Meet the fabulously talented people behind the iconic images of the 2019 festival! And check out their personal picks for their favorite pictures of the festival. 

Michael Poehlman is a commercial and fine art portrait photographer who has contributing roots from spending many years in New York City and Sao Paulo, Brazil as a picture editor, creative director, and assignment photographer. He worked for several years as an all-around contributor to Aperture — on the editorial and exhibitions side of the business — before moving onto Getty Images where he began to edit a roster of talented & accomplished photographers. He later traveled the world for Getty Images to art direct, eventually landing him in Brazil, where he stayed for a three-year stint as a creative director. Michael is back home in Traverse City now, continuing to travel some, but mostly shooting local assignments. Michael Poehlman is also the film festival’s photography director.

Elizabeth Tiffany is an event and portrait photographer living in Traverse City. She has a background in fine art photography and art history with a degree from Central Michigan University. Elizabeth shoots for several local non-profit organizations and festivals throughout the year.  She enjoys adventuring outdoors and photographing the many beautiful natural places that northern Michigan has to offer. 2019 marked her second year as the Traverse City Film Festival’s photography manager.

Liam Kaiser is an adventure enthusiast focused on capturing individuals in outdoor environments. Liam takes an artistic-documentary style approach to his work that embodies landscapes, portraits, and creative passions. He first gained an interest in creative media when he attended Traverse City’s local Career-Tech Center in Film and New Media. Liam has an associates degree from Northwestern Michigan College with a certificate degree in Unmannered Aerial Systems and is working on a Bachelors degree in Digital Cinema from Northern Michigan University.

Brianne Munch is a local artist and fine art photographer. With her photography background, the medium is used mainly within her personal work and portraiture on the side. With an undergraduate degree in Studio Art, she mixes materials as an incorporation with her photographic works, but also as a way of documentation. Brianne works mostly with digital, but merges the old and the new by using film cameras and applies it as a contrast in her work frequently.

Jeff Simonis based in Traverse City, MI and Las Vegas, NV is a photographer specializing in landscapes and nature, special events and custom photo shoots. Jeff’s work has been used in art installations for local businesses, and his custom photo shoots are designed to give you a personal experience that captures just the right shot and the right look for your project. Jeff is an active member of the Traverse Area Camera Club. His photos are available as prints, stretched canvases or other artistic applications.

Maggie Szymanek began her photography profession while working for human service organizations, in the Detroit area, Florida, New York and Washington, DC. Once settled in the DC region, she began two careers – consulting with non-profit organizations and professional photography. Maggie has been shooting portraits, special events, nature, and weddings for 20 years. While leaving the wedding industry to new photographers, she recently shot a wedding for a couple that met because of a portrait photo she shot that the bride posted on a dating website. Photography in the last five years is through her travels to Australia, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Senegal, South Africa, and Botswana. Maggie has served as a volunteer photographer for TCFF for the last 12 years.

Shane Wyatt’s passion for photography started as a love for creating vivid and unique landscape photographs in and around Northern Michigan and sharing his work with others. His grandparents on both sides were a big influence in creating his interest in photography. Wyatt’s Grandmother always had a camera in her hand at any event and Grandfather loved shooting movies in the wilds of Canada, and that love carried over to him as a fourth generation resident of Traverse City. He joined the TCFF Photo Team in 2013 and it is now one of his highlights of every summer! Wyatt takes festival week off from work to spend as much time as he can photographing the events, guests and film fans who return every year. He loves seeing the faces of volunteers who return to help year after year and the smiles of the children participating for the first time. Working with TCFF is truly rewarding, even for a landscape photographer breaking out of his mold once a year!