By Lucy M. Pritchett

Ilyse will always be doing something that sharpens her skills and creativity. Photos by Patti Hartog

You might see Ilyse Gordon McCormick, 29, out on the town interviewing local celebrities or filming neighborhood events. Or you may see her just relaxing in the park taking photos for her own enjoyment. What works for this founder of iseelou Productions are her creative tools and a hefty shot of caffeine.

Nikon D7100 Af-S DX Nikkor with 18-140mm lens
I got this camera so I could shoot more video and take better quality still photos. When I started out in the business, I thought I could just use my iPhone. The Nikon is much better for what I need. I bought it at Murphy’s Camera. I tried out one of the Canon cameras as well. I have tiny hands, and the Nikon just felt better when I held it. It’s important the camera feels comfortable when I use it. I also use it just to wind down — go to the park and take photos with friends. Taking photos helps relax me and gets me into the flow.

Ilyse finds the simplest ways of relaxing. 

I have various journals I have used over the years. Each one has a different look. I prefer the ones with lined pages, but I don’t necessarily stay within the lines. I use a journal for all my creative writing — poems, lyrics — and just getting down feelings and what I am thinking about and what I have observed. I sometimes even write in the dark so I can’t see what I am writing. That is very freeing. I keep a journal on my bedside table, and it is small enough that I can take it with me to the park. I love writing in public places. I sometimes will go to The Back Door bar and sit in the corner and just watch people and write.

Journals are one of her treasured items. 

Heine Brothers’ Frozen Cappuccino
When I was in school in Toronto, I discovered the frozen cappuccino drink at Tim Horton’s coffee shop. There aren’t any in this area, but the Heine Brothers’ version is close. I get one several times a week. People call these coffee drinks ‘crack.’ I can only drink a medium one. The large one is too much for me.

A shot of caffeine keeps Ilyse going throughout the day. 
Ilyse has found satisfaction in knowing she can put her talents to good use with the creation of iseelou Productions.