Stylish Person: Eliesa Johnson

Meet Eliesa Johnson.  Eliesa is a local photographer and the owner of not one, but four different photography businesses in Minneapolis.  Her businesses include wedding photography companies, Photogen Inc. and Rivets and Roses; commercial photography company, ELIESA; and photography consulting company LOVEe Consults.  When does this inspiring {and lovely} lady sleep!?  We had the same question, so we caught up with Eliesa to discuss how she got her drive, where she gets inspiration and what she does with her free time {the little that she has, that is!}. Who are your favorite photographers (fashion or otherwise)? Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Ellen Von Unwerth are some of my all-time favorites and all of these photographers have been very influential to my industry.

Where do you turn for inspiration? As much as I love the Internet and blogs, sometimes I feel very overwhelmed searching online for inspiration. I always prefer grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting in a bookstore that has a great selection of editorials. I will just sit and page through magazines until I find about 5 that I think I'm most inspired by. I usually bring them into the studio and create a wall-of-inspiration from tears I've selected. I love editorials from different countries - they take more risk with their imagery. I also love looking back in history to iconic images and thinking about the photographers’ process and how they created that image. Was it thought out and produced or were they simply in the right place at the right time?

How would you describe your personality in 5 words? Thoughtful, Authentic, Passionate, Nerdy and Driven

How do you spend your Saturdays? 50% of the time, I'm probably photographing a wedding on a Saturday. Whenever I do have a weekend free, they are almost sacred to me and I try to make the most of them! Ideally, that would include sleeping in, going on an adventure, eating some good food and sharing it with those close to me.

What adds pep to your step? I'm a big believer in momentum, in life, business and art. I'm the type of person who will put myself out there and work very hard to make my ideas happen and come to life. I love to experience things and share them with the world. I also love taking risks - it moves you forward.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? I really have the best job in the word. My goal day in and day out is to inspire people, whether that be a bride looking at her wedding photos or a reader looking in the pages of a magazine. This is a great honor and something I am so grateful for. I also absolutely love and adore my crew - they make work so much fun!

What is your favorite hangout in the Twin Cities? The 112 Eatery is my favorite restaurant, hands down. I'm also a fan of the new Urban Bean coffee shop on Lyndale and 24th - it's a little creative hub with an amazing atmosphere to chill or work out of.