Life through the lens of Lindley Battle
By Jim Dodson
The moment the front door of the cozy white house on a leafy street in Greensboro’s Old Starmount opens, you feel the energy and charm of Lindley Battle, a brilliant young branding expert and special events photographer whose talents are quietly taking the world by storm.
Begin with the house, an older bungalow she purchased five years ago and has slowly transformed into an elegant retreat of cool, light-filled rooms decorated with earth tones, personal artifacts from her world travels and soothingly simple furnishings.
A former living room that looks out over the back garden is artfully claimed as her master bedroom. A front bedroom, meantime, is her office, home to design boards and cameras, including a vintage single-lens model in a leather carrying case that belonged to her late grandfather, Norman Garrett, a Greensboro physician.
“Upstairs there are two more rooms,” she mentions with a merry laugh, “But we rarely go up there. I’ll eventually get to them, I suppose — when I have more time.” Another infectious laugh ensues. The “we” means Lindley and her two beloved travel mates, dogs Mika and Kiah.
With a stable of at least a dozen local and national companies relying on her exquisite photo magic to shape their commercial identities, and spectacular destination weddings claiming more of her talents every year, managing her time is increasingly important to Lindley Battle.
On this particular autumn evening, for example, with a goblet of red wine in hand, she’s winding down from back-to-back single day round trips to Charleston and Atlanta with a side trip to see a client in Hilton Head.
“I don’t mind driving,” she points out. “In fact, I love driving because it gives me time to think about my clients and how amazing all of this has been. Everyone has a story and I see myself as a storyteller.”
Her own story and rapid rise is most captivating.
Growing up in Winston-Salem, she knew from an early age that art would be her calling. At 16, she received a camera for her birthday, an inexpensive Canon, “and went around taking pictures of everything.”
After photographing and putting together a presentation of historic items in high school, her digital arts teacher suggested that she may have found her niche. She went on to become the school’s sports photographer.
Off she went to an arts college in Maryland, but dropped out after just one year. “I discovered that I didn’t need to learn about art so much as I wanted to learn about my art.”
Her desire for self-discovery took her and her camera to Uganda for nearly two years where she worked as a missionary with Youth With A Mission, scrubbing floors, plowing fields, teaching English in a remote village and working with HIV victims.
“It changed my life,” she says emphatically. “I realized that I have a calling for humanitarian rights that is very strong and will always shape my life. I also took some heart-stopping photos.”
The experience prompted her to consider becoming a photojournalist. She returned to Greensboro and took a degree in religious studies from UNCG, working part-time at a local hair salon, and for Great Outdoor Provisions Co. and Lululemon, an athletic apparel maker where she started doing product shoots by age 24.
In 2014, Battle decided to strike off on her own in business. A local nursing shoe company became one of her first big clients (and remains so today), but soon the creative, hopeful, outdoor vibe of her branding photography attracted clients from California to the Virgin Islands, an ever-expanding portfolio that includes furniture companies, business coaches, interior decorators and spas, just to name a few.
Two years ago, she flew to Paris to take a course in wedding photography and launched a separate platform, specializing in bespoke weddings from Charleston to the Hamptons.
“In everything I do,” she says, “whether it’s for helping companies create compelling branding for their products or people, I look for the story behind the subject. For me it becomes very personal.”
Her dual websites for branding and weddings reflect her deeply ingrained values of gratitude and beauty.
In the meantime, a job that allows her to travel all over the world reminds her of her commitment to humanitarian justice. She is currently working on a master’s degree from Harvard University in sustainability and global development.
“I’m a happy girl,” she says simply and from the heart.
“There’s so much I want to do yet.”
Look out, world. This Battle has just begun.
Learn more about Lindley Battle and her photography at lindleybattle.com.