If you haven’t joined our talent-filled Facebook Community, you’re truly missing out on some of the greatest inspiration and education there is to offer in terms of Lightroom editing. This week, we’re featuring one of our favorite members: Marissa Joy Daly. She’s an Educational Ambassador for SLR Lounge Premium, Visual Flow, and MagMod and is a destination wedding photographer based in Southern California. When you browse through Marissa’s portfolio you can get an immediate sense of her passion for her career and her impeccable detailed eye for creativity. Her edits are bold and vivid and take you directly into the scene. We interviewed her to find out more about her editing style using Visual Flow Presets, how she came to be a photographer and asked her to share some words of wisdom with our community.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
“I have been a photographer (paid) for 9 years. As soon as I graduated from Boston College, I started Marissa Joy Photography! I started in North Carolina, then moved to Washington, DC, and now I’ve been in Los Angeles for the last 6 years!”
“The summer after my freshman year in high school I went to Costa Rica for three weeks on a Spanish emersion trip. I loved the land and culture so much, I ended up taking so many photos. When I returned from my trip, I came across a photo I had taken through the window of a moving bus passing by Arenal Volcano. The weather was poor and the visibility was limited, but I was determined to get one decent photo of the volcano. For only a quick second, the clouds broke and a slight glimmer of light afforded me the opportunity to capture that sight. The challenge of balancing motion, character, intent, and substance became a thrill for me. After that, I started interning and shadowing other photographers, soaking up as much knowledge as I could. I then extended that education into college.”
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
“I feel like my shooting and editing styles are always evolving! I have a hard time shooting or editing with one “recipe.” I feel like each couple, each shoot, and every unique location has its own feel and energy to it. My ultimate goal is to shoot and edit a wedding incorporating the personality of the couple while also accenting the environment. I think my couples are drawn most to my photos that stem from Real Moments and Creative Portraits.”
What is the best part about being a photographer?
“I love traveling and exploring places I would never otherwise get the chance to go! Weddings have brought me to such beautiful and amazing places all over the world. I also used to do a lot of editorial work for a magazine when I lived in NC. Those assignments were so meaningful. I got to explore parts of my state I had never seen, meet and hear people’s stories, and have those folks trust me to take their portrait and document their lives.”
“I love being able to create and to physically show something that I see in my head. Often, I will see a shot and can imagine what it will look like at the finish line – then it the challenge of making that actually happen. Often I fail, but those times I succeed…so unbelievably satisfying.”
What are your sources of photography inspiration?
“When I lived in Washington, DC, I often went to the art museums there (they are all free). I love using art as an inspiration for photography. I would always go to the National Gallery of Art and find myself staring at this one painting by Johan Christian Dahl called “View from Vaekero near Christiania.” For some reason, I was always drawn to it. After years of shooting, I looked it up and saw its description, “A romantic landscape; the couple contemplating the nocturnal scene; moody; romantic motifs; incorporating reflections, mist, mountains; the couple in silhouette…” I laughed and thought to myself, well yep…definitely used that as inspiration! I often use all those elements in my own work.”
What do you think your keys to success are in this industry?
“I think it depends on how you define “success.” To me, success in photography is being able to help support my family, enjoying what I do and staying inspired to continue to do it, and always challenging myself to be better and work harder. To look back and see my work – to see where I started and how far I have come creatively; to see what I am able to give to my clients, that makes me incredibly happy. To me, that is a success.”
How has the Visual Flow Preset system changed your workflow?
“The amount of creativity you can derive from them is infinite, yet at the same time, they have sped up my post-processing time exponentially!”
See more of Marissa’s work on her Website and Instagram and catch her and our other talented Visual Flow Ambassadors and Featured Artists over in our Facebook Community where you can share your edits, pick up creative and useful Lightroom techniques, and get the latest on Visual Flow Preset Packs & updates!