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In association with Rangefinder Magazine, DVLOP is happy to announce the winner of its Rangerfinder feature contest:
Marlies Hartmann is an international wedding photographer and educator who blends her love of dynamic light and romantic portraiture with a strong focus on authentic, photojournalistic captures. When Marlies is not chasing moments, she can be found chasing around her mini me, London, by the ocean, or making healthy treats in her Venice Beach kitchen.
BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
The last thing I ever thought I would become is a professional photographer. Photography truly found me. I had never even held a professional camera prior to 2015.
In 2014, I bravely left my marriage of seven years. I was a single mom who was suddenly starting all over, and I decided to become a health coach. I began an Instagram account for my new health coaching business, and voilà, I joined the masses of IG photo filtering iPhone photographers.
To provide better content, I forced myself to learn basic lighting techniques while shooting with an iPhone 5. About 6 months into my insta-adventures, I tried a friend’s Canon 5D Mark II. The dreamy bokeh and depth of field had me hooked, and I went out and purchased a Canon 6D and a 100mm macro lens. I was in the habit of shooting and posting a new image every day, so I experienced plenty of self-taught trial and error (and there was definitely a TON of error). I became obsessed with learning as much as I could. And while I wasn’t getting any health coaching clients, I suddenly had companies offering to PAY ME to take photos of their products. Just like that, I was thrust into the photography business.
BECOMING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
2017 was my first full year of shooting weddings. When I started wedding photography, I knew I loved it. My theatrical background undoubtedly helped prepare me for the impromptu charade of it all, but it was the financial possibilities as well as the schedule flexibility that drew me to the industry. As a single mom, I wanted to be there for my daughter, and I realized that wedding photography had the potential to support us. Failing wasn’t an option. I couldn’t let that precious girl down (I think I mean both my daughter as well as myself), and I didn’t have much to fall back on. I remember once hearing another wedding photographer mention that they sell albums to make vacation money. In the beginning, I was selling albums to make rent that month. It’s amazing how the combination of both fear and fearlessness can symbiotically motivate you. And I, personally, needed both in order to find success in my business.
When it comes to finding inspiration in photography, I am motivated by two things: moments and light. My ultimate goal is being able to share both a relevant moment and good light at the same time … I consider that to be the ultimate photographic catharsis and get insanely excited when something inspires me during wedding portraits. One of my couples recently told me that I started shouting “I LOVE MY JOB” while I was crouched down in a dirty bathroom stall, attempting to get the perfect angle of them in the next room. (Image below. Rangefinder Photo of the Day)
I discovered DVLOP in the middle of last year. I was coming home from a wedding in Chicago, and my laptop was stolen from my carry on bag. Luckily, all of my hard drives and files were safe, but the presets I had created over the past year were gone. And while I probably could have recovered them, I decided to start fresh. I happened upon DVLOP while searching online, and with a leap of faith I purchased 3 packs. The processing felt super intuitive to me, and I loved the customization that they offered, allowing my own voice and personalization to shine through. This resonated with the kind of processing I wanted for my images, and I knew I never needed to start from scratch ever again.
Within a few months, I purchased additional DVLOP packs and was using them exclusively to edit my images. I even went back and re-edited my portfolio photos using DVLOP as a way to further explore their potential. Around this time my images were getting more and more industry recognition, all while I was spending less time editing my photos because I was able to create my own customized presets from within the DVLOP packs. DVLOP doesn’t promise to suddenly make you an amazing photographer. It is my job to do the best I can, but DVLOP has given me the ability to transform my images from flat RAW files into portfolio pieces I am proud to have hanging in my clients home or displayed front and center on my website.