We had a virtual cup of tea with Marisa, our Artist of the Week, and she told us a bit more about her work and her love for photography - enjoy!
I think I first became interested in photography, around the time I started traveling on my own. I was about 20, studying abroad in Prague and then backpacking through Europe. It was a way for me to share what I had seen and experienced with my friends and family back home, and from that point on it became a passion. The more different the place, the more creative and interested I grew in the medium.
What is your favourite photographic memory, and why?
It’s hard to pinpoint one! During my first year or two in Barcelona, I remember being entranced with the amazing graffiti everywhere. I would venture out every Sunday with my bike and camera to explore new neighborhoods in search of great art on the streets. It was like an outdoor gallery. The process of seeking, finding, capturing and preserving these gems – which would not be there for long – was a highly memorable experience.
Who is your favourite photographer, and why?
Another tough question! I work with some truly gifted photographers, who publish regularly in National Geographic. Among them, Frans Lanting stands out. His images are so perfect (for lack of a better word) they almost appear unreal. I also love Mattias Klum’s work – he has an artistic approach to natural history subjects that is very much his own – his images are multilayered, and display incredible depth and emotion. I’ve always liked Jodi Cobb’s work, and that of Steve McCurry – his images of India absolutely capture that place for me in a way I could never hope to achieve on my own. They are memorable, they tell a powerful story, and they display genuinely great lighting, composition and color – as well as humor.
What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?
I have no idea what camera would be my ideal one – I’m actually terrible when it comes to equipment or the technical side of photography. As to where I would take it – that’s easy. I would like to explore Japan, to capture the contrast between old and new, especially during the spring or fall; I’d love to document the Northern Lights; I’d go back to India in a heartbeat – it’s such a photogenic place. The list goes on and on…
Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.
Like I said, I’m not the most technically savvy when it comes to photography, but I think I have a good eye. What I like about my work, when it works for me, is the simplicity, colors, and composition usually. I am often drawn to objects or situations that may seem common or mundane, and I try to elevate their beauty or give them personality. I also like to photograph situations through a different angle or lens – for instance, through a reflection. Lately I keep certain ideas or themes in the back of my mind when I’m with my camera – like a series. For example, I might seek repetition, or photograph doors or fountainheads in many different locations. I try to say something about the place through like subjects in a subtle way. Looking forward, I’d like to improve my people photography. I’m about to have a baby, so I think my next “project” will be finding creative ways to document her first weeks, months, and years non-traditionally and in a unique style that captures her personality.
Do you have bursts of creativity - and when/where are you most creative?
I do, though I have to admit it’s been a while! I’m having a block recently. I find I’m most creative in new environments, particularly when traveling or visiting a place for the first time.
What are the most important elements of a successful photo?
That depends. For me, I would say that the story or message is one of the most important elements – whether the photograph has the power to move me, leave a lasting impression, inspire me, or make me feel something emotionally. I appreciate photographs that avoid cliché situations and do something different or unique – or the same thing in a different way.
Lighting of course is always important, and I appreciate good color and composition. I also think there’s something to be said about a photo that works well in its original form, i.e., with minimal processing. Digital brings so many new possibilities, but when I can see there’s been a lot of post-production I start to lose the photograph and it becomes something else for me.
Tell us about your favourite photograph, either your own or someone else's, and please send us a copy if you have one!
I don’t have one favorite photo. A couple of images that stand out to me, however, include:
- Marisa Lopez
A big Thank You to Marisa for all her contributions this week, it's been great hearing more about her and her work, and seeing some new images from her. You can see more of Marisa's work by visiting her Shed Profile!