Hi there, I’m Leanne! I joined Beyond the Brand Media in 2020 and I’m so happy to be part of the team. I have over 10 years of professional experience working as a designer and photographer. I am here to help you with all things creative and bring your brand vision to life.
I always knew growing up that I was a creative person and luckily I was surrounded by people who nourished my gifts and supported my endeavors. I started my career relatively young; at 18 years old, I got my first job in the art industry as a professional portrait photographer. I also interned at Soo Rye Art Gallery, in Rye NH; as my main area of study was painting & drawing at the time.
In 2009, I had the opportunity to travel to Verona, Italy, where I studied abroad for a summer with a focus on landscape painting and art history. We visited Florence, Venice, and Milan as well as some cute off the cusp towns such as Borghetto, which gave me a taste of the art and culture outside of the United States. We also had the rare opportunity to attend the 53rd Venice Biennale which exhibited art installations from prominent artists from 24 different countries. This experience is one of the most memorable of my life and truly shaped me as an artist. During my time in college, I also took several other trips including visiting Boston frequently for open studios as well as NYC.
In 2011, I completed my first full exhibition which was part of our senior thesis project at New Hampshire Institute of Art. The focus of my project incorporated traditional media such as oil painting with digital media. I used programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel Painter to create digital work. I would then print these out on large canvases, paint on top of them, and build additional elements out of wood, creating 3D collages. At the time, using digital processes on fine art painting projects was taboo, but I strongly felt that digital was the medium of the future. Years later, this proved to be true and became a fundamental part of their academic programs. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011.
From there, I went through the application process of being accepted into Appleton Mills, which was part of a community resurgence project in Lowell, MA. The goal of the project was to provide a living and working space for artists and musicians in newly renovated mill buildings. I worked with other artists to curate the community space with rotating exhibitions and would often participate in open studio events. It was during this time that I found my first full-time design related job in Somerville, MA working in pre-press.
After a year of brutal Boston commutes, I made the choice to move back to New Hampshire, which is truly where my heart is. I’m much more a woods gal and the city is not for me. I landed a photo editing and design job at Pixel Perfect Photography, where I stayed for many years (6 to be exact) until the owner retired. Towards the end of my time there, I ended up shooting newborn sessions and was taught the art of baby photography and posing by the owner, Gail Morello. Gail was a mentor to me and taught me a lot about both the photography industry as well as running a profitable business during my time there. There were a lot of fun aspects to this job, like building sets (we literally built an indoor faux pond inside the photo studio once, complete with water and a deck.) It was a great place to work and I really developed my skill set during my time there.
It was at this time that I had a few different studios interested in hiring me, and I decided that my portfolio was strong enough to stand on its own and I’d like to retain the rights to the images that I created. Often photography studios require non-compete contracts, as well as own the rights to the images shot. I had several clients that I did freelance work for on a regular basis, including editing and product photography. I shot under my own brand name ‘Lee Owen Photo’ during this time. I also worked part-time as an editor for CMP Studios in Lincoln, MA for 2 years.
One of the other projects that I did during this time was contract work for APM studios. I taught them the art of newborn posing and child portrait photography. I also created branded materials and worked with them on their products and pricing structure. At the time, they were exclusively focused on wedding photography and wanted to extend their services to newborn and baby photography. The needs of a wedding client and a newborn client are pretty different and they wanted someone with experience to guide them through the process of extending their brand.
During this time, I became more interested in building businesses, marketing, and branding. I decided to go back to working a full-time job with a focus in marketing. My goal was to gain hands on experience in a marketing role, which I knew I would excel at based on my creative background. I ended up at Spectrum Marketing Companies where I worked on the Planet Fitness account to coordinate with Planet Fitness’s branding team and internal design and print departments. We assisted them with creating direct mailers, signage, e-mail blasts, and other marketing collateral. I stayed there for 2 years until I felt that I outgrew the role and really wanted to dive back into the creative end of marketing. I started to put my feelers out a new opportunity that wasn’t just the next thing, but was the right thing.
Anyone that knows me, knows I am an avid yogi as well as artsy individual. It just so happened that I did a photoshoot for Devi Soul Reiki & Healing, which is owned by Josh’s wife, Aspen. Aspen and I met at a local yoga studio and we’ve been friends ever since. Josh saw my work and was interested in talking to me. He was looking to hire an internal designer as Beyond the Brand Media was expanding. He heard that I also had a background in design and marketing on top of photography. The stars seemed to align for us as we hit it off really well. I did a few designs before being hired on a permanent basis and the rest is history. Now I have my dream job that I absolutely love! This job doesn’t put me into a box and Josh is always supportive of us doing what we really love and excel at. I get to use both my creativity and business savviness to help other people grow their businesses and put out some amazing content. I wake up every day loving my job and the team here! Sometimes it’s weird how things in life just line-up, seemingly effortless, but I think we all met for a reason. I am so grateful to be a part of this badass team.
When I’m not creating art awesomeness for clients, I love to spend time outside in nature, doing yoga, kayaking, or hanging out with my family and friends. I recently completed my 200-Hr Yoga Teaching Certification in July of 2020, and am looking forward to expanding my practice. Yes, I’m one of those crazies that loves hot yoga. In fact, any hot and humid weather is a plus for me. I will trail run when it’s 95 degrees and it doesn’t bother me at all, I love it!
When it’s nice out (hey, it’s New England,) my fiance and I bring the kayaks out and explore lakes. We also love camping and nature walks. When it’s cold out and I’m stuck inside, I snuggle up with my two cats and enjoy a good binge watch. My fiance and I also play a little bit of music; he plays the handpan and I play the ukulele. I’m not going to promise that we are good, but we have fun with it. We are also in the middle of wedding planning! It’s been a very busy year, but I thrive off of that and love learning and pushing my boundaries.