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

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

 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

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

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

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 ...