Michelle Prince was born and raised right here in Cary NC. As a girl, she attended The Cathedral School in downtown Raleigh and then, Cary High School. Michelle took college courses at UNC Wilmington and UNC Greensboro, earning her a BA in Psychology with a focus in Early Childhood.
Michelle says, “I was always clicking around with a camera even as a kid. When I was young, my mother entered a photograph I had taken of a little girl in a photography contest. It got published. Parents soon started asking me to photograph their children.” In 2005, Michelle built a studio in Holly Springs and has been working full time ever since.
Michelle has a part-time job as a Literacy Coordinator at “Kids R Kids” in Cary. She loves children, and decided long ago to specialize in photography of babies and kids. She was initially inspired by Anne Geddes and her magical images of babies. Newborns are Michelle’s favorite subjects. “I cherish all the portraits of my own children, as I know how fast they grow and change,” Michelle says. “If my house caught on fire, I’d grab the kids, my pets, and my photos!”
Michelle’s children, Taylor (21), and Zach (23), are adults now, and she commented that “Neither are the least bit artistic. So funny. My mom, however, is an artist.” Perhaps that is where Michelle’s extraordinary gift comes from.
Michelle has, not only a remarkable eye for composition, color and light, but she has a special ability to connect with the little people she photographs and make them feel comfortable. Many parents have commented that their children, even the shy ones, open up completely while having their pictures taken with Michelle.
Four months ago, Michelle lost her beloved horse who was a part of many of her photoshoots and was known as “The Kissing Horse” because he loved to give kisses to everyone. “His name was Banx,” she said. “He taught me to be brave. He showed me I could trust him and it made me feel strong. He ran to me when he saw me, gave me kisses every day and I knew I was loved. It was a magical relationship and he is a huge part of who I am.”
Michelle says that her proudest moments as an artist are doing shoots for customers who travel from other states so she can photograph their children, “year after year, every child without fail.” She is also touched by the heartfelt moments in others’ lives that she is asked to capture. “A woman with cancer came to me, requesting that I take photographs of her with her children just in case she did not make it through treatment. Sadly, six months from the day I took the photos, I was attending her funeral service. I stood staring at my slideshow of images during the service, and watched her two year-old son looking at his pretty mom in the photos. I hoped that he would always remember her that way.” These are the kind of moments that make Michelle feel that what she does is important, profound and meaningful.
Michelle Prince regularly gives back to the community that has supported her business for years. She does volunteer work with organizations that assist children with serious illnesses, like The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The International Rett Syndrome Foundation.