#girlcrush: Award-winning photographer urges us all to “take the dang photo”


Teresa Lee just loves people and she has built a career capturing their special moments.

“Give her a kiss on the forehead,” she encouraged one little girl as she clicked away on her Nikon D800.

“I don’t want a picture of a kid just giving a perfectly cheesy smile,” explained Teresa. “I want to know what that kid is all about”

Many of the clients she photographed as kids are having their own kids. Now, Teresa’s there for their big moments.

“It’s such an honor, such an honor,” she gushed.

She’s photographed countless dancers, athletes, and celebrities, but there’s one person who would forever impact her: Elizabeth Smart. Smart was abducted at the age of 14 from her home in Salt Lake City.

Teresa photographed Smart and her husband when they were in Colorado Springs for a speaking engagement.

“(She) was probably the most amazing person I’ve ever met,” said Teresa.

Here’s what Teresa took away: “People are tough. People are resilient.”

Teresa didn’t know it at the time, but she would draw on that encounter in the years ahead.

“It’s easy to have faith in the light, but to have faith in the dark…” she shrugged as he words trailed off.

Her husband and business partner, Robert Lee, has terminal cancer.

“We have today and we don’t know if we have tomorrow,” said Teresa.

Robert, who up until his diagnoses shot weddings alongside his wife, won’t likely be there when their own children get married.

“He would always get tear up at the father-daughter dance,” recalled Teresa. So, the Lees are going to capture that moment before the clock runs out.

They’re buying their daughters’ white dresses.

Sixteen-year-old Lawson and 11-year-old Kennedy will have their father-daughter dance.

Teresa will photograph while her friend videotapes it.

Teresa plans to show the video when the girls get married someday.

“Even in the hard times, even when everything is hard, you find good. You find that silver lining. You find that there is always something to be happy about.”

So, until Teresa takes her last photograph, she’s intent on finding that something.

She wants the rest of us to do the same.

“Life is so short. Take the dang photo.”

You can see more of Teresa’s work and book her for your photo sessions on her website. 

Watch #girlcrush every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on FOX21 News. 

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