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Photographer Spotlight: Marylee Johnson

Marylee Johnson Headshot

Photographer Spotlight: Marylee Johnson

by Graham Blus

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Marylee Johnson is an adventure and lifestyle photographer living in Seattle. Here we ask Marylee about her inspirations and travels. If you enjoy this blog make sure to share it with friends!  

Marylee, you are an adventure and lifestyle photographer living in Seattle, Washington. Have you always lived in Seattle? How has Seattle inspired some of your creative pursuits and photography?

I was born in Hawaii and moved to Snoqualmie, Washington when I was 5 years old. I currently live in Seattle proper, but Snoqualmie is where I primarily grew up. Living there most of my life, I spent a lot of time outdoors and in the mountains. I think that connection to nature really inspired me to always see and enjoy the beauty in our environment. There is so much amazing symmetry, color, and balance in nature so it’s a great place to seek creative inspiration on any level.

As you are an adventure photographer, where are some of your favorite places you have experienced and photographed?

Washington will always have my heart, but I also really love Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland. These places are full of incredible and powerful landscapes that will never cease to amaze me.

Matterhorn Zermatt Switzerland

Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland  

Mount Storm King Washington State'

Mount Storm King in Washington State 

Lofoten Islands Norway

 Lofoten Islands, Norway 



Are there any places you have yet to discover or travel to that you can't wait to experience?

I’ll be in Coron, Philippines in a week which I’m very excited to see as I’ve not been to any Asian countries yet. I’m also looking forward to a trip to the Faroe Islands in July and the Canadian Rockies after that. Other places I’d really love to see are Peru, Japan, and Bali.

Do you have a favorite photograph that you are really proud of? Or a few if there are more than one?

I really love this image from Lofoten Islands in Norway. It's a popular location for photography but I really like the way the nighttime long exposure turned out. 

What is the one thing that you learned that has helped your photography skills that you wish you knew sooner?

One thing I kind of knew about but did not practice as much when I was first starting, was thinking about the flow of the image, finding a focal point and then looking for compositional elements that lead you to the focal point. This subtle difference makes the image more interesting and compels people to enjoy the image for a longer period of time.

If you had to give one piece of advice to live by what would it be? 

Never give up, and once you find your style, stick to it as it will only get better over time.