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