On the Road with Lani 5

Local photographer discovers America

For some artists, the impetus to create comes from the outside. Such was the case with photographer Lani Odell. Odell has been one of the primary photographers for Northland Lifestyle for several years now but she does much more than just portraits. She’s a traveler, a wanderer with an eye for color and the yearning to see the parts of the world that many don’t have the opportunity to see.

Odell was first given a camera by a friend’s mother.

“She said that I had an eye for photography and should give it a shot. I started taking photos and it just snowballed from there,” says Odell.

As Odell started traveling more, she started finding more of the things that inspired her–simple tableaus that many may have missed. Her photos reflect a kind of nostalgic Americana with life among the National Parks and on the scenic byways of the country that many have yet to explore.

“I’ve been told that I notice the things that many people miss. When I go out with someone to take photos, I tend to focus on the subjects that are not as eye catching. I like texture and color. For the photo of the truck, we had to take a lot of side roads and I just spotted that and had to tramp back to it. Whatever draws you as an artist is what you have to go with,” she says.

She has her favorites, of course.

“Sunsets and sunrises are my favorites. I will chase a sunset for an hour, trying to find the highest vantage point and get the perfect shot. Doing that gives me more than a perfect photo. It just cleanses my soul,” says Odell.

She also feels a responsibility to draw the viewer into the photo, no matter where it is.

“I feel really lucky to be able to travel and see the world. There are so many people that don’t get to do any of that. I just feel so much gratitude to be able to do what I do and see the things that I’m able to see,” she says.

Odell has learned along the way. Most of her business is comprised of portraiture, animals, and weddings. After interning with some of the best wedding photographers in town, she has built a steady business but she still tries to make landscape and travel photography a part of her life.

To see more of Lani’s work, visit her at CapturedByLaniMichelleKC.com