as a Mechanical Designer/Engineer:
Terri Lee is the creative force behind the sensitive and emotional portrayals of expectant parents and their precious newborn children. Using available natural light or studio lighting allows me to capture the sensuous form of the pregnant woman and the translucent, delicate skin of a newborn child. In addition, Terri is well known for her beautiful interpretations of family life and romantic couples.
She has won awards from local, state and national affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America, in recognition of the artistic merits of her photography. Terri was awarded a medallion from the Professional Photographers of California in recognition of service to the photographic industry, by providing instruction to professional photographers. In 2004 Terri was a featured speaker at the Western States Convention, addressing "A New Life; Maternity and Newborn Photography". In 2005 she was named Photographer of the Year by Professional Photographers of America and was also awarded the degree of Craftsman by PPA.
Terri is able to produce a wide variety of photographic styles and finishes for her clients. She has an extensive background in the arts, and spent 15 years prior to becoming a photographer, as a painter and professional retouch artist.