Employee Spotlight : Murray Elliott

 In News, Photographer Spotlight

Meet Murray Elliott

Just sayin’

Murray Elliott

631.935.3389 | murray@captureintegration.com

What Defines You? 

I’d have to say humor. Growing up, I was a chubby, shy kid that wore glasses and wasn’t very popular. However, that all changed with the help of a new buddy, nicknamed “Kuz,” pronounced [kooz]. He sat on the bench alongside me, for pretty much our entire junior football year. We were both small guys and not especially gifted in football. I think because we both felt inferior to our so-called teammates, who routinely made fun of us, we bonded. We started hanging out during school and afterward. I broke out of my shell when I realized he genuinely thought I was humorous, it made me happy to make someone I hardly knew laugh. It was at that moment I decided to live my life from a fun, positive place, and to this day I love to make people laugh (with or at me)!

Kuz on left, Me on right – High School Senior Spring Break in Aspen, CO

What are five words you think your teammates would use to describe you?

Really really really good looking

If you could only use one camera for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Anyone who even remotely knows me would guess I’d choose the Phase One XF IQ4 150 system, and I regularly do so as my go-to camera. However, I’m really torn on this question as the most fun I ever had making photos was with a Contax G1 (35mm rangefinder w/28, 45 & 90mm lenses) on a trip to Jamaica, with my wife, in the early 90’s… But I’ll stick with Phase One anyway 😉

Contax G1
Phase One XF IQ4 150

Describe the journey that brought you to Capture Integration. 

Long story… But I’ll attempt to shorten it.

I have been photographing since the tender age of twelve, with a hand-me-down Practica my dad won as a door prize at an Esso convention (Canadian version of Exxon). I started selling camera gear at a small mom & pop store a few years later to help pay for my gear fetish. In 1992, I landed my first job at a pro store in Royal Oak, MI. From there, my wife and I moved to Boulder, CO, where I worked at a huge three-story camera store. That is where I first fell in love with Phase One medium format digital backs.

Eventually, I climbed the ladder to a professional outbound sales organization where I had the opportunity to sell every MF camera made. It was during this time that I first met Dave Gallagher from CI. We got along famously, probably because of my humor and great looks 😉 Then one day, I was offered an Area Sales Manager position at Phase One… I was in heaven, it was awesome! However, after nine years, I felt like I had stopped growing and decided to open my own Phase One dealership. I enjoyed being my own boss while selling the gear I loved. Then the pandemic hit, and the economy began to slide… I needed to diversify my product offerings to better serve my clients. But how do I do that in these uncertain times? Partnering with another dealer seemed plausible… So I called Dave. Even though Dave and I have been competitors for a large part of our careers, we have remained good friends with mutual respect for one another. Today, I’m proud to say I’m part of the finest team in the photographic marketplace, PERIOD!

Our Team

What is your favorite phrase or idiom that you use daily?

Just sayin’

If photography was a person, how would you describe your relationship with them?

Intimate, but not in a creepy way.

If you were behind your camera and could choose anything you wanted to be in your viewfinder, where would you be and what would you be looking at?

Right now? Well… it’s February in Northern MI.

Hmm, I’m going with the Caribbean on a big a** sailboat, crystal-clear blue water, islands, and palm trees in my viewfinder. Let’s also add a double pina colada helmet on my head (Only because I need two hands for the camera).

Just sayin’

What is something that makes your skin crawl?

Cleaning hair clogs out of the bathroom sink.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

I’m fortunate, I’ve had a LOT of incredible people around me my entire life. Mostly photographers, mentors, teachers, instructors, family and friends, a few of which I didn’t exactly like. Many of them are wealthy, successful businessmen and women. All of them have had a part in shaping who I am today.

Out of all of them, though, my dad stands out. He wasn’t a particularly wealthy man, but my mom, older brother, younger sister, and I never went wanting for anything. I guess we would have been considered upper middle class, but I felt like we were wealthy. Dad owned an automotive service station in Belle River, Ontario. I worked there part-time pumping gas and sweeping floors while in high school, my first real paying job. I don’t recall him taking a sick day. He worked long hours, Monday through Saturday, and ran his 24hr. towing service for the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P. – equivalent to a State Police force). I can’t tell you how many times I would wake up between 1 and 3 am to the sound of him firing up the diesel wrecker. It’s funny, when I fire up my F250 diesel, it brings fond memories of my childhood.

Dad sold his business many years ago and retired from mechanics… Sort of. He still works as the Ranger at the golf course he and my mom live on and repairs their golf carts to this day. I learned a ton from my dad about fixing sh*t, not just cars and trucks, but anything and everything that needs repair. Moreover, I learned about commitment and work ethic. Something I have passed down to my son.

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