Photo by Jim Commentucci

Photo by Jim Commentucci

ABOUT

I discovered photography through a happy accident. While studying to become a writer and journalist during college, I picked up my first 35mm camera. It seemed magical, became my vehicle for exploration, and to this day, enables me to find the extraordinary in the ordinary and beauty in unlikely places. It also allows me to connect with others and tell stories with purpose. Although it’s important to remind people of life’s hardships, the photos that give me joy are nuanced, life-affirming and reflect life’s gentleness. They stir up personal memories of the kindness of friends, family and strangers who have opened their worlds to me. I am in their debt. By documenting their lives, I learn about my own.

Throughout my career, I’ve felt compelled to make photographs dealing with social issues—intimate, documentary storytelling involving remarkable people. I also like providing context through other mediums such as writing, spoken words, video and music. My work has been published in National Geographic PROOF, New York Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), among other outlets. I've received honors for my photography and multimedia work from the National Press Photographers Association and The Associated Press. In 2018, I received a Light Work Grant in photography, which resulted in an exhibition at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. My work has also been shown at the Sheffield Doc Fest in Sheffield, England, Photoville in Brooklyn, NY, and ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY.

At the end of 2014, I decided to leave my 21-year photojournalism position at The Post-Standard newspaper (Syracuse, NY) to freelance, pursue personal projects and complete my master’s degree in Multimedia, Photography and Design at Syracuse University. As an independent photographer, my visual storytelling experience—both in the U.S. and internationally—prepares me to help photo editors, nonprofit organizations, business owners, families and more. Based in Syracuse, NY, I am available for assignments. For inquiries, please reach me at michellegabelphoto@gmail.com.