I photograph in hopes of changing your life

I photograph in hopes of changing your life. OK that may seem a bit extreme, so let me explain.

A lot of my family has told me I am special. I'm sure others have heard the same before from their own families. In my case, my older sister comes to mind, specifically.

It was on my 22nd birthday. My friends had just left after celebrating my 22 years being alive. She gave me a big, tight, warm hug. As the hug was ending she grabbed my shoulders and looked at me with watery eyes. Emotionally and lovingly, she tells me how special I am and how much she loves me. "Mariah, there's something about you. You have this way of making people feel good when you're around them." There were a lot of happy tears and laughter after her mini-speech. This wasn't the first time she said this, though, but with all the emotion and gratitude I was feeling from celebrating with people I love and care about, it hit me a little harder this time. 
This effect she says I have is important to me. I care. A lot. Ask anyone who knows me, they'll say the same. As I began photographing people throughout the years, I relied on this characteristic, subconsciously. I still get nervous when I ask strangers if I could make their portrait, family and friends too. But, I am consciously aware now that this effect is what I bring to all my photography - Me and all of my care and sincerity. 

Sounds simple, but I guess with 2015 coming to a rocky end, it's a little clearer now. 

So, like I said in the beginning, when you allow me to make your portrait, I am hoping to change your life, even in the smallest of ways. Whether you leave our session with a little more confidence in yourself, or you leave reassured that everything will be ok; those feelings are important to me. You gave me a piece of you, therefore you'll always have a piece of me. Sounds a little dramatic, but true nonetheless, haha. 

With all that said, I am open for portrait sessions in 2016. Whether you were referred by someone, or you're an old friend reading this, you deserve to have images of yourself that go beyond the way you look on the outside. Lets shed some light on what's inside too. So, shoot me an email or comment below and lets get to talking.

With love and a million pieces to share,
Mariah

Thank you so much to those who allowed me to photograph them this year!

 

Let's Talk About the Struggle

image

© Mariah Texidor

I am halfway through watching this interview with Marie Folio and Todd Henry about finding your voice, and I became inspired to write about one of the topics they discuss.


Something the author said struck me so hard, it was as if I walked into a glass door. You know its there, but it’s so clear you walk right into it? Yeah, that way. Like those crows in the Windex commercials.


There is so much content on the Internet, it is so incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we should be reading or listening to. I am totally guilty of feeling this unnecessary pressure to get through my ever growing list of “Things to Read”.


Something I am finding that all of this content has in common, which is touched upon in that video, is that everyone wants a shortcut or a hack to do a million different things. This really isn’t new, there has always been content about “getting rich quick” or trying to gain skills quickly, perhaps without doing the work. However, I feel it is more present than ever as I am in this fluid and ever-changing stage in adulthood.


I won’t say no one (because I am one), but not many people are talking about the struggle. Not many are talking about the fact that while you made something or accomplished something, it was actually really fucking hard. This is a bit of a problem to me. For one, individuals posting their end result without any mention or acknowledgment of the process, possibly creates this idealistic visionary of sorts to their viewers. This is not to say everything has to be a struggle, because there very well may be things that do come easily to some. Second, this lack of acknowledgment kind of fuels this realization that many of us come across: we can do those things (insert person you admire/say you want to be like) does, but when we try to do it quick and dirty and are unsuccessful, we become disappointed and give up. I remind you, so-and-so person you admire most likely worked really hard to get the attention they are getting now. It probably took a lot of time, trial and error to get where they are.


image

© Mariah Texidor

Participating in things like #The100DayProject (my project was #100DaysofFeelingbyMariah) and completing four years of college culminating in my exhibited work,You & I and the Shadow Shelfshowed me the importance of the process as well as the struggle in order to create a body of work I am truly proud of.


Here are somethings I learned and will share with you:

  • Envision how you want the end product to look like. Now accept that it will not look exactly like that. I don’t say it in a negative manner, but things manifest over the creation period. Which leads to my next point…
  • Embrace change. Be malleable, pliable, open, etc. With any content you are creating, listen to it and let it flow.
  • Lastly, share your process. Get feedback, open your mind and hear other people’s opinions. Find groups of people you trust to share your work with. Share your in-progress work to the public, to strangers. It’s okay. Remember to take feedback, suggestions, criticism, and praise all with a grain of salt.
  • I lied, the last thing is to be proud of yourself for doing all of the above :-).


It’s hard to be an open book and let people in on projects when they are not “perfect”, definitely not saying it’s easy. However, it will help you grow. It will attract people who appreciate honesty and vulnerability in potential products/work/pieces they many want to buy or share with their network of friends and family. It will bring to attention that you are human, as most of us are, and it takes many steps along the road to get a final product we are proud of.


I am proud to say that I work each day to show that to get to where I want is no easy stroll in the park, and is indeed a struggle. Some days are better than others, some days worse. That’s my whole shtick, ya know? It’s okay to not be okay. You know that quote, it’s about the journey not the destination? Yeah, that’s basically what I am harping on.


Keep pushing and go on, share your struggle. Tell us your story.


With love and encouragement, 

Mariah


P.S. I finished the interview and it has so much more inspiring content worth writing and thinking about as well. I encourage you to watch it yourself!

Do you believe in yourself?

There’s something about believing in yourself that really takes a shit ton of guts. It takes some mastery in self-defense, the ability to turn the other way, and the skill of pressing onward. 


It’s been two months since I graduated from college and I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster– I am just bobbing in an ocean, not sure of how to swim, or if there is a shore in sight, just letting small currents take me to the next big wave.


I have taken the time to pat myself on the back for hitting the ground running with freelancing work, spending time with loved-ones, and attempting to better my health and wellness. However, I tend to forget about emotional wellness. I forget that I have to practice self-defense against the harsh, negative, mind-consuming thoughts of judgement, belittlement, and doubt. 


I remind myself everyday, that I don’t have to do things because “that’s just how it is”, especially when it comes to the job search. I am fortunate to still be in my parents’ home, therefore allowing me to save money, but it doesn’t save me from having to make my own decisions and tough choices (nothing ever will).

So I guess, I am here to tell you that no matter how hard it is, everything happens for a reason. The breakdowns, the beautiful moments, the negative chatter, and the steps forward or back- they all happen for a reason. For me, I think the reason so far (not that we will always know or ever find out), is for me to realize the power of choice. The power of being able to say ‘No’ to certain thoughts and say 'Yes’ to more positive, self-healing ones. The power to, as a few have told me, “lean into” the bad days, and ride the waves. Tomorrow is a new day; a new day to cheer yourself on and continue believing in yourself.

With a shit ton of encouragement,
Mariah 

All images © Mariah Texidor

I Fell Back in Love with My Image

I edited an image this week of my friend Lima. The image was captivating: Stunning, bright shining window light fell onto one side of her body and gradually spread across her body as it plunged into deep shadows on the opposite side. There was huge contrast from the drastic light difference on either side of her. Her gaze was right into my camera with shoulders back and hands unseen but crossed in front of her. 

***

I took that photo over the past summer and I had used Lightroom to convert it into black and white. However, up to the present I brought it back into color and challenged myself to use the techniques I am learning in my Fine Print Workflow course to make this image look well. 

While the lighting in the image I described was amazing, the colors were looking awful. The room is painted a shade of blue, the bright daylight, which is naturally a blue color temperature, was washing out the tanned color of her skin, but the shadows were so deep it was rendering her skin color a super saturated orange-yellow. Most of all the points on her body which the shadow and highlight met were so bad and looked as if I did an awful Photoshop affect.

After spending over an hour on the image, I began to get frustrated and dislike the image. I stepped away for a bit and felt something inside me tell me that this image is most powerful in black and white. I can’t really explain it, but as soon as I sat back down and started to use a Black and White adjustment layer in Photoshop, my heart jumped in happiness. After tonal adjustments to my aesthetic choice, I was so excited to print my image for critique. 

Lesson of the day: follow your gut. Give other options a try, but if it ain’t resonating with you, then let it go and follow your gut. I tried to work on the image in color, but deep down I knew it was most impactful in black and white. 

So, for educational purposes, while it feels vulnerable and wrong, I am placing both my mistake and my success of my photograph of Lima. 

image

© Mariah Texidor

Don’t give up! 

xx,

Mariah

Hello, I am back!

For my followers who have jumped on this page here’s a little about me:

I’m Mariah Texidor, some call me Mo’. I am determined to live each day seeing the bright side! I am from the boogie-down, Bronx in NYC, but currently reside in Rochester, NY for college. I attend RIT studying the thing I am continuously being inspired by, photography. I am super passionate and love inspiring people to live their lives! I do that by talking and being open with others, as well as talking about my process in my photography, which is often a self-involved journey.

I started blogging this summer in hopes to track my first summer entering the world of adulthood and in my profession of photography. I had a lot of goals, and while not all of them got accomplished, it was a hell of an inspiring summer! So NOW, I want to share with the world my life through senior year in college. Basically, I want to share and show that I am another person trying to live life, and I will be as honest as possible in the struggles and accomplishments that occur from here on out. 

So, if you’re wondering what is the point of me taking this space online to go on about my life, I’ll tell you. My blog is for me to look back on and remember the good, the bad, the ugly- in a positive and honest light in the end. It is for other people who may feel they are the only ones who live joyously, but feel bad when they are not ok or having bad days. For those who make art about another dimension of themselves, express themselves in more than one way.

With all that being said, something I am very proud of is my recent project I am working on. It is in progress, but it has been pushing me in new ways both in terms of making my work, thinking about it, and looking at other work for inspiration. I am excited about all the things I am learning and proud to be piecing it all together in different forms: making a book and workflow for a gallery, developing my fine printing workflow, creating books/learning new binding techniques, and making images that utilize my favorite thing: light. 

©Mariah Texidor

So, if there is one message I want people to get out of my blog is that everything happens for a reason. The things you learn, the people you meet, the way you feel, it all happens for a reason. It isn’t always important or necessary to know what the reason is, so I encourage everyone to make your decisions worth while! Create a life that makes you feel proud of yourself and love who you are each day.

I will be posting for a week straight which will be tough with my schedule, but I will in part of a challenge. 

How will YOU enjoy today? :)

xx,
Mariah

©Mariah Texidor