Leading Lady Elise: Empowerment in Every Capture

Introducing Elise Michaux, co-founder of Pgh Exposure

PGH Exposure

 “space for Pittsburgh creatives to network, shoot and gain exposure!” -Elise Michaux

Elise Michaux shares her passion for creativity, empowerment and photography.


Ta’lor: I have been in awe of this woman for so long. thank you so much for being in this space sis. my first question is who is elise michaux? 

Elise: I am a creative, a photographer, a lover of empowering others; I am a leader, a motivator, and a woman of strong faith.

Ta’lor: so, you spoke about your passion for making people smile, but where did your passion for photography come from?

Elise: It comes from seeing the smiles on people’s faces once they’ve seen the photos you have captured. Models are used to seeing how beautiful they are, but for the family photos and weddings I’ve done,those folks smiles are forever in my memory. The long hours of editing and agonizing over the smallest details makes it worth it all. Being part of such special moments for people is amazing as well. Having the honor and privilege to capture one of the most important days of folks lives is nerve wracking, but only because it’s so special. Photos say a thousand words and to be the one delivering that joy keeps me inspired.  

PGH Exposure

Ta’lor: i completely agree that photos have so much power in them. so pgh exposure is all about collaboration, where did that desire come from?

Elise: I’ve seen the power in it! No one has done anything great by themselves.  No one person is good at everything and that’s on purpose. What you do is get great minds in the room and amazing people around you who can help you accomplish what it is you’re trying to do.  Everyone hates group work, but there is power in numbers. It’s just finding the right people who are just as hungry as you to execute. Lots of people want to be great, but not everyone is on that grind.

Ta’lor: it’s certainly all about the grind, and i just love what you create. what is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of being a photographer?

Elise: The best part is definitely having the opportunity to meet and work with so many different people. I’ve gotten into so many different unique spaces and met people I would not have otherwise because of my camera.  It’s very gratifying. The most challenging part for me is charging people what I’m worth. Money is tight for most and telling folks your rates sometimes turns them completely off. I’ve learned to not shy away from what I deserve to make because if you’re always thinking “small,” then you’ll always be small. I do photography to make money and not every inquiry is going to turn into a client.

Ta’lor: that is so powerful elise. you are really showing up for yourself in your brand and biz. I know that you are super busy shooting year round, how do you find the time to take care of yourself?

Elise: I make sure to kick it with my friends and family when I have the opportunity.  Life is about making memories with those who matter most and they are all I’ve got.  I also try to take time to write in my journal and share my thoughts. It is a huge stress reliever for me.

Ta’lor: you know i am such an advocate for self-love and i definitely value writing as a form of self-care. self-reflection is also a great way to practice self-care, so what is the biggest lesson you have taken away from 2018?

Elise: 2018 was a huge year for me. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that my voice matters. Simple retweets, hellos or comments have actually made a difference in folks lives which really made me understand that was part of my purpose.  God has placed me on this earth to be an encourager. I’ve dubbed myself “the encourager.”

ta’lor: you are such a powerhouse elise. so what are some things you have coming up for Pittsburgh exposure?

Elise: It’s time to get some merchandise going.  I’ve got a few ideas about what I’d like that to look like, but we’ve still got work to do.  You’ll probably see some from me in the new year. I’ve also been asked to display my art in a gallery in 2019. I’m excited to release the when and where soon.

ta’lor: that is so exciting and i definitely look forward to seeing what you have in store for us. is there any advice you would give to someone who wants to be a photographer?

Elise: Be yourself. Yes, admire and study those who have come before you as begin to perfect the craft but bring your own style to the game. How you see and edit your subjects will be unique to you. Don’t be afraid to slide into the DMs of the photographers and ask them how they do what they do. Go to meetups if you’re interested in portraits. The best advice I got was, “Just keep shooting.” You’ll find that your work will quickly improve by shooting a lot and often.

Ta’lor: what Great advice Elise. My final question to you is, what qualities would you say a Leading Lady has?

Elise: A Leading Lady is not unsettled with the thought of the status quo.  She speaks up when necessary, but chooses her words wisely. She sees the power in others and doesn’t mind sharing the limelight because she knows a great leader understands we’re better together. A Leading Lady is humble, but always revels in her greatness.


More About Elise

PGH Exposure

Elise Beth Michaux is a young black woman from Connellsville, PA who now resides in Greensburg. Raised by a preacher and teacher, she has always had a desire to make people smile and feel good about themselves. Her twin brother has taught her much, but most of all he has taught her patience and what it means to have a big heart. Despite not being that successful academically in high school, she has two degrees to her name; her Bachelors Degree is in English Literature and her Masters Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. She uses both degrees everyday, working at Seton Hill University as the Director of Student Leadership and Involvement. Elise is the co-founder of PGH Exposure as a photographer and creative. 

Website: https://www.emichaux.com/

Email: elise.michaux@gmail.com

Instagram: @elise.michauxPGH Exposure

Facebook: Elise Michaux 


About Leading Lady Campaign

This Campaign was created to empower women and girls to defy obstacles, self-doubt, and fear so that they can be proud of the woman they are as they journey toward their dreams.  LADYHOOD journey seeks to highlight, promote, and uplift women who are on different stages of the LADYHOOD journey. Each feature as they share their professional growth, intimate struggles, passions, and their future goals as college students and graduates, prospective career women, mompreneurs, new and professional bloggers, creatives, influencers, small business owners, program leaders, CEOs + Founders, and community activists.

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