Selective Focus: Michelle Truax

Michelle Truax has worked at TV stations, for the Duluth News Tribune as a videographer and journalist, and is now on her own doing advertising and documentary work for her own clients. Her videos are filled with gorgeous camera work. This week in Selective Focus Michelle talks about how she started and how she got to where she is in her career.

MT: I’d consider myself a visual storyteller with an emphasis on video. Most recently, I’ve been producing promotional video content for clients in the Twin Ports area.

I really love working in a short documentary style. As a kid, Thanksgivings were spent following my mom around the kitchen with a big Sony camcorder. She wasn’t particularly fond of this tradition, but I figured the drama made for better TV. I’ve always loved capturing all the little, human moments.

I’ve also always enjoyed romping through the woods with a camera. Nature is usually going to give you something inspiring to shoot.

Throughout college and into my career, I’ve tried to remember what sparked joy and interest early on for me, and I stick to that as much as possible. I try to capture shots that excite me and create videos that make me feel some kind of way.

A bird’s eye view of Glensheen’s Concerts on the Pier music series.

I think I’ve been lucky that the things I feel from my videos seem to translate to the viewer. I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding than having your client and/or audience react in a positive way.

I’ve been working in video and television in some way for about 11 years. I began as a production technician at WDIO-TV in 2008. While studying at St. Cloud State University, I managed the filmmaking equipment and worked as a TA for editing and production classes. After graduation, I moved back to Duluth and WDIO-TV, where I was the Producer of Good Morning Northland for about three years. In the spring of 2017, I had the opportunity to move into shooting and editing promotional videos for the Duluth Media Group and its publications, including the Duluth News Tribune,, and The Woman Today Magazine. This latest position has put hundreds of videos under my belt and allowed me to grow my portfolio extensively.

I think what’s fun about making videos – or any form of art for that matter – is that once it’s done, it just exists on its own out in the world. It can go wherever it wants and live its own life. If it’s a particularly personal form of expression, it’s also great to get those feelings out of you. Let them exist separate from you, instead of festering inside of you.

Challenge-wise, I’m probably my own worst enemy. I don’t think I’ve ever been fully happy with any of my finished products. But at the same time, if you keep tweaking things and trying to get it to your idea of perfect, you’ll probably never get it done. I think working in news has helped me hit deadlines because no matter what, there’s gotta be a show on the air!

The Kaye E. Barker was the first ship of the 2019 season to depart the Duluth-Superior port.

I’m fortunate to have had mostly great experiences with clients, but taking criticism and adjusting to their needs presents some challenges at times as well. I would say this type of work has definitely made me more versatile, and I’m really grateful for that. Plus, it’s a wonderful feeling to leave a client happy with the finished product.

Vimeo page with samples:

My husband and I recently took advantage of a career opportunity for him in the Twin Cities, so I departed the Duluth Media Group in August. Since then, I’ve been wearing my home renovation hat as we transform our new house into a home.
I’m itching to get back behind the camera, though, and just started to explore video careers in the Minneapolis area. With Duluth being my hometown, though, I am still open to freelance opportunities there. I’d love to collaborate on a documentary or narrative project!

Artists paint together during a live painting session at the Duluth Art Institute.

1 Comment

John Hartman

about 5 years ago

Is Michelle Truax related to former KDAL-TV Director, Glenn Truax?

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