Photographer and fine art printer Michel Le Guellec was chosen as the Siskiyou Arts Council featured artist for the month of March.
Le Guellec and his wife Mishelle run M &M Photography out of their Lake Shastina home, where they meld commercial photography and fine art printing  with their own artistic endeavors.
“I have a huge love of nature,” said Le Guellec, noting that, on one level, this drives much of his work.   This interest, he said, is fueled, in part, by his desire to work with natural light.
However, he does not consider himself to be solely a landscape photographer.
“I also love taking pictures of people,” he said.  “One of my other great interests is fine art portraiture.”
He noted that it was his two-year stint as a reporter and photographer for the Mount Shasta Herald that helped him to develop an eye for photographing people.
More specifically, he said he loves to photograph kids.  “Kids have a pureness and honesty that they cannot hide,” he said.
While part of his photography business deals with photographing youth, he said these shoots can often lead into other projects.
“With kids, their self-consciousness is not as attached to fear, as it is more often with adults,” Le Guellec said.
Though he has spent time shooting and developing film, Le Guellec works almost exclusively using digital technology. He did note, however, that there has been a resurgence of interest in converting older negatives into digital images, a practice which, as a fine art printer, he has been doing more and more these days.
“With digital photography, the results are immediate,” he said, noting that the ability to develop good skills is much easier. “Some still question whether the integrity of the image is the same as film photography — it’s just a different form of art.”
Le Guellec said his interest in photography and printmaking came later in life.
“I started my career as drummer in LA,” he said, noting that he performed with a variety of different bands, ranging from jazz to punk. “I was working the club scene every night,” he said.
While it provided a good living, he said, he hit a point where he was ready to move on to something else.
In an abrupt about face, Le Guellec shifted his focus to the business world, starting a career as a futures and stock trader. Eventually, this led to starting Corporate Alliance Network LLC, an investor relations firm that publicly traded companies.
At this point in his life, photography was still a hobby for Le Guellec. However, he said his business ventures took him to many different places, and while traveling, he would make the time to explore an area and shoot pictures.
“I like to capture the feel of a place,” he said. “On those trips, I would always looking for a piece of nature.”
He said that on a trip to Montana, he met National Geographic photographers Rick Sammon and Darrell Guillion, who allowed him to tag along with him for three weeks as they did a shoot on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
“Those guys were a wealth of information. I couldn’t have bought a better education,” he said noting that, contrary to his expectation, the seasoned veterans took the time to answer his questions and to work with him.
Le Guellec said he moved to the Mt. Shasta area 10 years ago, shortly after visiting Dunsmuir on a fishing trip.
In 2007, Le Guellec combined efforts with Nickki Lee Hill, a professional fine art photographer and graphic designer, and formed Studio Baconthorp.
“My photography allows me to connect with people, nature, places and subjects in a way that would otherwise be impossible,” he said, speaking generally about  what drives his craft. “Fine art printing provides me the opportunity and challenge of redefining limits and paradigms. It’s a rare and honorable way that actually allows me to become part of the artist’s interpretation — together we seek perfection.”
Michael and Mishelle, between the two of them, have nine kids. “It’s a Brady Bunch thing,” he said, noting that being a parent is one of his greatest rewards of all.
Each month the Siskiyou Arts Council chooses an Artist of the Month from   their artist registry.
Le Guellec’s work will be showcased at the SAC Gallery & Cultural Center, 418 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd.