We had the good fortune of connecting with Junmo Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Junmo, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had been in the corporate world for over 21 years. I was climbing the ladder working my way up to more and more responsibilities and in turn bigger titles and more pay. But at the end of the day I wasn’t really satisfied on how my professional life was going. And on top of that I was feeling burned out not to mention the stress that came along with the job. During this time, I had gotten back into photography, something I have always loved since I could remember. I even developed my own film and created my own prints back in high school, but I didn’t pursue photography into college because it was an expensive “hobby” on a college student’s budget. But I kept on shooting. I would be the designated photographer for the student organizations I joined. Shooting on slides instead of creating my own prints helped with the cost back in those days. Fast forward to 2009 and I started Junmo Lee Photography as side gig. But it would be another 5 years before I decided to make the leap to go full time as a professional photographer. It was a big decision, but it came at a time when creativity was sorely lacking in my life back in the office along with the burnout and stress. In the corporate world it was managing projects and accounts. Dealing with processes and methodologies to be efficient and increase margins. All of my projects have either disappeared or evolved into something that isn’t associated with the work I did. Now, I am actually creating something that shows that I was here. I am creating photographs that people love seeing and it feeds my creativity and fuels my passion to create images of people at their best.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a portrait photographer. Meaning I photograph people. I am mostly known for my professional headshots but I love experimenting with light, shadow, angles, and poses. I work with business professionals as well as the aspiring and experienced models. I also work with fitness athletes to create images that show case their hard work in sculpting their bodies often to showcase in competitions. In general, though, I love photographing people to capture a moment in their lives that has meaning to them and something they can look back on with fond memories.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First would be a lunch/dinner at La Loma, one of my favorite restaurants. Their food is so good, and the green chili is the best I have ever had. Of course, there are the mountains, but Red Rocks is a great place to hangout even if there isn’t a concert. But if the timing was a right a concert at Red Rocks has to be experienced. And then there is the Garden of the Gods. It really is a wonder of nature of rock formations and colors. With maybe the exception of La Loma, none of the places I mentioned are hidden gems, but they are popular for a reason and wouldn’t want friends to miss out on some the iconic locations in Colorado.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My success comes from the support of my family, especially my wife, but also from working with other creative individuals. Yvonne Min is a friend and photographer I have known for 10 years. She is our family’s portrait photographer. She is inspiring and supportive. Another photographer friend is Brett Seeley. I’ve known Brett for nearly 8 years, and he has been a source of inspiration as well a good reality check on my own photography. His ability to capture light and shadow along with expression and mood is one of the best in the field. The other person that has helped me throughout the years is Tiffany McCray, professional makeup artist and owner of Blush Artistry and Company. Working with Tiffany for my professional shoots, especially headshot sessions, has been nothing but awesome. Her work is magical and makes my shoots that much easier because her artistry gives that boost of confidence for my clients preparing them for their session with me.
Junmo Lee Photography