Friday, September 9, 2016

Feature Friday with Mari Sierra Photography!

Mari Sierra Photography was the winner of last week's challenge, 'summer's last light.'  Read on to find out all about the gear Mari uses, her dream shoot, and her advice to new photographers!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

My name is Mari, short of Marisela (which I hated all my life!) I was born in Mexico City but I came to live to Guadalajara to finish high school when I was 16. I’ve always been kind of a nerd, had good grades and liked school but since a young age I was drawn to arts and photography. I’m a very visual person so I guess it was no surprise to me and my parents that I ended up fascinated by Photography and Arts instead of following my original career, Psychology.
I’ve been married to the love of my life for 15 years now and we have two kids, an 11 year old boy and a 5 year old girl, totally amazing and totally quirky! They are my main inspiration and models, of course!

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

I think I would describe it as artistic, cinematic and dramatic… or it is wishful thinking to show it that way. Why? I love paintings, they were my first visual first love (I went to art school before I started having kids) I also love movies and I’ve been forever fascinated by how you can be moved or transported somewhere else by how the cineastes play with the light and composition as well as a painter… and dramatic? Well, I can’t do simple very well… I love contrast and emotion and looove black and white!

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

As I said before, I have been drawn to photography since I was a kid but never had the chance to learn about it until my girl was born… I wanted to be able to capture her the way I pictured in my mind. I couldn’t achieve that with my oldest and it was at the beginning of the digital era. I have owned several analog cameras through my life and my favorite was a pentax with macro my dad gave me, but since I didn’t know manual I didn’t get the best out of it.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

My camera bag has everything I own except for my old collection of analog cameras that I display in my living room. My camera is a very basic one, a canon 3ti and I have 3 kit lenses; the one I use most is a 18-55mm for wide angle shots. I also have a 50mm 1.8 that I love to use to for portraits but my recently favorite is my Lensbaby composer. The double glass is so dreamy and way easier to use than freelensing! I adore the blur! I also have an off camera flash I don’t use much because I prefer natural light but it’s handy, and a safari flash booster by Rogue and also their Flash Bender. As you see I don’t have fancy or pricey equipment… I wish I could upgrade to a better camera and lens but as a hobbyist my budget is tight and we know we can do well with what we have ;)

 5. What is your dream shoot or project?

I love fantasy and fairytales, so my dream shoot would be a very nice production of my favorite stories featuring children like Alice in Wonderland, Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Nutcracker…

 6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

I think the main misconception I had about photography is that it is easy… I mean, it can be easy once you know what you’re doing. But if you don’t know your camera and rules about light, composition, color and posing… then you will never get the result you’re looking for. And now I have deep appreciation for the work of others, especially the masters before digital era!

 7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

My advice to beginners is to learn as much as you can, soak yourself in the style or genre you want to achieve and then keep practicing… it’s true: practice makes the master! I wish I had the chance to study photography when I was young, then I would have years behind me of practice instead of ahead ;) but well, you never stop learning!

Find more of Mari's gorgeous work here:

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