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HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
My grandfather gave cameras to me as gifts throughout my childhood. But I would say I really delved headfirst into photography during a trip to Costa Rica I took when I was 15. I fell in love with capturing the people, vibrant colors, and landscape. From then on, I began shadowing and learning from other photographers. In college, I spent a semester in Florence, Italy exploring street photography and shortly thereafter was featured by Nat Geo in a photojournalism piece on veterans who lived in the most rural areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. By the end of college, I had my degree in Human Development and Photography and officially launched Marissa Joy Photography.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Although I feel that my style is always developing and evolving, I have focused consistently on the following key elements: raw, emotional moments documented in creative composition; artistic portraits incorporating movement, light and color; and emphasizing my couples within their environment (whether it is on a cliff of a mountain or in the small church where one of their parents got married). Storytelling has been my favorite thing about shooting weddings and photography in general.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
Authenticity, emotion, movement, light, and composition. Because of those elements, I find weddings to be a great test of skill and perseverance. You often have some of those elements, but it is your job to make them work all together in a truly magnificent way. I love that creative challenge.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
A lot of things! Now, being a mom and expecting another little one soon, I feel very inspired by the day-to-day moments. Seeing the world through my son’s eyes has given me a newfound appreciation of the very little (but beautiful) things in life. Especially during quarantine, I have never felt so moved by the simplicity of moments. I am also inspired by the excitement of simply creating something that has never been. Photography/art is very intriguing in that way.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
The balance of work and being a mom has been a tough adjustment, but I am trying to “go with the flow” and find the best formula that works for my family and me.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
Hard to choose just one! I would say probably the Getting Ready. Emotions are strong and there is heightened anticipation. It usually lends itself to some beautiful moments.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
Oh gosh…this changes so often, probably year-to-year, honestly. My current favorite is the portrait of Sara and Dan in Montreux, Switzerland. To me, it truly incorporated everything about that wedding weekend and the couple themselves. It also had so many great elements that came together seamlessly: good light, color, movement, elegance, great negative space, an ethereal essence, and a certain “je ne sais quoi.”
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MARISSA?
I have a huge passion for animal welfare and spend a dedicated amount of time photographing animals at our local shelter and helping them get placed in forever homes.
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
For me, there are a couple of things that stand out about DVLOP. I love how customizable they are to my own taste and the range of differing styles there are. It has exponentially increased the speed of the post process and given me beautiful consistency in my work. Another major benefit to note is their time and effort in making skin tones look so great. So many presets out there really cannot get this formula down. My favorite packs are Two Mann, Gabe McClintock, and Davina + Daniel.