5 to 9 – Michelle Loufman of MML Photography

AAF-Cleveland exists to shine a light a light on the individuals and organizations that make up the region’s advertising community. And we know that the brilliant, strategic work coming out of Cleveland is just the tip of the iceberg. Our 5 to 9 posts will feature work from members of the Cleveland advertising community that has been created outside of office hours. The personal pursuits. The pet projects. The labors of love.

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Name: Michelle Loufman

Day Job: Marketing and New Business Director for Kalman & Pabst Photo Group

Involved with AAF-Cleveland since: 2013. I had the pleasure of heading the sponsorships committee and now serve as Second Vice President for AAF-Cleveland.

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Kalman & Pabst.

As Marketing and New Business Director for Kalman & Pabst Photo Group (KP Photo), a commercial photography studio in MidTown, I basically get paid to brag about my co-workers and our incredible clients. Our leaders encourage personal creativity outside of traditional job roles, so I attribute a lot of my external success to KP.

What do you create after your 9 to 5 job?

Last year I officially launched my side business, MML Photography, to showcase my portrait photography and fine art creations. I do a fairly steady stream of family, newborn and engagement sessions, but created fine art photography specifically for the 2016 KP Photo Fine Art Show.

Being a mostly self-taught photographer, it’s been a fun, albeit challenging process to transform otherwise decent vacation photos into visually compelling wall decor. My fine art photography features African wildlife and landscapes, scenes from Bali and night sky photography from Zion National Park. I’m also exploring ways to translate my artwork beyond the wall and into other mediums, like greeting cards.

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“Oh, Glorious Night”, Utah – by MML Photography

How did you discover your “5 to 9” passion? What inspired you?

As a very sensory introvert, I process my world through visual cues, and photography has always been a compelling way for me to process that world.

I also have a heart for people, travel and adventure, and as I became more adept at shooting and editing, I realized I was onto something. People were paying for my work.

But what’s most satisfying is that what I do brings joy to people.

I love the response I get from a mom joyfully pouring over a photo I captured of a tender, real moment between her and her child. Through my fine artwork sales, meals were provided to thousands of hungry people in Northeast Ohio. And as I cultivate a stronger online presence and storefront for my work, I want to create for good. Art can be missional and that motivates me.

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“Peekaboo” Greeting Cards – by MML Photography

How has membership in AAF-Cleveland inspired you or your work?

I admire the passion and collaboration among the AAF board and our members and am inspired by their creative ventures outside demanding day jobs. What they do – even in their often limited amount of time – reminds me that I have time to dedicate toward a meaningful craft, and that mastery takes years of dedication and practice.

AAF is also a great resource for practical business and marketing tips, in addition to good networking. Some entrepreneurs are surprised to discover that only half the time is spent doing their craft, while the other half is spent operating and promoting your business. It’s nice to have connections to make that journey less bumpy.

How can people learn more about you and your work?

Visit my website: www.mmlphotography.com and send me a note. I like connecting with other people about photography, travels or cause-related projects.

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