Featured Guestagrammer: Marianne Sabrier
Momenta welcomes featured guestagrammer,
Current job: Principal Photographer and Owner of The Red M Stuio
Current location: Metairie, Louisiana
Connection to Momenta: I was a Momenta Workshop student on Project New Orleans in 2011, and have worked on Project New Orleans as a a professional mentor and coach.
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today.
Oh boy, journey is a good word for it for me!
I can remember always loving photography, but things really got going when my grandmother bought me my first Minolta SLR in 1978. I was in high school. Through the years I used that Minolta to document anything and everything, and especially my own two children. But when I found myself raising the boys as a single mom somewhere around the mid 90’s, photography got put on the back burner and I didn’t shoot for quite some time. When my oldest son was ready to graduate high school I started researching financial aid options for getting him into college, and decided to apply for myself, as well!
In 2003 I emerged with an MBA in marketing and a career change was possible. I began working as a tourism research analyst, which was not only interesting, but the salary increase enabled me to start shooting again! I purchased another camera and took advantage of the trips I had to make for work to find interesting subject matter. I was having a great time shooting some of the best “happy accidents” of my life! My soul felt alive as I began producing very pleasing images, some of the time, and quickly became frustrated when I had no earthly idea what was going wrong the rest of the time. Nonetheless, I was so pleased with the good results and people’s positive response, that I opened my first business, Shutterbug Diva, LLC, which sold custom photo greeting cards in an online storefront. While a lot of fun, it quickly became apparent to me that in the age of digital everything, the greeting card business was not going to be lucrative. And I became acutely aware that if I was ever going to go anywhere in my photography career, it was not going to be as a greeting card photographer! I also knew that that would never happen as long as what I was producing was the result of “happy accidents” and, alas, it was time to become as much a student of photography as I had with every other academic endeavor. And so this is where the story really begins.
In the spring of 2010, I enrolled in a camera basics course and restarted from the ground up re-learning everything. Once I mastered the basics, I next put learning the foundations of photography on my agenda. I managed to get myself enrolled in a documentary photography course at Loyola New Orleans. I knew that photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange and W. Eugene Smith existed and I wanted to find out what they did, why they did it and hopefully how … and I wanted to channel their collective knowledge into my own shooting style. It was a great semester during which I also completed a documentary on the St. Joseph Rebuild Center, a shelter that assists the homeless in the New Orleans area. I learned about documentary photography, and so much more! It was during that semester that I was also introduced to Momenta Workshops, which further reinforced my love for documentary work.
At the end of 2011, I was able to retire from my full time job, and the very next day I opened my own photography business. For the first year I assisted and second shot with a wedding photographer (the one who had photographed my own wedding in 2010)! I quickly saw a parallel between documentary photography and wedding day storytelling and fell in love.
My current photography business, The Red M Studio, is a wedding and portrait business that I run with my husband and business partner, Steve. Together we shoot about 25 weddings per year, with an emphasis on documenting couples’ unique love stories. We are completely inspired and energized by a great love story!
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
As stated above, we are truly inspired by love stories and adore telling those stories and staying connected to our clients for life! We are also very passionate about eliminating hunger and homelessness in our community, and whenever our business has an opportunity to do volunteer or charity work, we make sure it is to benefit organizations that work with these issues, such as the St. Joseph Rebuild Center or Second Harvest Food Bank.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
I am constantly scanning the Internet for inspiration … I follow photographers whose work I admire on social media, and love to read wedding blogs!
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly?
Facebook and Instagram
What is one passion you have outside of photography that might come as a surprise to our readers?
I’m from New Orleans so no one would be surprised to learn that I am passionate about food and wine. The fact that I turned my driveway into a container garden, which we refer to as the Secret Garden might come as a surprise! It is my favorite place in the world to sit, hang out and drink wine!
What can we expect to see from your “guestagramming” on our Momenta Instagram account?
I will post photos from when I worked with the Louisiana SPCA for Project NOLA, and maybe some behind the scenes that I shot when working as a mentor and coach. I would also love to post one image from our wedding portfolio, as well!
#seizethemomenta, and follow @momentaworkshops on Instagram to see Marianne’s work
About the author…
Jen May Pastores
Jen May Pastores is a research and development team member and content developer at Momenta Workshops. Her expertise is in visual communications and social media.