Photographer Feature: Marie Masse
Today, we're continuing our photographer feature with Marie Masse. She's a Michigan based photographer that's been shooting for 18 months. Our favorite thing about Marie's photography is her project surrounded by her daughter. Kendall's World is a blog that features an image a day of her sweet little girl. Her regular photography site it pretty great as well. Thanks Marie, for taking the time to let us know a little more about you and what inspires you!
1. What sparked your interest in photography? How old were you?
Finding beauty in life’s little things has been a trait of mine for as long as I can remember – such as one little, red leaf left on a tree in the winter or a watching a child find magic in learning to blow dandelion seeds for the first time. What sparked my interest in capturing life was my own wedding and not having a photographer! We were married in the winter. It was a dark, candlelight ceremony. I relied on friends/family with their point & shoots. Bad idea. I have no quality wedding photos! Just memories. That year, my husband went out & bought me my first DSLR- I was 24. When my daughter was born, I made a goal to take one “good” photo of her a day for a year. The frustration of not getting my images to look as I imagined sparked my interest in learning manual shooting & furthering my knowledge. She is now 18 months old & I still do one “good shot” a day & post to her blog. I’ve never missed a day and picking up my camera for just 10 minutes a day has done wonders for my photography growth!
2. What are your favorite sessions, subject, or situations to photograph?
Most of my clients want all-smile, posed family, park setting photos- and I love every minute of doing these for them! But, what really ignites my passion are my lifestyle sessions. Raw emotion, average everyday life. These images aren’t just photos, but true memories. Being a fly on a wall in a client’s home or being their personal paparazzi while out doing a special activity is my favorite. Often during my regular sessions, I am able to capture children just being them & those tend to be mom and dad’s favorites too. ;)
3. Most memorable "on the job" moment?
I was falling & knew I was gonna get wet! Thank goodness my instinct was to throw my arm up to save my camera from getting wet. Ya know... I might break my tailbone with a hard fall, but I wasn’t going to break my camera. The best part is not only did I fall once, but fell a second time trying to get up. My clients were all on their bellies up on the bridge above me watching the show…. But I got that shot ;)
4. How do you balance your business with your family?
I am fortunate to stay at home while the hubby works. I work around my daughter’s schedule & only book sessions every other weekend (one wedding a month). I have no idea what I’m going to do next year when I have baby #2 in the mix... Help!
5. What has been your favorite photography related accomplishment?
I found a local photographer, Stacie Jensen Photography, via Google while trying to find a photographer to shadow. Most ignored my email requests for shadowing, but Stacie offered mentoring on her site. Bonus, I LOVE her photography style!! I did two mentoring sessions with her. A couple of months later, she recognized my improvement & posted about me on her Facebook page. To top it all off, she even asked me to second shoot a wedding with her recently. If she doesn’t stop with all of her spoiling niceness, I am going to get a big head. To me, she is in the big leagues and it was a huge opportunity to shoot alongside her.
6. What has been your biggest business blunder or embarrassing moment?
Well, I can’t say my real embarrassing moment (which is shared with a client) in fear of my client reading this. I don’t shoot and tell. However, I can tell you after second shooting, I stayed the night at the photographer's house since I lived nearly 2 hours away. At 5 am, there was no toilet paper in the upstairs bathroom. I walked to the bathroom at the bottom of the stairs. Have you ever sat down to pee only to hear loud sirens going off?! My heart is still racing! Yep, I set off their home alarm when I stepped onto the main floor. It was complete when her hubby rushed down in his skivvies to call off the police from showing up. Oops!
7. What do you hope people take away from your work?
Have you ever looked at an image that ignited your senses? Say a lifestyle session of mom and child baking cookies… You can remember that it was a cold winter day (a snow day from school!) how you felt like mom was the most fun person in the whole world making those cookies, how they smelled, how amazing those warm, delicious bites tasted. I hope my clients feel the story behind their images. My wish for my lifestyle images is that they find themselves in the hands of my client’s children or grandchildren much later in life. I want those memories & feelings to be brought to life or share these memories with their own children who may not have ever known their Grandma. Childhood can be a distant memory sometimes & we all know how we think our parents are out to get us when we are teenagers. I want my clients to look at these images and realize how loved they are by their parents!
For engagements and weddings, I want them to truly feel the love they have for one another when looking at their images- as I believe they should tell a story too! And for Boudoir (my newest passion), I want my clients to walk away feeling fearless in their own skin!
8. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
It’s funny; when I first started my photography adventure, I was all over Pinterest trying to come up with new prop ideas based on other images I saw. Now that I am more comfortable in my shooting, I almost never use props and draw my inspiration from the natural way my client moves/things they do. I try to recognize my client(s) for who they are and I want to pull that out with no distractions. Watching my daughter grow has been my ultimate inspiration for children’s photography and lifestyle shoots. And of course, I still love Pinterest.
9. How has photography shaped the way you see the world?
It’s like my eyelids have become my own personal viewfinder. Everywhere I look, I am thinking, “how can I frame that?” What time of day should I come back and capture this? Based on my daughter’s blog, people probably think I walk around all day wearing my camera. While that isn’t the case, my camera has become one of those things I can’t go very far without. My friends and family have become used to me saying, “wait, do not move!”
10. Give us your best photography related tip.
Just 10 minutes a day is all it takes! Bring your camera with you everywhere- even to the grocery store. I’m not even kidding- you will find yourself not only looking for the next thing to capture (which will grow your photographic vision), but you will be forced to play with your settings & grow your technical knowledge. Don’t compare yourself to other photographers- your growth is all that matters. Lastly, find yourself a mentor that matches your photographic vision- it's like the icing on your cupcake for your photographic growth!
Thanks so much, Marie!