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Meet Michelle Koster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Koster.

Michelle, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been a photographer since the day I was old enough to operate a camera. I have always loved capturing moments and amazing sights to share with others. Both travel and architecture are close to my heart with a strong emphasis on the human spirit and how we interact with our surroundings.

Turning my lifelong passion into a career, I have combined my knowledge from 25 years in the commercial construction industry and life lessons from many solo backpacking trips. This allows me to create amazing images to share each of my client’s stories.

I am very comfortable working in the construction space and am always excited to capture the before, progress, and completion shots for new and remodel projects. I am naturally very detail-oriented and a perfectionist in my work. To increase my technical knowledge, I went back to school for photography and it has opened my mind to so many new things. Lately, working in the studio has allowed me to control more variables and become more creative with props, building sets, and lighting design. This is something I never expected I would enjoy, and I absolutely love it!

While walking the strip in Vegas recently, it occurred to me that photography is the one thing that calms my mind and makes me happy no matter where I am and what type of work I am doing. I will always love to travel, meet new people, and see beautiful sights, especially in developing countries. Lately, I have been taking more time to explore close to home, and have realized there is so much to love in my own backyard as well! As Tom Petty said, “The future is wide open”, and I plan to take full advantage of this in continuing to grow my skills and my business!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are always many challenges when changing major parts of your life! This is what makes things interesting and feeds into creativity. I went through some major struggles a few years ago when losing my partner in a motorcycle accident. We loved being creative and doing projects together. Often, I would come up with a simple napkin sketch which somehow, he would understand and take the lead in building it as I dreamed. After his passing, I wasn’t sure which way to turn, but knew I had to push forward. At the time, I was working for a medium-sized construction company in marketing, finally able to use my creative brain instead of my technical brain. I worked side by side with the Owner who became my best friend. He supported me through both the bad and good days and encouraged me to continue to work hard and do my best.

Fast forward a few years, the business had some struggles with unfavorable clients, and we were forced to close. As you can imagine, this was another devastating blow, as I was putting all my energy into this job. But, as life takes turns, things have a way of working out. I met another great guy who understood my passion for travel and photography and encouraged me to share my work and do something with my skills. This is when I decided to start my business and see what I could do. I enrolled in a photography program and took the opportunity to take my skills to a new level. Now, I find peace in expanding my horizons and making others happy through my work.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Michelle Koster Photography is a small business, specializing in travel, portrait and architectural photography as well as studio sessions. I am my only full-time employee, with a great network of support specialists in hair, makeup, setup and lighting.

I am most proud of the relationships I build with my clients, making each shoot a collaborative effort. I pride myself in capturing images to tell the story of every subject I see through my lens whether it is people, architectural sights, or products. Whenever possible, I take the time to visit the location and scout out the best angles, lighting and views prior to the shoot so that I can take full advantage of the time I have on-site.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are many people who deserve credit in my successes! I have already mentioned a few in my previous responses, but I must also give credit to my amazing friends who have assisted in my learning by modeling and giving me access to their homes and businesses to practice new techniques. Additionally, I want to give a shout out to my photography instructors who taught me so much about composition, lighting, and the business in general. They were always willing to help when I brought in personal projects with questions and were always happy to provide constructive criticism to allow me to grow.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Michelle Koster, Michelle Koster Photography

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