Marlee Coulter: Marlee & Me Photography
What made you start your business and why?
Marlee & Me Photography actually started off as volunteer work with local shelters and rescues. My parent’s adopted a shy, timid dog because they fell in love with his photo online. It made me realize how powerful photography can be. I reached out to a few rescues around the Buffalo area and started taking photos of their adoptables. Helping those without a voice, capturing their personalities, and helping them find homes really reenforced my decision to make a change in my career. I left my full time corporate job and really started growing Marlee & Me Photography.
The main factor that made me open my business up beyond volunteer work was my childhood dog, Monty. He was such a huge part of my life, and when he passed away I really wished I had more photos of him. I wanted to help others make sure they had those memories captured. I love meeting new clients, families, pups, babies, everyone (even lizards!). It’s an amazing feeling to be able to photograph a forever moment for people
What community organizations are you involved with?
As of right now, I work closely with Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue. They are a wonderful non-profit organization that rescues animals in high kill shelters, places them in loving foster homes, and helps them find the perfect forever home.
Do you have any pets? Names, ages
I have a Coonhound/Border Collie Mix named Lily. She’s still a wild thing at 7 years old! She loves to talk, sniff, snuggle, go on camping trips, and find dead things to roll on.
What are your long-term goals?
Long-term, I would love to work with more small businesses and develop working partnerships. It would also be amazing to get to the point where I can make more of a difference to those in need. I want to find a balance between paid shoots and giving back to the community. Also, further down the road, I would love to make a coffee table book of rescue dogs!
What is the hardest part about photographing animals?
The hardest part of photographing animals is when you are working with shy, scared animals who have had an abusive past. They may not trust you, and they definitely don’t trust the weird black lens pointing at them. I take as much time as needed to get to know them and make sure they are as comfortable as possible. I never want an animal to feel threatened by me or my camera.
What do you do for fun?
I love to go on mini adventures in my spare time. Overnight kayaking trips, hiking, or visiting small towns in the middle of nowhere. I also like to go running (I take Lily on my speed workouts).
Anything else you would like to add?
Fun nerd fact: I read every dog book in the library when I was a kid. Seriously. I would memorize all of the dog breeds, and I really wanted a long haired Kromfohrlander.
Band: Elton John
Movie or TV show: Apocalypse Now
Bar or Restaurant: Fuji Grill
Place to go to unwind: my grandparent’s farm
For more about Marlee & Me Photography follow along:
Website (it’s under construction :) )