We had the good fortune of connecting with Lee Stiffler-Meyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lee, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Having changed careers and started something new at mid-life with young kids, I think my impact is bigger than I know. I changed careers and started my own business because I wanted to try new things and explore parts of myself that needed a place in the sun to grow. That has definitely impacted my children. For one, it changed my schedule and my ability to tend to a lot of their needs in different ways than I could in my previous work life, which has benefitted all of us. It also has shown them that their mom is willing to be vulnerable and be a beginner at something. I talk with them a lot about problem solving and not always knowing the “right” answer, but instead being open and willing to take a risk and trust that you have everything within you that you need to succeed. Of course that means being honest with them when I make a mistake or things go poorly and sharing how I learned from the experience. I think having a parent be a role model for big lessons like that will be impactful in the long run. Also, showing my kids that they have options in life for pursuing different things is a lesson I think I’m teaching. I didn’t grow up in a generation that allowed for much of that. The thing about being a parent is that it’s a lot of figuring it out as you go. I’m the first to admit that I parent imperfectly, but I do believe that the best things you can do is be yourself, show up and just keep talking to your kids.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is all about creating stories of people. I make photographs and share the authenticity of the people that show up to co-create with me! My journey here is long, but it is starting to make more sense every day. In a nutshell, I worked in the field of public health education for many years and made photographs as a hobby. Behind the scenes I dedicated a lot of time to learn the craft of photography and then began working for others to learn the ropes. Through all of that experience I identified most with the art of making portraits of families and individuals. So, that’s how I started Let the Light in Studio. The part of my story that’s still unfolding is that I am working to marry my background in communications and education with my portrait making. When I worked in public health, I did a lot of marketing and communications. I love to write, inform, educate and share. I have started to work with specific organizations on storytelling projects. My goal is to use both skills to help an organization share their work with meaning and impact. I have a particular interest in working with non profits, public entities or organizations that are making social change. Issues I care a lot about include women’s rights, social justice, health and sustainability. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life is that nothing is wasted. All the roads we travel lead to something, even the hard left or right turns. Once I accepted that truth, I have been really amazed at how I can look back and see how dots have connected. Now the trick is remembering it and trusting that each day, sometimes I forget! What I most want people to know about my work and my brand is that I’m committed to shining a light and showing up for real connection. I truly believe that connection is what we are all here for. We have a lot to learn from each other and I want to show up and be a part of that collective growth in the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city are in all of our amazing parks. I love nature and physical activity. So, I’m pretty sure I would drag my guest to some of the beautiful parks this great city has. I live near Sloan’s lake, so we’d do a lake lap there, then maybe on to Washington Park or Cheesman. Inspiration Point Park in northwest Denver is a hidden gem. We’d have to hit the trails too like Lair O’ the Bear, Green Mountain, Matthews Winters. The Denver arts scene is pretty phenomenal. A trip to the Denver Art Museum, the MCA and of course, a stroll through the incredible mural art all around downtown and RINO. I’m fortunate to live in Edgewater and our little town has some groovy spots including Griffin Coffee, Joyride Brewing, Providence Tavern, the Edgewater Inn, Sloan’s Bar and Grill, Pizzeria Forte and the Edgewater Public Market. Supporting local business is important to me. I also love the Denver Central Market and all the restaurants/bars in The Highlands.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am a firm believer in community and that we don’t get where we are without others! There are so many people and groups that have helped shape who I am and contributed to my success in life. I could fill many pages with names. My family is at the top of my list in getting credit for my achievements. My mom, dad, sister and husband have given me so much steadfast love and support over the years. But one person does come to mind in the recognition of my story and that’s my sister. She knows me in this unique almost other worldly way and has the ability to help me see things in life that I can’t quite describe in words. She’s been my biggest fan, cheering me on in every endeavor I’ve taken on in life. I’m incredibly grateful to hold hands with her on this strange, joyful and scary ride called life.
Picture of Lee Stiffler-Meyer Crimson Thread Photography, Chrisi French @crimsonthreadphoto All other photos submitted – Lee Stiffler-Meyer, Let the Light in Studio