We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being able to work as a team. I don’t think I could do what I do and have done without the incredible people I work with. The models and makeup artists I‘ve met and worked with are absolutely the best part of each photo shoot. We always make it a fun, safe, and open environment to think freely and explore new ideas. A big part of my creative process is being able to explore my team’s ideas just as much as my own. Everyone brings something different to the table and being able to explore that takes the shoot to the next level.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Photography grew from little photoshoots in parks and backyards to what I studied in college! It was always my first go-to for something to do in high school. My friends and I would run off and shoot anywhere we could, and I met some great people along the way. I spent hours looking for inspiration on the internet, planning mood boards and finding new editing techniques. I also very distinctly remember when I first started shooting film, with my high school’s Olympus OM-1, and spent hours and hours in my school’s darkroom. I actually have that model of camera tattooed, it was the first camera that made me feel like I was doing something that I was meant to be doing. The biggest challenge I faced was internal. I didn’t view myself as a photographer or an artist for quite a while. In my head, to call yourself a photographer meant that you were working professionally as one as your main job– the label was something to strive for. I still struggle with perceiving myself as an artist, it’s difficult to take full credit for my work when the process I go through is so dependent on the people I work with, but I love the process and the work I’ve been able to create. My work is also incredibly varied. I’ve done some studio/ product work, I’ve shot for live bands, some fashion, and I work with models and makeup artists to create scenes and characters and explore ideas. I love exploring all avenues of photography and I look forward to seeing how my style and my eye changes over the years.
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.
Deep Ellum has always been a solid option for a night out, as much as it has changed it still has great music and great food, although a bit expensive. My favorite place to go to down there has got to be Deep Ellum Art Co.! They have a great atmosphere and always have local artists playing, as well as occasional local art galleries. And of course, the DMA is always a great option for art lovers, or going by the Sweet Tooth Hotel in downtown Dallas! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many to consider! I contribute a lot of my creative work to my very good friend Bailey Turfitt. She has done so much to push my work further and further every shoot. She is an amazing friend and extremely talented artist! I can’t forget to mention my professors at UNT. The photography program there is really great. I’ve also got to mention Aaron Smith, my high school English and journalism teacher, for sparking my interest in film photography.